How diversity boosts performance in oil and gas

Mar 13, 2019

Andy Brogan | EY | January 23, 2019

EY survey highlights the need for diversity to help navigate oil and gas sector disruption and the value diversity brings to the bottom line.

Respondents emphasized more action should be taken to propel women into leadership roles. Companies choosing to put gender parity on their agendas will find they have a more engaged workforce, perform better and maintain higher retention rates.

"Men or women is not the main issue. What is more important is how we create the right culture and process that can inspire and motivate humans to work and engage with integrity, trust and commitment to achieve success.." - Oil and gas survey respondent

The majority of our respondents (51%) expect to see a slight increase in women in leadership roles, and though this is a positive outlook, it doesn’t represent the full story. Currently only 11% of senior leadership positions are filled by women, and small steps won’t get us to gender parity any time soon.

Think gender parity in the oil and gas industry is close? Think again.

11% of the top global oil and gas senior executives are women

98% of our survey respondents agree we are experiencing a time of monumental change within the oil and gas industry. Disruption due to the fall in oil price, geopolitical instability and financial and environmental regulatory policy change are driving a fundamental shift in the industry. Companies are changing business models, adjusting supply chains and reworking their portfolios to improve value.

Think the oil and gas industry won’t change? Think again.

98% say that this is a time of monumental change for the oil and gas sector

Our respondents agree overwhelmingly (94%) that diversity of thought and experience are key to navigating the disruption in the industry. Developing diversity across a company isn’t a quick fix but is a long-term business imperative.

Think gender diversity doesn’t help navigate disruption? Think again.

94% agree that diversity of thought and experience is key to navigating disruption in oil and gas

Without diversity, companies will continue to miss out on innovation and insight to capitalize on future opportunities and the drivers of growth. Board and senior management need to create and invest in a diverse talent pipeline across all levels and mentor individuals to eradicate the unconscious bias currently holding back some of their top talent.

Think diversity doesn’t affect business performance? Think again.

61% of our survey respondents say that diversity does impact financial performance; a further 77% said it affected nonfinancial performance. Given the challenges within the oil and gas industry, it’s hard to understand why companies wouldn’t want the financial benefits diversity can bring.

According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics report women leaders can add 6% to the bottom line, which can make a real difference in this challenging time. So it’s surprising that more companies aren’t taking advantage of the gains to be made.

Think talent doesn’t have to be diverse? Think again.

With the underlying disruption running through the industry, as well as the additional aging workforce, managing talent is essential so that the business shifts with the times and thrives in the new environment.

73% of our respondents agree that more needs to be done in attracting, retaining and promoting women. Companies must work harder to demonstrate the possibilities and career opportunities for women that match their skills and ambition.

To diversify their leadership ranks, they must provide high-performing women the strategic and finance-related experiences necessary to lead. They should also encourage their senior male and female leaders to become sponsors for female employees.