Organisations have long recognised the potential for diverse teams to improve overall creativity, innovation and productivity, thereby achieving consistently better business outcomes - the so called ‘diversity bonus’. This is particularly true and relevant to the oil and gas industry, which constantly has to manage technical and economic uncertainty, major operating hazards, and continually seek business performance improvement and efficiencies, in order to operate sustainably and meet ever higher stakeholder expectations.
However, developing successful diverse teams presents practical questions and challenges, including what type of diversity will really add value to a task, how will a diverse group of people relate to and support one another, how can major innovation be delivered consistently whilst working within highly structured management systems and standards which aim to achieve a high degree of consistency and minimise failure frequency, and what is the most useful role of the manager/leader for such teams?
This paper describes diversity and inclusion in its broadest sense, and its benefits and challenges within the context of the oil and gas industry, in particular with regard to Petroleum Engineering and subsurface teams. A number of common and practical industry situations are considered, and the merits of further opportunities are discussed. The fundamental actions and behaviours that help oil and gas companies promote and establish more diverse and inclusive teams and cultures, in order to deliver outstanding results, are examined.