Companies that successfully build diverse and inclusive workforces will find that their staff are more engaged and their organisations perform better and have high retention rates, according to EY Oceania Markets Leader, Lynn Kraus.

“If you think diversity has nothing to do with the disruptive trends currently challenging oil and gas, think again!” Mrs Kraus says.

Mrs Kraus will be speaking on “Diversity and Inclusion: improving profitability, reputation and effectiveness” at APPEA 2017’s Tuesday morning plenary session (9am 16 May).

Her presentation – “Has oil and gas yet to discover its most valuable resource?” – will include insights from EY’s recent oil and gas diversity survey.

She will share the plenary platform with:

  • Clough Chief Executive Peter Bennett, (speaking on “A contractor’s perspective on diversity”);
  • BHP Billiton Petroleum General Manager Australia, Graham Salmond, (speaking on “Inspiring our employees to reach their full potential”); and
  • ABC TV presenter and mechanical engineer, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, (speaking on “Diversity & inclusion: the values case).

The individual presentations will be followed by a panel session exploring how diversity and inclusion can make businesses stronger.

This discussion will be facilitated by Shell Australia’s General Manager of the Crux Project, Michael Schoch, who was also Champion of the 2016 Women in Resources National Awards.

APPEA Chief Executive Malcolm Roberts says it is worth striving for even at a time when the industry is experiencing slower growth – but cautions that achieving diversity requires genuine commitment.

“Embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace requires authentic engagement and transparency,” Dr Roberts says.

Mr Bennett agrees.

“It’s one thing to have stated policies to employ people irrespective of gender, nationality, background, age physical ability or sexual orientation,” he says.

“It’s quite another to have the necessary business practices and cultural norms that accommodate a diverse range of people.”