Energy Workforce CEO Leslie Beyer recently joined Castlen Kennedy, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Apache Corporation, at The University of Texas at Austin’s Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center for Energy, Law and Business for the Distinguished Lecture Series.
The panel, titled “ESG and the Future Role Of Oil And Gas In The Global Energy Mix,” was moderated by Carey King, Assistant Director, Research Scientist, UT Energy Institute, and explored how the energy industry and services sector are addressing new pressures and investor expectations, ranging from ESG to energy security.
Given that the audience composition included students and engaged members of the Austin community, Beyer reviewed why talent is a critical issue when addressing ESG and the future of the energy services sector. Although the sector was facing labor shortages before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the events in Europe exacerbated the already tight supply. Additionally, the public perception of the industry’s volatility and environmental impacts has been compounded by the current administration’s narrative and led to challenges in recruiting and retaining talent.
“How the industry is perceived impacts our ability to attract brilliant minds like you to be in this industry. We need people to realize that what we deliver to the world — whether it’s through oil and gas or nuclear or renewables — sustains modern life.”Leslie Beyer, CEO, Energy Workforce & Technology Council
She added that the Council is specifically focused on improving diversity and inclusion within the services sector through various training and workforce development programs and initiatives.
Beyer also highlighted how active the services sector has been in the environmental, social and governance dimensions before the emergence of ESG. Since customers and operators are looking for more visibility down their supply chain, energy service companies are also working to do the same with their suppliers.
She noted that the government has recently attempted to set standards in industry reporting. This includes the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent vote to mandate reporting on climate risks rather than developing collaboration between public and private companies. Kennedy also pointed out how ESG goals are viewed differently globally, primarily when operating with national oil companies that own their resources.
King asked speakers to share their final thoughts with undergraduate students in concluding the discussion. Kennedy discussed how energy offered a path to solve global problems, and Beyer talked about the importance of taking risks and being open to opportunities presented along your career path.
Maria Suarez, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.