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Energy Workforce & Technology Council 90th Anniversary
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Members Share Challenges in Establishing and Maintaining Inclusive Cultures


The Council’s I&D Engagement Committee and COO Molly Determan hosted a best-practice sharing session where participants in the Inclusion & Diversity Business Champion program could engage in conversations with industry peers about challenges and solutions in establishing and maintaining inclusive and diverse cultures within their companies.

Representatives from Baker Hughes, Caterpillar Inc., DistributionNOW, Exterran, Halliburton, NOV Inc., Piper Sandler, Schlumberger, TechnipFMC and Vallourec participated in the event.

The virtual meeting enabled participants to divide into small groups where they could delve into key inclusion and diversity topics, including:

  • Talent acquisition
  • Talent management
  • Performance management
  • Competencies and expectations for managers
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion policies
  • Tools to create a more inclusive culture

Members shared their experiences and challenges during the hour-long meeting.

“We recruit talent straight from the universities that serve as the local tech centers,” said a representative of a global company. “Then we move people around to different locations, so we get tremendous cultural diversity throughout our workforce.”

I&D Business Champion Participant

Another participant said their company invests in events geared towards women in engineering, STEM, digital and software engineering. They said their company has always recruited young people, and that it has found success recently targeting experienced professionals.

“Bringing in seasoned professionals is making our company increasingly age-diverse. In addition, we’re making the effort to retrain people into new roles — mechanical and electrical engineers who are interested are going through the same digital training programs as new recruits.”

I&D Business Champion Participant

“We’ve shifted our mindset from a traditional oil and gas mentality,” said one participant. “Our talent pipeline was broken but putting diversity at the forefront of our recruitment efforts helped a lot.”

Members described strategies to identify and eliminate areas of unconscious bias that could undermine their company’s commitment to diversity.

“We’ve asked ourselves, what is in a job description that’s truly required for that job,” said one participant. “Or, is it something that’s unintentionally weeding out people in an unconscious way?”

“Our company does anonymous surveys that lets managers see a breakdown of results,” said a participant. “It’s designed to provide them with a read on how their team feels about certain things while protecting the identities of survey participants.”

“We have a new parental leave policy. The next hurdle is we need to make sure we’re not unconsciously penalizing people for using it.”

I&D Business Champion Participant

Representatives discussed actions with potential for the biggest impact.

“Processes are more important than policies in the DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) space,” said one participant. “How we get things done while using the inclusion and diversity lens within those processes. For example, many of our managers want a blind recruiting process — no name, no university listed. The goal is to take steps to eliminate bias from the process.”

For more information or to get involved with the Council’s I&D Engagement Committee, contact Council Vice President Programs & Events Peggy Helfert.

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