PESA President Leslie Beyer moderated “The Future of Work” panel on February 4 at the Baker Hughes Annual Meeting in Florence. She led discussion on how innovation and technological advances are opening up critical opportunities for an upcoming workforce that’s focused on energy sustainability.
Panelists included Mohamed Saif Al Aryani, Senior Vice President, Group Strategic Investments, ADNOC; Christine Benfield, Vice President Projects- North Sea & Global Subsea, BP; Haithem A. Al- Balawi, Director, HR Systems Support Department, Saudi Aramco; Austin Avuru, CEO & Executive Director, Seplat; and Alessandra Pasini, Chief Financial Officer, Snam Rete Gas.
“We know that over half of our industry’s current workforce is nearing retirement, and this comes at a critical time as our culture is changing significantly,” Beyer said. “We must work to attract diverse groups with unique skillsets in data sciences, automation and digitalization to make sure the oil and gas industry is part of the solution to climate change.”
[su_quote cite=”Leslie Beyer, President, PESA”]”Technology is in the fabric of our industry, but it’s actually how we use the technology to empower our people that’s really going to get us there.”[/su_quote]
Panelists stressed the importance of having an authentic message and demonstrating that we are part of the solution, that investment is needed to inspire younger people in secondary schools, and finally that companies must remove boxes, let people express themselves and be fast in responding to them. Recruitment was discussed, including efforts at the IOC and NOC levels targeting the brightest young men and women fresh out of college and putting them through an 18-month training collaboration with technology partners and service providers.
Focusing on caring for people, the panel deliberated mental health and well-being, stating that flexible working is a key strategy. Agile working methods are currently being utilized across the industry, which remove the typical hierarchal structure and barriers and produces a healthier team environment that’s very empowering. Panelists also discussed taking steps to predict future needs and proactivity to nurture horizontal skillsets. As an example, one company recently sent an HR employee to get a master’s degree in data analytics and advanced computing. She now focuses on deep learning with robotics to predict attrition and address future skills requirements. Recruiting and re-skilling the current workforce is critical.
PESA Board Members Matt Armstrong and Chuck Chauviere also attended the meeting with PESA Committee Leaders Marco Caccavale and Mike Bowie.
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