Lubricants industry must improve diversity, promote individual initiative - panel

Author: Samantha Wright

2020/03/11

LONDON (ICIS)--The lubricants sector has more to do in order to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, panellists at an industry event said on Wednesday.

Diversity in the workplace continues to be a key talking point across markets and sectors, with the lubricants industry in particular a traditionally less diverse industry.

The panellists were speaking at the UK Lubricants Association (UKLA) event Women in the Lubricants Industry, which ran in London on Wednesday.

While the industry has become more diverse and inclusive in recent years, there is still a lot to do, most panellists agreed.

Jane James, advisor for corporate affairs at Chevron, said that while the company has good diversity in the lower corporate tiers, there is still a lot of room for improvement at the executive level.

“At executive level, 16% are women at Chevron, so we have more to do,” said James.

“You have to model the behaviour you want to see. If you believe in a diverse organisation, make sure you are inclusive and diverse in your actions.”

According to Alison Fisher, sales manager for north and Africa at Lubrizol, workforces in the lubricants industry are already diverse, but that the problem is with inclusion.

“Diversity is what we already have, but we need inclusion. We have diverse workforces, [but] inclusion is what you then do with them,” she said.

Fisher added that a large part of becoming a more diverse workforce is ensuring that employees have space to do tasks in the way that is best for the individual.

“When I joined Lubrizol, I was the only woman in the room and I felt I couldn’t do [some of the tasks] the way everyone else was doing it,” she said.

“How you do it is down to you, as an individual, and there has to be more acceptance of that. Give people the freedom to do things their own way.”