Beyond the woes of COVID-19, the past 18 months have had another distinct theme: a renewed fight for equality in its many forms. What does true diversification and inclusion look like in the Energy industry, and how do we get there?
The critical importance of diversity in the Energy industry
Throughout 2020 and 2021, we’ve been reminded of the importance of diversity in all walks of life, as well as the dangers of complacency and exclusion. From a renewed focus on racial equality to more women demanding their worth in the workforce, these months have taught the world that we still have a long way to go until we’ve achieved a society in which all people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual preferences and ability, are treated equally.
If we zoom in to the Energy industry, we can see similar trends emerging. In fact, we're busy talking to professionals in the business to analyze the effect it has on the industry. Why? Because we envision an Energy industry thriving from diversity and equality.
To catch all the other major trends hitting the Energy industry right now, check out our 2021 Energy Outlook Report for free:
Diversity in the workplace is much more than checking a box. Research has shown repeatedly that more diverse workforces are better for innovation, result in happier and more productive employees, and increase retention levels. Embracing diversity will be vital for companies looking to manage the ongoing energy transition in the coming years.
Beth Bowen (Managing Director The America’s) explains that we must challenge ourselves and each other to pursue workplace diversity with renewed purpose in order to balance the representation of all cultures and voices and enable the industry to reach its full potential.
The extraordinary events of 2020, and the ensuing economic crisis, has brought focus to a host of cultural imperatives. Together we must challenge ourselves in our methods of recruitment and hiring processes. Always 100% focused on finding the best specialists, we must strive to ensure we also consider the diversity of the workforce as a priority. We should all look to play a more responsible role when re-building the industry for the future and ensure we consider the right specialists with the right skills but pay close attention to cultures to ensure the industry has the right balance of expertise from every background.— Beth Bowen, Managing Director America’s at Brunel
Diversity in ability: We all have something to contribute to the workforce
At Brunel, we believe everyone has something valuable to contribute to the workforce, regardless of differing abilities. That’s why the Brunel Foundation envisions a world in which young, senior and future professionals with autism are given the same opportunities to grow and succeed as everyone else.
As Brunel strives to create a more inclusive world for those on the autism spectrum, we’ve been inspired by those we’ve met along the way.
"I am proud that I am a go-getter and can think in opportunities," says Expert Documentation Specialist Irene. "I dare to be vulnerable and ask for help if necessary. As a result, I can also see my autism as a strength, and it can also mean something to others."
Pascal Rinket, Product & Process Engineer, believes workplace guidance for people of all abilities is essential: "I think it’s important for employers to keep an open conversation. Not just about autism, but any difficulty an employee might face in their job," he says. "I think an open dialogue, coaching and guidance is something everyone with or without autism benefits from on the work floor."
To learn more about how the Brunel Foundation is working to help those on the autism spectrum reach their full potential, visit the Brunel Foundation website.
Empowering women in the Energy industry
In recent years, the Energy industry has not been excluded from reckoning with its need for gender equality in its workforce. Despite accounting for nearly half of the global labor market, women are estimated to make up only 22% of the traditional energy and 32% of the Renewables’ workforce, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The numbers of women in leadership positions are even lower.
There are still many gender barriers and stereotypes that must be broken for the industry to move forward and reach its full potential during the energy transition, including more efforts to introduce Energy opportunities to students at a younger age and encouraging young women to enter the field.
"Creating gender equity needs to be supported at all levels of an organization and is everyone’s responsibility,” said Christine Anderson, Brunel’s Global Human Resources Manager.
Her advice for achieving it? “It starts with leading by example. Walk the talk, be vulnerable and unafraid to call out biases, and then own the opportunity to identify and address them. Leaders play a pivotal role in ensuring gender equity and can achieve this through hiring, development and succession to ensure gender balance and equal opportunity.”
Read the rest of Christine's advice here.
Women play a crucial role in the overall success of the Energy industry, and there is still much room for improvement when it comes to gender diversity. What can you do today to help increase the number of women at your company?
I was honored to be named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil & Gas Award from the National Diversity Council in 2020. I have had the opportunity to learn from women working at the most senior levels in our industry. Some have overcome preconceptions about what women can achieve, while others have challenged traditional thinking to find more commercially successful ways of doing business. They are proving that a career in Energy has significant opportunities for the best candidates, respecting and appreciating what makes employees different in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.— Beth Bowen, Managing Director America’s at Brunel
Looking to the future of the Energy industry
Thank you for embarking on this journey with us as we continue discovering what matters in the Energy industry, where it’s heading, and how it’s transforming for the better. Our 2021 Energy Outlook Report revealed some incredible insights into the future of the Energy industry, and we’re already busy gathering even more exclusive insights for our 2022 Energy Outlook Report. Stay tuned! In the meantime, don't miss the major trends we discovered from over 22,000 industry professionals in the 2021 Energy Outlook Report below.