Close this search box.
Energy Workforce & Technology Council 90th Anniversary
Close this search box.

People & Culture Seminar Tackles Succession Planning, Pay Equity and Culture

Energy Workforce President Molly Determan, Dawn Keske and Doug Orr
View the Presentations

Energy Workforce’s Human Resources and I&D Engagement committees hosted the People & Culture Seminar on September 12 in Houston, where attendees engaged in a day of interactive sessions covering succession planning, pay equity and managing culture across global organizations.

Energy Workforce President Molly Determan kicked off the seminar, welcoming attendees and highlighting the significance culture plays in both Energy Workforce Member Companies and across the energy sector.

Human Resources Committee Chair, Dawn Keske, Oceaneering, moderated the seminar.

“The organization doesn’t create the culture, the people in the organization do that.”

Dawn Keske, Oceaneering

The succession planning session was led by Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Doug Orr, Heidrick & Struggles, who said that just as workforce safety has transitioned from mere compliance to a cultural characteristic, businesses must implement the same shift in their workforce succession planning. He emphasized the need to make this shift intentional.

“As long as leadership is purposeful and intentional in the communications, it will build a level of trust in the organizational culture.”

Advisory Board Member Doug Orr, Heidrick & Struggles

Christian Antkowiak, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, discussed how to understand pay equity in the workplace and mitigate legal risk by noting that pay equity is more than just complying with the Equal Pay Act and Title VII litigation. He told attendees that achieving pay equity is an ongoing commitment that has at least five elements:

  • Executive commitment, understanding and attention
  • A compensation philosophy
  • Annual pay equity assessments
  • A diverse group of people in the room where pay decision are made
  • Eternal vigilance and assigned responsibility

Carlos Sarmiento, SLB, presented findings from pay gap studies conducted by SLB in 2021 and 2022, highlighting a notable 12% year-over-year improvement in pay equality among salaried employees. When undertaking similar studies within organizations, Sarmiento emphasized the importance of conducting comprehensive analyses, including both pay-related and non-pay-related metrics. 

Advisory Board Member Dave Warnick, ChasmBridge, and Marisa Beaty, Baker Hughes, discussed managing culture across global organizations. Beaty emphasized that the task of initiating DEI efforts falls squarely on the business. As an industry, she said, progress has been made but there is still a long way to go to achieve true equality.

Warnick remarked on gender diversity and culture in the Middle East, pointing out that the implementation of such efforts is also reliant on cultural identities. Beaty and Warnick agreed that getting the front-line and middle management on board with DEI initiatives is key to changing the culture of the organization. 

If you are interested in engaging further with this topic or joining the HR Committee, contact Director of Operations Roni Ashley.

Roni Ashley, Director Operations, writes about the Energy Workforce’s membership, workforce development and more. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


Stay Connected

Sign up for the Energy Workforce newsletter to stay on top of the latest energy news and events.