The UK oil sector’s quest to improve diversity and inclusion among the workforce will not be forgotten about as the energy transition debate gathers steam, an industry chief said yesterday.
Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) chief executive Deirdre Michie said the goals of making the sector an inclusive place to work, and establishing its role in the transition to a net zero carbon economy, were “inextricably linked”.
Oil and gas companies have come under increasing pressure from climate change campaigners and activist investors to ditch fossil fuels following the publication of several alarming reports on the environment.
As a result, oil businesses and trade bodies are spending more time than ever justifying their existence and explaining how they can play a role in the transition.
The issue was discussed at length throughout OGUK’s annual conference in Aberdeen this week.
But OGUK also used the event as a vehicle to showcase the sector’s focus on promoting diversity and driving improvements among operators and in the supply chain.
Ms Michie said: “The oil and gas sector can only contribute to the energy transition if we can keep industry sustainable.
“If you want a sustainable business, you need a diverse and inclusive workforce to deliver that. They go hand-in-hand.”
Only 25% of the current workforce in the UK Continental Shelf is female, according to a recent study by skills body Opito and Robert Gordon University.
Ms Michie said OGUK wants to champion the sector’s diversity.
She stressed the issue was “broader than gender” and must also include race and ethnicity.
Ms Michie said OGUK would provide a clear view of the good work some companies are doing, which would, in turn, help the organisation spot gaps that need to be addressed.