What does diversity and inclusion mean for Petrofac?
As a global business we represent diverse cultures and we draw strength from our diversity. We’re proud of our diversity and believe it brings a wide range of perspectives, which helps attract talent and achieve greater creativity and success in the workplace. Inclusion is about ensuring that people feel valued, accepted and included for who they are. It’s important to recognise that each individual is unique with differences, both visible and invisible. We have a strong record in terms of ethnicity and nationality, employing people from 80 different countries. But we understand that we have work to do when it comes to gender diversity. Historically, there have been a number of challenges in the oil and gas industry and it’s a traditionally male-dominated industry. Even so, we recognise we need to do more.
What are the benefits of having a diverse workforce?
Diversity and Inclusion is so important, as it’s a coming together of different cultures, backgrounds and experiences. It’s about learning from each other. It helps a business to be dynamic. And, it goes without saying that businesses which have a more diverse workforce perform better and get better results. For employees, it gives them access to a wider range of perspectives and can help to increase their creativity.
How is Petrofac improving diversity across the business?
Putting me into this full-time role shows the commitment of the company. Having someone dedicated globally to work on the strategy across all the business functions will help to improve diversity and inclusion.
We have agreed a D&I strategy with the Board and with Excom, which we will be rolling out in due course. It includes developing female talent, reviewing our recruitment processes and ensuring that when we hire for management positions externally, we make every effort to ensure at least one woman is on the interview shortlist. We are rolling out diversity and inclusion training, unconscious bias training, and a celebration of our nationalities. In addition to this, we have already reviewed the Group D&I policy, introduced and enhanced a suite of flexible working policies, introduced diversity targets on scorecards, and we have been building on our internal communications. We have also appointed two senior Diversity Champions, Chief Technical and Commercial Officer, Engineering and Construction, Roberto Bertocco for the East, and Group Director, Communications and Sustainability, Alison Flynn for the West. They will be key to help drive the D&I strategy and I am very much looking forward to working with them.
Can you tell us more about the new targets Petrofac has set?
We have introduced targets for getting more women into senior leadership roles by 2030, as we recognise that we need to do better in increasing the number of women in management. By having these targets, it again shows our commitment to making changes where we need to. They are in line with our broader sustainability agenda. It’s also important that our women colleagues do not see themselves as a statistic. Some might feel that if you are a woman, then you are progressing because it’s part of a statistical exercise; it’s not, it’s because they have the capability. We have high potential females that we want to develop in the business and alongside leadership training and mentorships, we will help them to make that next move.
How is the business creating a sense of belonging?
It’s important to make people feel part of something. We provide a supportive culture and during lockdown, we’ve tried to keep morale up through different types of communication. For example, we’ve had virtual coffee mornings, virtual Town Halls, and shout-outs on a weekly email round-up. We’ve also done a lot of communication around our Employee Assistance Programme. PetroVoices, our yearly engagement programme, will also be running in October and this will allow colleagues to share their opinions and make their voices heard.
What role do colleagues have to play in making the business more diverse and promoting inclusivity?
Come on the diversity and inclusion journey with us, get to know about the diversity goals and vision, and engage in the diversity efforts the company is making. Get to know your colleagues, their culture and their experiences, and listen without judgement. And, treat people in the way you wish to be treated. We can learn so much from each other. Also, drive positive change and display behaviours that support diversity in the workplace.
PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2020
Anna Douglas will become Petrofac’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion in October. Here, she sets out her vision for D&I
Anna Douglas has worked at Petrofac for more than 17 years in HR. She will become Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion in October, a new role created within Petrofac.
We are targeting
of women in senior roles by 2030
We are also setting interim targets of
of women in senior roles by 2021 and
of women in senior roles by 2025
“I am very passionate about our Diversity and Inclusion journey in Petrofac and I am very happy to sponsor the diversity strategy, working alongside Alison and Anna. We should all be part of this journey; it is vital to the success of the business, making us more innovative and creating the best talent. We will foster a culture where everyone can flourish and it will create a business which is more competitive.”
Roberto Bertocco, Chief Technical and Commercial Officer, Engineering and Construction
“Successful companies are successful because they encourage and embrace the broadest range of ideas and perspectives. Our D&I strategy is not about ticking boxes, but about understanding the competitive advantages that diversity and inclusion bring, and making positive changes that position us for success.”
Alison Flynn, Group Director, Communications and Sustainability
A fascinating backstory, told in an intriguing way
Born in Beirut, she was the youngest of four children in a happy, well-to-do family. Then, at the age of nine, everything changed. Out-of-the-blue, her father, who managed a large chain of fine-dining restaurants, was kidnapped, tortured and held to ransom.
On his eventual release, the family fled to Canada, leaving everything behind, and ending up destitute in a small French-speaking city that was unaccustomed to immigrants. Unable to speak the language, her parents came across as unsophisticated people, with her father getting work washing dishes and her mother cleaning hotel rooms. Financially and emotionally, it was a real struggle.
Patty learned English by watching cartoons and studying children’s books. And, as she grew, she became more determined. With a focus on her studies, she earned scholarships to the University of Ottawa, and worked four part-time jobs to see her through her undergraduate studies in biochemistry before moving onto law school. She then joined the Canadian civil service, where she spent the first ten years of her career.
What is as interesting as the story itself, is the unguarded, matter-of-fact way that Patty tells it, and how she draws such obvious strength from it.