The Society of Petroleum Engineers to Host First Event on Workplace Discrimination Challenges

MEDIA CONTACT:  Issued on behalf of SPE Aberdeen by ThinkPR.  For further information, contact Jenny Adams on 01224 623960 or email

Aberdeen, Scotland (29 July 2014) The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) will host a world-first event in October to discuss the topic of workplace discriminatory challenges, specific to the oil and gas industry.

The “Breaking the Cycle of Discrimination—Workplace Challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry” premier international workshop will feature a keynote address by Minister for Energy Fergus Ewing MSP followed by speakers from a number of major operating companies, service companies, and industry bodies including Shell, ConocoPhillips, Total, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Decom North Sea, and Oil & Gas UK.

The presentations will discuss critical diversity and discrimination issues and highlight how non-technical skills are of equal importance to those of the technical job functions.

The 2-day workshop, which will take place 1-2 October, is set to attract around 150 managers from the international E&P sector. These professionals will come together to exchange ideas and discuss how the industry can develop into a more inclusive workplace.

Mr. Anthony Onukwu, SPE Aberdeen Chairman, said “SPE Aberdeen is spearheading this initiative because for many years we have recognised the need for a specific forum to focus on the issue of discrimination in the oil and gas industry.”

“As the search for energy resources ever increases, this is an industry which now touches every corner of the globe, drawing upon skills across many geographical locations, cultures, religions, and genders.”

“There is, however, still much progress to be made in terms of addressing these diversities and encouraging an inclusive workforce. For instance, the 2013 Global Diversity and Inclusion Report[1] highlighted that from 3,000 respondents, 72% believe that oil and gas remains a male-dominated industry and that there is still a lot progress to be made.”

“This event is indispensable to managers at every level as the challenge to attract, retain, organize, and lead top talent continues, to ensure that the oil and gas industry retains its reputation as a worldwide leader in technological innovation.”

The workshop will address topics such as team dynamics, leadership and relationships and interactions between employers, employees, colleagues and contractors, focusing on how inequalities and prejudice can affect the global working environment.

The event will take place at Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen on 1-2 October. Please visit to register before 19 September 2014.


[1]Global Diversity and Inclusion Report 2013, commissioned by BP and Rigzone


The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose membersare engaged in energy resources development and production. SPE serves more than 124,000members in 135 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to theoil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications,events, training courses, and online resources at

About SPE Aberdeen

The SPE Aberdeen Section is the largest in the UK with more than 2,500 members and is run entirely by volunteers.

SPE Aberdeen members represent a range of ages, genders and nationalities, and the Section has student chapters at five universities in Scotland. SPE Aberdeen works closely with the oil and gas industry, Scottish universities and local schools, institutes and academia, to advance the learning and technical excellence in all aspects of the industry: offshore, onshore and internationally.

SPE Aberdeen won the SPE International Award for Section Excellence for the fourth consecutive year in 2013. For more information on the award winning section, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2014, please visit