02 March 2023

Boston Consulting Group and the World Petroleum Council launch the third version of Untapped Reserves, their joint global study on DE&I

  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the World Petroleum Council (WPC) have recently launched the third edition of the Untapped Reserves survey which is the only recurring global study on DE&I in the energy industry.

    This project is part of an ongoing partnership between the two organisations to provide an assessment of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) within the energy industry.

    Untapped Reserves 3.0 will build upon the findings and outcomes of the previous two reports, released in 2017 and 2021. These reports’ findings were based on substantial proprietary research, with version 2.0 including a survey of more than 2,800 employees across 60 countries, along with more than 50 interviews with senior executives and other industry professionals. In addition, data was analysed from 50 international oil companies, national oil companies, and service providers with collective revenues of $2 trillion and representing about 14% of global employment in the sector.

    Outcomes from the previous two studies show that, with female representation at less than a quarter of employees (a figure which stagnated between 2017 and 2021), companies must take urgent action to boost diversity amongst their employees and make it a strategic priority in order to thrive in a data-driven, low carbon world which requires constant innovation.

    Specific challenges identified within the energy sector included under representation of women in entry level jobs, lack of representation in technical and operational roles and expatriate positions, slow update of existing DE&I policies, persistent unconscious biases around gender-related challenges and low female representation in senior roles. Signs of progress made between 2017 and 2021 included an increasing number of DE&I policies and programmes being implemented by companies (across all interventions), which were on average up by about 50%. indicating a very positive shift which should be reflected in future data collected by this survey.

    Untapped Reserves 3.0, will increase the industry reach of the project to include data from power, utilities and new energy companies and for the first time will pose detailed questions around other diversity dimensions e.g., race/ethnicity, disabilities, economic background, etc. It will also examine the full impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry’s DE&I progress.

    The full report will be launched at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Canada in September 2023 and the individual and company surveys, which are now live, can be found at: https://untappedreserves.wpc.bcg.com

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