BLOG: Does Energy Hit High Marks with Diversity in Leadership?

BLOG: Does Energy Hit High Marks with Diversity in Leadership?
A recent report by Owler reveals how diverse energy leadership is perceived.

The short answer … kind of.

A 2017 study by business insight platform Owler found that the energy and utilities industry ranked sixth out of 17 industries for diversity in its leadership teams.

The ranking is based off a survey given to Owler members. The members follow companies in which they are interested and respondents were asked, “Do you think this company has a diverse leadership team?”

The word “diversity” wasn’t defined when the question was posed.

“CEOs and HR can talk about diversity and inclusion all day long, but how both frontline workers and the general public perceive changes on the ground – particularly at the top of the company – is what the study is all about,” the study report states.

After compiling all results, Owler then focused on the companies with the most responses and categorized them by industry.

Energy & Utilities had an average score of 61 out of 100, which turns out to be pretty middle of the road as the median score among all industries. They shared this spot with the technology industry.

The industries who were considered to have more diverse leadership teams, in order of rank, are:

  1. Retail (68.5/100)
  2. Transportation & Warehousing (66/100)
  3. Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology (65.5/100)
  4. Travel, Recreation & Leisure (64.5/100)
  5. Aerospace & Defense (63/100)

For Owler’s full rankings by industry, click here.

In regard to the top 50 companies overall for leadership team diversity, Marathon Petroleum Corporation was the highest-ranking energy company (#19) with a score of 85/100.

“We ask users a lot of questions, but our sentiment questions often yield the most interesting response,” Jim Fowler, Owler CEO, told Rigzone.

I’ve previously discussed the lack of diversity in oil and gas boards of directors and continuously covered diversity in the industry as a whole. Though there’s still a way to go, companies have been exerting a lot of effort in diversifying their workforces and making it a priority.

Fowler mentioned his friend who works in a senior position at Chevron and how much work the company has done in the diversity space.

Granted, there’s still a lot of white males, but they’re trying, he said. And the large response to Owler’s study (more than 1,100 organizations were assessed) shows that diversity in leadership is an important topic for people.

Owler prides itself on its data transparency. Essentially, they don’t make any inferences about the data – it is what it is.

While diversity means different things to different people, the study determines that some companies are getting it right.

The Owler report concludes by saying if your leadership team is not diverse, it may be time to reflect on steps you can take to promote diversity in your workplace – not to manage optics of studies such as this one, but because it’s good for your business.    


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