OEUK news

OGUK spotlights workplace diversity at annual conference

29 May 2019

Jennifer Craw, chief executive of ONE, who is chairing the diversity and inclusion session.


Championing the UK oil and gas sector as a diverse and inclusive place to work with a breadth of opportunities now and in the future will form a key part of the agenda at this year’s pivotal OGUK annual conference.

The sector’s focus on promoting diversity and driving improvements across the operator and supply chain landscape will take centre stage as part of the two-day conference, held from June 4-5 at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

Focusing on ‘An Industry in Transition’, the event – sponsored by Total E&P UK Limited – will see industry leaders and keynote speakers reflect on the people, business processes and diversification opportunities the sector requires to unlock growth while it tackles the dual challenge of satisfying energy demand and reducing its carbon footprint.

Diversity and inclusion will be part of the focus on Wednesday, June 5, with speakers including Erica Kinmond, vice chair of AXIS Network and associate at Pinsent Masons LLP, sharing her thoughts on transitioning to a gender-balanced workforce, and Susan Elston, SVP of Offshore & Marine (UK & Ireland) at Sodexo, discussing retaining and motivating a multi-generational workforce.

The session will be chaired by Jennifer Craw, chief executive of Opportunity North East (ONE).

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, said fostering a diverse and inclusive working culture was critical to ensuring a competitive position for the UK Continental Shelf.

She commented: “As we work with industry to encourage diversity and inclusion, we need to identify collaborative approaches to retain and attract talent and showcase that our industry continues to be a great place to work.

“The moral and business cases for diversity and inclusion are clear and well-established and we need to embrace them if we are to help this sector sustain and improve its competitiveness.

“Our industry supports over 280,000 skilled jobs, but with women representing only one in four of the talent pool, there is clearly still more work to be done. However, diversity and inclusion is all encompassing – the issue is not just gender alone and involves diversity of race and ethnicity, as well as skills and thought.

“It is vital we understand our future skills profiles and proactively develop the talent required. The latest skills report from OPITO and RGU published last month estimates that the industry needs to attract 25,000 new people in just six years – and 4,500 of those will be into completely new roles that do not yet exist in areas such as data science, automation and new materials.”

Jennifer Craw, chief executive of ONE and chair of the event, said: “Diversity is a key enabler of business growth.  It is about diversity of gender, age, race and ethnicity, as well as skills and diversity of thinking.

“All industries need to attract and retain the best available skills and talents to maximise the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

More than 500 people attended OGUK’s conference last year, with leading figures from industry, government, the regulators, academic and other trade associations, and this year the event is also supported by Stratasys GmbH and Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd.

Places are still available and more details can be found here.

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