People are not alike, everyone is different. Diversity therefore consists of visible and nonvisible factors, which include personal characteristics such as background, culture, personality and work-style in addition to the characteristics that are protected under discrimination legislation in terms of race, disability, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age. Harnessing these differences can create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, their talents are fully utilised and organisational goals are met. This session will highlight best practice in this area from the oil and gas industry and show how organisations successfully embrace diversity to measurable benefit.

What is Diversity?

Diversity can be defined in many different ways. Essentially, we tend to define "diversity" based on; "What it means to us" as individuals and / or as members of a group. In other words, how we classify others is usually relative to their differences or similarities to how we see our own identities. A typical codification of identity could consist of the following categories;

  • Race

  • Culture

  • National origin

  • Region

  • Gender

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Age

  • Marital Status

  • Politics

  • Religion Ethnicity

  • Disability

  • Socio-economic differences

  • Family structure

  • Health

  • Values

It is important to understand that classifications of "diversity" are granular in nature, and that we all typically have multiple social identities. For example, I am a Saudi Arab by "Race," a Muslim by "Religion," and a Male by "Gender," but I also have all of the following identities;

  • Husband

  • Father

  • Brother

  • Middle Aged

  • President of ASHRM

  • Director at Saudi Aramco

So in many ways, classification of "diversity" is a purely subjective phenomena, often with very little associated rationale or logic where the group members themselves categorize themselves and others according to similarity of their social identities.

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