Workplace Diversity Fundamental to Petroleum Industry Progress
“Inclusive Environments form the Bedrock of Innovation,” says Intisaar Al Kindi, Petroleum Development Oman Exploration Director
ADIPEC ‘Women in Energy’ Conference Sheds Light on Milestones and Challenges for Female Professionals
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 09 November 2016 – The success and long-term sustainability of the petroleum industry will largely depend upon its ability to embrace workplace diversity, industry leaders said during ADIPEC’s ‘Women in Energy’ conference today.
And with innovation needed now more than ever amid an evolving energy landscape and an increasingly competitive business environment, diversity of thought is proving to be an essential driver of industry progress.
“Women make a valuable contribution to every business and across industries, and studies have consistently shown the importance of diversity in the workplace. Roles that have been traditionally male-dominated are witnessing an evolution, and women are increasingly taking the helm in leadership positions,” said H.E. Merete Juhl, Danish Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar, and a key speaker at ‘Women in Energy’.
“This holds true for the energy sector now more than ever. The energy landscape is evolving, presenting women with a host of new and exciting career opportunities. By helping prospective candidates identify these opportunities and creating a supportive framework for career development, we are cultivating tomorrow’s generation of female energy leaders.”
With an established track record of raising an engaging and inspiring debate on the issues surrounding the role of women in the energy sector, ‘Women in Energy’ is part of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), the world’s most influential event for the oil and gas industry.
‘Women in Energy’ invites both male and female leaders to the stage to share their experience and insights on the journey to success. Eight engaging sessions, including on-stage interviews and a live voting discussion with global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, addressed the challenges and the many opportunities for women in the energy sector.
“The benefits of increasing gender diversity in the workplace are significant. Closing the gender gap can alone add 12 percent growth to the OECD economy by 2030 and generate a positive impact on the profitability of companies,” said Ada Perniceni, Partner at A.T. Kearney.
According to recent research from A.T. Kearney, female participation in the regional workforce has increased by 33 percent since 1993. Growth in female participation across industries in the GCC ranges from 15 percent in Kuwait to 63 percent in the UAE.
“In the energy sector, the role of gender diversity is as important as for other industries,” said Perniceni. “There is an untapped opportunity to be further explored and exploited. I believe that reaching gender diversity and reaping the benefits will require a concerted effort not only by the women themselves, but also through collaboration and identification of solutions in social networks, governments and companies alike.”
An inclusive and open corporate environment, one in which varying perspectives are encouraged, new ideas are embraced, and experimentation and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking are valued, forms the “bedrock for innovation,” according to Intisaar Al Kindi, Exploration Director at Petroleum Development Oman.
“Traditionally, the oil and gas industry has been a male-dominated environment, and it only seems natural that organisations will find it difficult to optimise their performance if they are excluding half of the population,” she said. “Women can often be more collaborative and communicative in their approach, which is very important when discussing, assessing, and implementing new ideas.”
Innovation will play an instrumental role in helping the industry operate more safely, responsibly, and efficiently, which is important not only for meeting current challenges, but also for the industry’s long-term sustainability, added Al Kindi.
“New technology and ways of working are helping us identify the opportunities and risks in our fields and address them in a more streamlined, faster and relevant manner. At times of crisis, when experienced staff are let go, innovation can suffer, so it is also vital that you have a pipeline of talented, technically competent, and balanced pool of staff who can adapt and work collaboratively with the latest technologies in a rapidly changing sector.”
Established as one of the world’s most influential exhibition and conferences for the oil and gas industry, ADIPEC has a longstanding track record of bringing together globally celebrated luminaries and experts to discuss challenges and opportunities in the energy sector. The annual four-day event takes place from 7-10 November 2016 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.