The UK oil and gas industry has a rich and diverse heritage, employing people from across the world and from every part of society.
However, as with comparable industries, the sector has historically struggled to proportionately reflect the diversity of the workforce as a whole. The industry needs 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.
The contribution from people of all backgrounds will be critical to harnessing new ideas, new technology and new ways of working to deliver the energy transition and the net-zero agenda. The value case for diversity and inclusion is generally acknowledged across the industry and there are some great examples of positive momentum, but 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.
The OEUK Diversity & Inclusion Task Group (D&ITG) was created to drive the agenda on diversity and inclusion in the sector, catalyse action and share good practices. Last year it launched the 2020 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) survey to engage directly with the workforce and gain a more complete understanding of the current position of diversity and inclusion in the sector, in order to focus its drive for change and ensure continuous improvement.
UKCS D&I INDEX
Around 1600 people from over 100 different organisations across 23 job families completed the D&I survey, providing a powerful insight into some of the key D&I opportunities and challenges for the industry.
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 2020 survey sets the baseline for the D&I Index from which the sector can continue to measure progress on a regular basis. The 2020 UKCS D&I index is 7.1 (on a 10-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/or comparable job families.
The 2020 UKCS D&I Index is comprised of a range of ratings across the eight key D&I categories.
The chart below shows the D&I Index score for the UKCS and how these scores compare for different communities.
The majority of respondents (57%) rated the D&I culture in their organisation as strong or very strong. However, around 14% regarded the D&I culture in their organisation as weak or feel that there is no D&I culture at all. The survey data illustrates that while most of the operators and the larger supply chain companies have a strong D&I culture, this is not always the case for the smaller or medium size supply chain companies.
There is a real opportunity to raise the profile of D&I across all companies in the sector and so contribute to the overall performance of the industry.
Other key D&I culture findings include:
- 34% saw the importance of D&I increase due to COVID-19, but 58% saw no change
- Around 3% of the survey respondents identified as having a disability and a further 4% prefer not to say.
- Around 4% of the survey respondents identified as LGBTQ+ and 6% prefer not to say
Looking beyond specific groups, the value of diversity of thought, background, behaviours and personality is increasingly being recognised.
To stimulate new ideas and to approach problems from different viewpoints, the industry will need to continue to retain and attract people with different life experiences, work experiences, personalities, behaviours and educational backgrounds. Diversity can be cultivated in different ways, but should include fostering a culture of openness, embracing diverse opinions and welcoming input beyond the consensus.
Having established this baseline for the industry, it is hoped that it will 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.