We live in a deeply connected and global world, and the best workplaces reflect that, including our own. Our work is based on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships across different cultures, and we cannot do this without a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
October marks Global Diversity Awareness Month – an opportunity to embrace diversity to help make not only our communities better, but also our workplaces. At Prax, we value the composite talent and diverse perspectives and ideas that our colleagues bring to the workplace, regardless of gender, colour, age, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.
A workforce which features people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, abilities and lifestyles benefits everyone. Take age, for example. Our older employees have life experience and background knowledge of our industry that they can use in the workplace, while our younger employees (which includes our apprentices, trainees, and graduates) come in with new ideas and ways of thinking. When we have different generations working harmoniously and sharing ideas and experiences, the output is always really dynamic and interesting.
At the Prax Group, we are also challenging the idea that our industry is not a place for women. In turn, we are positioning women as the ‘‘engine of growth’’ in the energy sector. We recognise the importance of gender equality, and are proud to have an array of strong, successful and influential women in our business, from upstream to midstream and downstream.
Many of the jobs in our company and in our supply chain rely on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, which historically have attracted more men than women. We recognise that it is vital to make a real impact on young women and encourage them to develop and pursue a STEM career, in order to help to reduce the STEM skills gap and tackle the issues of gender inequality and inequity.
Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery has been participating in a pilot scheme supported by Women in Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME). Its aim is to raise young women’s aspirations in relation to STEM subjects and potential careers in the energy sector. The refinery is very committed to supporting initiatives like this. Our female engineers are great STEM ambassadors and provide strong role models for young women, talking about their work and encouraging them to consider studying subjects that will help them make the right career choice. More young women need to be made aware of the amazing opportunities available in the fields of engineering, geology and energy generation, and to understand how diverse our sector really is.
Attracting and hiring a diverse workforce and making people from all backgrounds feel welcome is very much part of our Prax culture. We have created a workplace where diversity is celebrated, and everyone has the opportunity to thrive. We have fostered an environment where all employees are respected, supported and valued, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, and can share ideas without fear of judgement. A workplace where every individual has a role to play, where every individual makes a difference, and where every individual matters.