LEWAS Impact

Beyond Diversity, Fostering

an Inclusion Culture

By Sara Al Somali,

SLB in Saudi and Bahrain

At SLB, we have always believed that no one culture or gender has the monopoly on creativity and excellence. As we lead the energy transition through technology and digital innovation even more diverse talent will be needed. This is essential to remain an attractive employer and ensure that we recruit and retain the best talent for today and tomorrow. Since our founding in 1926, we hire where we work, so we’ve long celebrated our cultural diversity. The various cultural backgrounds and national perspectives have become part of who we are. Today, we have nearly 200 nationalities in SLB, with nine nationalities represented in our top 10 executives. It’s unique and something I’ve really come to value during my 17 years with the company.

As an important global and local employer our goal is to achieve a gender-balanced company and contribute to a more gender-balanced energy industry.

Now to the question of gender diversity. Across our industry, there are definitely challenges to improving the representation of women. As an important global and local employer our goal is to achieve a gender-balanced company and contribute to a more gender-balanced energy industry. It’s interesting to note that when we first started our gender balance journey in 1994, we only had 5% women in the company. In Saudi Arabia, we started a decade later. Today, we are on track to reach our interim milestone of having women represent 25% of our salaried employees by 2025. At the end of 2022, women comprised 30% of our executive team and 23.8% of all salaried positions.

From Leadership commitment to Grassroots engagement.
Having been on this journey for almost 30 years now, we can say that it requires consistent leadership engagement, the support of local and grassroots initiatives across the company as well as mechanisms to measure progress. For example, we continually monitor compensation equality for women and men across all jobs, in every country, with the goal of maintaining equal pay. In 2022, SLB released its first global Women and Pay report relative to 2021 performance. It was a pioneering act in the energy sector, aimed at increasing the transparency of our pay practices to employees and external stakeholders and supporting joint efforts industry-wide to further attract female talent. This report also serves as an accountability mechanism for SLB’s gender balance targets, including our goal of having 30% women in our salaried workforce by 2030.

Present in all countries where we operate, our employee resource groups (ERGs) play a key role in building a diverse and inclusive environment by providing a safe space for employee-led conversations while increasing sense of belonging. In 2022, our ERG Connect Women celebrated its 15-year anniversary. For 15 years, the community has organized panel discussions, live sessions, coffee talks, and employee engagements such as bi-yearly gender balance updates co-hosted by company executives, and celebrating International Women’s Day. Over the years, it has organized well over 100 webinars covering professional and personal topics.

Beyond diversity, fostering an inclusion culture.
In 2023, inclusion has been set as a key People priority across SLB. People often don’t realize the difference between diversity and inclusion. Inclusion is the act of accepting, valuing, and supporting people such that they feel a sense of belonging. Diversity is a start, but even diverse groups may still not feel included if their environment is biased and unwelcoming. To help build our inclusive culture, we adopted a multistakeholder approach and a measurement process at both the local and global levels.

We believe that a culture of diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do—it is a business imperative. In May this year, LinkedIn named SLB among the top 15 best companies to grow your career with, in Saudi Arabia. We are proud to be recognized across the industry for our culture where employees are expected to treat one another professionally, with mutual respect, trust, and individual dignity and where meritocracy drives our actions, decisions, and employee advancement.

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