Diver­sity fo­cus

Houda Dab­boussi, gen­eral man­ager of com­mer­cial and NBD MENA for Shell, talks about diver­sity & in­no­va­tion

Oil & Gas Middle East - - CONTENTS -

Houda Dab­boussi of Shell talks about the im­por­tance of diver­sity and in­clu­sion in fos­ter­ing in­no­va­tion.

IN­CLU­SION Diver­sity and in­clu­sion are key top­ics for the oil and gas in­dus­try, which has a gen­der break­down of 10% women and 90% men. But it is not sim­ply about rep­re­sen­ta­tion; hir­ing a di­verse work­force and pro­mot­ing in­clu­sion is just good busi­ness.

“[By 2050,] we ex­pect de­mand to be dou­ble what it was in 2000, and it has to be with al­most half the CO2 emis­sions,” says Houda Dab­boussi, gen­eral man­ager of com­mer­cial and NBD MENA for Shell. “I think that means our in­dus­try will re­quire a lot more in­no­va­tion, and stud­ies have shown that diver­sity and in­clu­sion breaks that group­think, and brings a lot more ideas, in­no­va­tion and agility, which is some­thing our in­dus­try will need.”

With a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and a global trend to­wards ur­ban­i­sa­tion, en­ergy de­mand is in­creas­ing, and greater aware­ness of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues places re­straints on the oil and gas in­dus­try.

But typ­i­cal ini­tia­tives sur­round­ing diver­sity, which usu­ally cover in­clu­sion based on gen­der and na­tion­al­ity, are not enough, Dab­boussi says.

“It’s not only gen­der and na­tion­al­ity but also age, back­ground, ev­ery­thing you can imag­ine, be­cause the more di­verse our work­force is, the more we can solve prob­lems,” she says on the side­lines of the Abu Dhabi In­ter­na­tional Petroleum Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence (ADIPEC).

With a shift­ing en­ergy land­scape, there will be many is­sues re­quir­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions. As the en­ergy mix shifts to­wards gas and tech­ni­cally chal­leng­ing reser­voirs, the in­dus­try will need sus­tain­able tech­niques to ex­tract re­sources. As op­er­a­tors seek to raise pro­duc­tiv­ity with­out in­creas­ing costs, they will have to find ways to lengthen to life of their fields while bal­anc­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns.

“It’s not only im­por­tant to have these peo­ple, but it’s how we fos­ter an en­vi­ron­ment where peo­ple feel re­spected for their ideas and feel com­fort­able to put forth what they bring to the ta­ble with­out hav­ing this feel­ing that they ned to con­form to a cer­tain cul­ture,” Dab­boussi says.

“[They should feel] that they’re re­ally com­ing with their bright ideas and de­vel­op­ing them­selves as in­di­vid­u­als to add value to the com­pany.”

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