The UK oil and gas industry has a rich and diverse heritage, employing people from across the world and from every part of society. We know that the contribution from people of all backgrounds is essential to harnessing new ideas, new technology and new ways of working to deliver the energy transition and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
However, as with comparable industries, the sector has historically struggled to proportionately reflect the diversity of the wider workforce as a whole. We know that we need to do more to attract those who reflect the richness of talent in our society, to empower 100% of the capacity within our collective businesses, and to truly unlock the potential that everyone has to offer.
As a result, in 2019 the OGUK Diversity & Inclusion Task Group (D&ITG) was created to drive the agenda on diversity and inclusion in the sector, catalyse action and share good practice. Made up of a variety of professionals from a range of roles across the sector, the D&ITG launched the 2020 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) survey at the end of last year. The idea was simple: engage directly with the workforce and gain a more complete understanding of the current position of diversity and inclusion in the sector. In doing this, we can focus our drive for change and ensure continuous improvement.
In April of this year, we launched our findings of that survey. The report, titled Building a Baseline: OGUK Diversity & Inclusion Survey Report, was produced in partnership with Robert Gordon University (RGU). It was shaped by responses from more than 1,600 people from over 23 disciplines and over 100 organisations, and provided powerful insight on our industry’s key challenges. As the title suggests, this report is not an end in itself, but rather, the foundations from which all future D&I improvements can be made.
Key findings of the report include:
As well as this, the survey enabled the creation of a new UKCS D&I index, which comprises the average D&I score from around 50 core questions in the survey. The index reflects the level of industry maturity in key D&I areas such as belonging, openness, respect, career, opportunities, organisation, culture, leadership, impact and flexibility. The index highlights where the industry is perceived to be performing well and identifies areas for improvement. Currently, the report showed that the 2020 UKCS D&I index is 7.1 (on a ten-point scale).
To provide further insight, the data was analysed by type of role, organisation, age, gender, ethnicity, religion and by job family. The survey data was also compared to similar surveys conducted in other sectors and comparable job families.
With these findings, the OGUK’s D&I Task Group was able to identify five key focus areas that can drive progress on the industry’s diversity and inclusion journey over the next 12-18 months. They are:
1. Inclusive & diverse leadership & culture
‘D&I Leadership and awareness’ and a more ‘Diverse Leadership Team’ were in the top five activities to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace identified by respondents to the survey and it is clear that a committed focus and a determination to drive change in this area has the potential to be transformative.
2. Inclusive recruitment
Inclusive recruitment was also identified by respondents as a key activity to improve D&I.
3. Diversity & inclusion in SMEs
Culture is fundamental to the success of D&I initiatives so supporting smaller and mid-size companies will be a key focus for the D&ITG in 2021.
4. Flexible working
Flexible working was also identified by respondents as a top activity to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace and the number of employees across the industry working flexibly at the moment is very high.
5. The 31-40 age group.
This age group are the next leaders of our industry, and yet had the lowest view when compared to other age groups in relation to their organisation’s D&I commitment and culture.
Having established this baseline for the industry, we hope to create a platform for very real, productive, and targeted efforts and initiatives in driving a more diverse and inclusive industry. This will require the response and commitment from many stakeholders (companies, organisations and individuals) across the industry in order to drive us forward.
As well as launching this report, OGUK D&I Task Group also announced its Ally Network. Led by Susan Grayson, Director, D&I, Resourcing, Talent & L&D Spirit Energy, OGUK’s Ally Network runs in parallel with the activities of the D&I Task Group, providing a platform for industry professionals to come together and share examples of best practice, opportunities to develop and to stay up to date with all the activities coming out of the task group. To register for the OGUK Ally Network, visit: diversityandinclusioninenergy.co.uk/get-involved-2/
The value case for diversity and inclusion is generally acknowledged across the industry, but if we are to achieve the various goals this industry has set itself on diversity & inclusion, this needs to be a business priority for everyone across the sector to ensure that it continues to flourish and lead in a global and changing environment.
To keep up to date with all the latest news, blogs, and articles to come from OGUK’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Group, please visit www.diversityandinclusioninenergy.co.uk. Here you can read the full Building a Baseline: OGUK Diversity & Inclusion Survey Report.
Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE.