The oil and gas industry is joining forces to close the workplace gender gap. In 2016, International Women's Day is being celebrated with a call for united action, personal stories and the sharing of experiences.
January 2016, Davos, Switzerland. On the margins of the World Economic Forum, 20 companies including Engie, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total, signed "Closing the Gender Gap in Oil & Gas: A Call to Action for the Industry". The seven guiding principles of this call to action are based on two decisive drivers:
- Recruiting a more gender-diverse workforce.
- Opening up all jobs in the organization to women.
Industries need to overhaul both the way they operate and their sourcing to boost their efficiency and business performance. That requires initiatives targeting very young girls, to educate them about the opportunities STEM fields offer. "Increasing gender diversity starts early on, by providing role models that shatter stereotypes," comments François Viaud, Total's Senior Vice President, Human Resources.
Presenting More Female Role Models to Spark Vocations
Stereotypes deter young girls, who create their own barriers. Drawing on our experience mentoring women, Total has decided to tackle the challenge of shaking up the status quo. Who says engineering is an exclusively male field? Who says women can’t pursue careers in STEM fields?
To remove these barriers, Total's women employees need to tell their stories to the next generation that will shape tomorrow's labor market. Geneviève Mouillerat, President of our network for women, TWICE, which stands for Total Women's Initiative for Communication & Exchange, has announced the launch of "She Is An Engineer." This Total initiative is modeled after Elles bougent [Women on the Move], a successful nonprofit experiment in France that encourages women working in STEM fields to volunteer their stories to female high school and college students still trying to decide what career to pursue. In short, to attract future female talent instead of cutting ourselves off from it!
Rolling Up Our Sleeves Internally and Advancing Together
Shibboleths also stubbornly persist within companies. Women and men pay the price and have interiorized such prejudices. Diversity is more than just an issue of social responsibility. It's also critical to future business and economic performance. It offers better working conditions and is a draw for future employees. Total is fully aware of this and is also participating in the Ring the Bell for Gender Equality event. In a ceremony organized by the U.N. Global Compact for International Women's Day, 25 of the world's stock exchanges will ring their opening or closing bell in symbolic support of gender equality in the workplace.
A round table will then be held in the heart of Paris's financial center, the Euronext stock exchange, to discuss "Gender Equality and Empowering Women." It will feature various diversity managers from companies such as Total, Carrefour and Schneider Electric. The media will also be there. The discussion is intended to share experiences and make lasting progress together on a shared vision for action. In 2016, all Total employees — and beyond that, all stakeholders in the business world — are actively engaged in the fight to promote gender diversity.