WE ARE A DIVERSE ORGANISATION AND EMPLOY PEOPLE FROM 80 DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES. TO CELEBRATE INCLUSION WEEK IN THE COMPANY WE ASKED WHAT INCLUSION MEANS TO YOU AND WHAT GIVES YOU A SENSE OF BELONGING AT WORK. HERE’S WHAT SOME OF OUR COLLEAGUES SAID…
PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2020
I came across the quote, ‘diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance,’ and searching to find out who said it first, I found myself watching a video of one of my old professors, Scott Page, who taught me computational modelling. We live in a very complex world, and academia was early to discover that a highly technical professor with a PhD in Mathematics can have a major contribution in a social field such as diversity and inclusion, provided he is supported and encouraged in his research. So, in a sense inclusion is seeing your coding professor talking about diversity on YouTube. It is clear that feeling included and ‘part of something’ is important in such achievements. And sometimes very simple things such as people saying your name properly, truly being listened to or being given credit for your work drive this sense of belonging. For me, it is about trust.”
Head of Enterprise Management Ozge Gurgur lives in Dubai. He has a background in engineering, finance and risk management.
Kelly Paddon, who is based in Aberdeen, enjoys working in HR as she can help to foster an inclusive environment and promote a diverse culture.
Being part of a group or network is always something I’ve felt strongly about. To feel included you need to put yourself out there, make friends with people, volunteer for things and be open minded. Being included can help with your confidence and at work I feel like a valued member of the team. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at; your voice matters. I’ve always been passionate about diversity and inclusion. I’m classed as disabled, I have an amputation and lost my leg to cancer when I was 15 years old. I have twins and I’m a working mum too. I didn’t make my disability known when I went for my interview, as I didn’t feel it was necessary. If anything, I feel the challenges in my life have enabled me to have a lot of drive and determination, and when I get told I can’t do something I push myself to achieve it. For me, as I could be seen as different, that sense of belonging is hugely important to me. It’s been ingrained in me that I want everyone to treat me the same, so I treat everyone else the same. I would hate for someone not to feel part of the team or that they don’t have the confidence to speak up.”
Senior HSSE Advisor – Environment Hippolyte Emebe lives in Cameroon and is currently working on a project in Kuwait. He has worked for Petrofac since 2012.
For me, inclusion at a corporate level means putting together various competencies regardless of religion, sex, race, age to achieve our objectives. Considering inclusion helps to improve performance and create positive satisfaction in the different groups. What gives me a sense of belonging at work? Management recognition for work done; true communication with all stakeholders; fair and transparent distribution of awards and positions; and a working environment where work, friendship and fun between colleagues is important.”
Deputy Manager – Completions Safety, Integrity & Assurance Nora Hassouneh joined Petrofac as a Graduate Engineer in 2006. She has worked on projects including BorWin3 and is based in Sharjah.
Petrofac is a very diverse organisation and we need to ensure all employees feel accepted, valued, confident and comfortable to speak up. This creates an inclusive culture that promotes creativity, collaboration and better decision-making. For me to feel included, it’s about being treated fairly and respectfully, having equal opportunities, contributing to the company’s success, and making a difference.”
Country Chair of Kuwait Mohammad AL-Mutairi has a background in engineering. He joined us just over a year ago.
Diversity is important in global organisations as you are bringing together talent from different backgrounds and we can learn from each other. Inclusion can improve performance; if employees feel they are part of the team and given equal opportunities to be part of a teams’ achievements, then organisations can get the maximum benefit of such talent. Petrofac is currently implementing a mega project in Kuwait and being part of success stories like this gives me a sense of belonging, especially when it is a unique project, you are contributing to the country’s development and leaving a legacy.”
Helen Riach has worked at Petrofac for nearly 10 years. She is a Software Product Manager within the Well Engineering service line, based in Aberdeen.
We are all unique and it’s important to recognise that we’ve all got something to give. Within any given context, whether that’s work, home, family or friends we should all be mindful of hidden disabilities and our unconscious bias. I have been learning British Sign Language in my spare time, and that’s made me more aware of those who are hard-of-hearing. That could affect us all as we get older. To really provide equality of opportunity, be that in terms of access, our work, or even amongst a friend group, I believe we need to raise our own levels of awareness. So, inclusion for me is about being aware of people’s potentially changing needs, and trying to avoid making assumptions.”
Abhinay Sangwai is a Deputy Project Manager, based in India.
We are all working towards the same vision in Petrofac – to be the preferred services partner to the energy industry. I think about my contribution to this vision. That’s inclusion. I am delivering a project in India and everybody on the project is working towards the same common goal as everyone else globally on other projects and in their respective areas. India is also given equal opportunities in the company to contribute. You feel like you are part of a bigger picture. That gives me a sense of belonging.”
Hong Ming Lim joined Petrofac as a graduate last year. He is from Brunei, attended university in Manchester in the UK, and is now based in the UAE.
To me it’s being in an environment where everyone is treated the same. Everyone has the same resources and opportunities regardless of what level you are at within an organisation. For example, the team I work with now, there is clearly a hierarchy – I have a supervisor and there are managers – however, we can interact with each other without that being an issue. It makes you feel included and it feels like everyone is together on the same level. Everyone can voice their opinions and if I were to suggest something that’s not a great idea, they would explain why and give constructive feedback. My team always gives me a sense of purpose and I’ve never felt like I am a graduate. They always include me in the work they do.”
Senior Executive Business Development Manager Leila Mansour joined Petrofac 16 years ago. She is based in Algiers.
Inclusion can’t exist without diversity. For me diversity means that the company accepts different backgrounds, nationalities and religions and respects different cultures and ways of thinking. Inclusion promotes equal opportunities for all and treating people with dignity and respect. Inclusion is part of the value of Petrofac and it has a no discrimination policy. You also notice it within the development opportunities in the company; they are very good and it’s about your competency. The relationship between a company and an employee involves an emotional investment. If an employee has a sense of belonging, it can have a positive impact.”
Based in Sharjah, Ma Carla Dalida joined last year as a Business Analyst with the IT and Digital team. She is now IT PMO Lead and Demand Manager.
It’s not enough to believe in a company’s mission; it’s also important that employees feel like they can make a valuable contribution towards achieving that mission. I always feel that when leadership listens attentively to our ideas and considers them seriously, it is both respectful and inclusive. A company’s culture is always critical in attracting and retaining the right people; for me the right people are competent, caring and respectful. I have a sense of belonging when my colleagues and I can contribute to the company’s goals and have opportunities to progress.”