Why diversity & inclusion is good for (oil) business?
The worldwide economy is going through a significant period of upheaval, with mass protests, geopolitical unrest, and pandemic swirling together to make 2020 one of the most difficult times in modern history. Business leaders need to address these issues to drive positive change in the world, and there are some often underappreciated tools that can help organizations and their employees thrive through the tough time ahead: diversity and inclusion.
DIVERSITY ENCOURAGES INNOVATION
Why is diversity so effective? Firstly, diversity in senior roles encourages innovation, as people feel more comfortable expressing their ideas and are confident they are listened to. Without this, women are 20% less likely to have their ideas considered; people from ethnic backgrounds are 24% less likely; and employees who identify as LGBTQ are 21% less likely.
By hiring professionals from different backgrounds, with different experiences and viewpoints, you will encourage different perspectives and will find new ways of looking at problems. In fact, companies with employees that have a diverse heritage as well as diverse skill sets and experience are more likely to see their market share grow and are more likely to capture a new market too.
A survey conducted in 2019 by advisory and assurances expert EY, revealed that 94% of respondents believe that diversity in thought and experience will help navigate industry disruption.
Studies conducted around the globe also come to the same conclusions: diversity is good for business. Ethnic diversity can increase profitability by as much as 30%. In the US for every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity among senior roles, earnings rise by around one percent.
IT HELPS TO NURTURE AND RETAIN TALENT
A further reason to include increased diversity efforts in your business strategy is that companies who actively hire diverse teams are actually more likely to attract and retain talent – something which we know is a pressing issue in the oil industry, with the ever-growing skills gap.
But active steps have to be taken.
To combat the lack of representation of both gender and different backgrounds, the industry needs to be proactive in making change. Oil companies need to appear attractive to work in, there is a need for equal work-life balance opportunities, more career paths towards senior leadership positions, and top-level executive roles.
IT’S AN ANSWER TO SOLVE THE SKILLS GAP
We know the skills gap is set to worsen over the next five years as cuts to graduate recruitment during the oil downturn are still felt. Engineering roles are predicted to be the worst hit, as graduates are now aggressively recruited by technology companies for their transferable skills.
So how does the traditional oil industry compete with modern tech companies? By proactively hiring a diverse workforce. Seeking out talent and putting the right measures in place to attract a diverse field of talent will naturally help you appeal to a larger pool of candidates.
Part of this means understanding what appeals to graduates. High salaries are now no longer the main motivator for young people looking for jobs, especially in uncertain times like nowadays, good and supportive company culture is a major draw for employment.
INCLUSION INCREASE DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL
Diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand, and for diversity practices to be successful, you must facilitate an inclusive work culture. Organizations lacking effective inclusion strategies are 10 times more likely to disappear within the next 5 years. No wonder then, that we’ve seen a shift in oil companies moving towards an inclusion-first approach to hiring, as businesses realise it’s the inclusion that drives diversity.
When a company hires based on improving diversity, they’re generally only looking at demographics like gender and race, but inclusivity takes this further by also accounting for cognitive diversity i.e. different backgrounds, different mindsets, and different ways of approaching work. The more inclusive we become as an industry the more ideas and experience we can harness, ensuring we don’t get left behind!
TIME TO BE PROACTIVE
Fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace that supports diversity provides an enriching work environment. To create it, there is a need to take into account the cultural differences and ensure we’re providing a work environment that caters to all these different needs, so teams can work together efficiently.
This could mean your company needs to hire external HR or training support. Employees should be given scheduled time in their calendars to understand where the differences lay in teams and how these can be used to the teams advantage, rather than cause conflict in the company.
ABN RESOURCE SUPPORTS DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Diversity is the richness of human differences, inclusion is when everyone feels connected, valued, and engaged.
At ABN Resource, we promote equality and respecting diversity in our daily work and life and we’re highly encouraged that the downstream oil industry will become more representative at all levels of organizations we partner with. With over 20 years of experience, we keep our ear to the ground to understand the latest trends and challenges the global oil industry faces.
For more guidance and information, please book a free consultation with our recruitment experts.