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November 20, 2014: Under-Represented Groups Could Be Answer to Canada's Oil and Gas Skill Shortage
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Under-Represented Groups Could Be Answer to Canada's Oil
and Gas Skill Shortage
(Calgary AB) - Companies should consider under-represented
groups as a viable labour source to manage the skill shortage
challenging the oil and gas industry, according to a report
released today by the Petroleum Human Resources Council (the
Council), a division of Enform Canada. Strategies to recruit and
retain key diversity groups, namely women, youth, Aboriginal
people, immigrants and persons with disabilities, will grow in
importance as the demand for new talent continues to increase.
The report, HR Trends and Insights: Diversity in Canada's Oil
and Gas Workforce, examines the challenges and opportunities
industry faces around workforce diversity and offers insight into
the drivers, trends and practices for diversity and inclusion.
Demographic data of key diversity groups within the oil and gas
workforce suggests progress has been made in some areas and less so
From 2006 to 2011, the representation of women, Aboriginal
people, immigrants and persons with disabilities increased slightly
within the oil and gas workforce. Compared to Canada's total labour
force (i.e., workers across all industries), however, these key
diversity groups are relatively under-represented in oil and gas.
Women, for example, make up almost half of Canada's total labour
force, but are commonly under-represented in natural resource
sectors, including oil and gas where they account for approximately
21 per cent of the workforce.
When it comes down to the occupations core to the oil and gas
industry operations, the representation of immigrants, women and
persons with disabilities is even lower when compared to these same
occupations across other industries in Canada. For example, the
representation of immigrants in core occupations in other
industries is more than double their participation within the oil
and gas industry.
There are a variety of barriers that may limit the entry of
these under-represented groups into the oil and gas workforce, such
as difficulties adapting to the challenges of remote locations,
unwelcoming workplaces and a lack of networking opportunities.
Companies that are well-recognized as diversity leaders have
engaged in diversity programs for many years and have made use of a
range of targeted investments, internal programs and partnerships
with external organizations. Companies implementing such programs
have a better chance at attracting a wider and more diverse pool of
"The business drivers for diversity and inclusion may vary from
company to company," says Claudine Vidallo, project manager of the
Council's Labour Market Information team. "Regardless of the
reason, it's clear a diverse set of experiences, perspectives and
backgrounds is crucial to innovation and the development of new
ideas in our industry."
Many resources are available to support diversity strategies;
however, time and effort are required to plan, measure and achieve
results from diversity and inclusion programs.
Despite many examples of diversity in the oil and gas industry,
very few companies use measurement and data collection to set
benchmarks for diversity and inclusion programs.
"It is critical to monitor and measure the impact and success of
diversity initiatives and programs in the oil and gas industry,"
says Vidallo. "Companies need to devote time to collecting this
type of data to create a workplace that is truly diverse."
The Council is the primary resource to address workforce
development and labour market issues in the Canadian petroleum
industry. HR Trends and Insights: Diversity in Canada's Oil and Gas
Workforce is now available at no charge on the Council's
Funded by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Initiatives
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Senior Advisor, Communications