At a time when Indian and global oil & gas industry is discovering the new normal amidst tumultuous economic scenario and fluctuating commodity prices, there is a need to push for gender diversity, an issue that has been long neglected.
Senior women leaders deliberated on ‘Women leadership in Oil & Gas’ at the 16th Oil & Gas HR Roundtable organised by UPES. Nishi Vasudeva former Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd; Bhavana Chary Samel, Vice President - HR, Total Oil India Pvt. Ltd and Prajakta Kanaglekar, Senior HR Business Partner - South Asia, Baker Hughes, a GE Company, urged organisations in this sector to work towards hiring more female employees, retaining them and developing them for leadership roles.
A recent Ernst & Young survey also highlights the need for diversity to help navigate oil and gas sector disruption and the value diversity brings to the bottom line. The survey findings suggest that ‘without diversity, companies will continue to miss out on innovation and insight to capitalise on future opportunities and drivers of growth. Board and senior management need to create and invest in a varied talent pipeline across all levels and mentor individuals to eradicate the unconscious bias currently holding back some of their top talent.’
In a panel discussion on ‘Transformational Leadership in the New Normal’, Lakshmi Venkatesh, General Manager, Petrofac Engineering India Ltd said, “Every employee should be a change agent and leaders should be change masters. Leadership has to change the way it is thinking and empower employees at the lower end of the pyramid to take decisions, which will promote agility within the organisation.”
P Raghavendran, President (Refinery Business), Reliance Industries Ltd said, “The definition of oil and gas industry is changing to being an energy or mobility business and we are looking for human resources who can adapt to these changes. Earlier the industry needed employees with long experience but today it needs talent who has learning agility, who can develop newer business models. We need people with imagination.”
Re-energising work capital has become another significant task for HR managers in this sector for organisations to adjust to the new normal. On the issue of conflict of cultures with millennial workforce joining the industry Diptii Das, Head (HR), South Asia, Aramex International said, “Culture of an organisation is like software with new version updates. The original culture doesn’t die; it just gets updated with new culture.”
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