Energy Workforce & Technology Council releases sector inclusion & diversity findings
HOUSTON – The Energy Workforce & Technology Council presented the energy services and technology sector’s efforts to advance inclusion and diversity at its Annual Meeting in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM.
“Continuing to improve inclusion and diversity is a critical issue for our sector,” said Council CEO Leslie Beyer. “Diverse thinking is going to move us to the next step in the energy transition. We need more women and people from diverse backgrounds to bring different perspectives and drive the innovation we need.”
The session, led by Board Member and Immediate Past Chair Rod Larson, President & CEO, Oceaneering International, Lamonica Spivey, Inclusion, Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility Director, TechnipFMC, and Maria Lorente, Human Resources Director, Schlumberger, gave attendees an overview of findings from the Council’s 2021 Inclusion & Diversity Study, as well as recommendations crafted by membership during a series of workshops held this summer.
“To continue making progress, the push for diversity needs to come from C-suite leaders,” Spivey said. “We need the top of the house to support company-wide strategies that help build an I&D mindset and drive change.”
Spivey summarized the Council’s study, released earlier this year, which found that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lower oil prices in 2020, the percentage of women in the U.S. energy services and technology sector rose to nearly 20% over the past three years, countering the trend of women dropping out of the overall national workforce.
The study, conducted by the Council and research partner Accenture, built on the 2018 gender diversity study. Drawing on insights from 250,000 workers, the report reflected jobs figures through January 2021, and employed a revised methodology that considered race and ethnic dimensions along with gender.
Lorente discussed recommendations from the summer workshops that provide guidance for companies seeking to improve their inclusion and diversity initiatives.
“Actions are required at all stages of the talent management cycle — recruitment, advancement and retention,” Lorente said. “The study proves the value of tracking metrics to evaluate what works. Organizations need to tackle systemic biases. We need to rewire our systems to rewire behaviors.”
Research shows that flexibility and support are needed to enable more diverse talent to fully participate in the sector’s workforce. Among these are flexible work programs, paid leave for primary and secondary caregivers, and employee resource groups.
Larson walked participants through how executives and leaders can achieve organizational ambitions going forward. Organizations can focus on effective actions, including diagnostics and benchmarking, strategy and prioritization, inclusive leadership, and structural and behavioral inclusion. These actions will help leaders drive lasting change within their organizations.
“This is not a project with a start and finish, it’s a long journey," Larson said. "As we grow, we're going to uncover ways to do better, learn as we go, and we’re going to continue to push. We will continue to make it part of how we do business every day.”
Larson said CEOs can challenge themselves to lead by example, establish tangible goals to turn ambitions into results, invest in the work of inclusion and diversity, and reframe the organizational culture.
The Council will support the sector in continuing to improve its inclusion and diversity by providing industry-leading research, education on best practices and strategies through its I&D Business Champion Program and offering forums for members to network and share experiences.
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