KPMG promotes energy industry diversity with female global leadership team

03 July 2018 3 min. read

KPMG has zoomed in on the importance of industry diversity at the firm’s recent global energy conference, demonstrating leadership from the front with an all-female global leadership team for its Energy and Natural Resources division.

Bringing together nearly 500 senior executives from the energy industry, KPMG’s 16th global energy conference has this year stressed the importance of leadership diversity for the challenged and evolving sector, with KPMG highlighting its own commitments on diversity with female appointees heading each region of its global Energy and Natural Resources practice.

The findings from a veritable flood of recent analysis shouldn’t need repeating (but); beyond the social imperative, the business case for greater gender diversity in leadership is clear cut. Companies with a more diverse leadership profile perform better. One factor given for improved performance is women being key drivers of innovation.

Given the current challenges to the energy sector, progress on diversity then is vital. Beyond just business, but for the future of the global economy. The sector, however, undergoing massive transformations, is one of the most male-dominated and slowest moving on diversity. This is especially so for the Middle East (and Africa), which according to EY’s Women in Power & Utilities Index for 2016 had just 8% of its senior management roles held by woman.

KPMG – ranked 8th on DiversityInc’s 2018 global index of the top 50 companies for diversity – has long led from the front on women’s empowerment across all sectors, and in 2016 appointed Regina Mayor as Global Head of its Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) division. Mayor is joined by Mina Sekiguchi as Head of ENR for the Asia Pacific, Angela Gildea as Head of ENR for KPMG in the Americas, and Valérie Besson, who heads up the EMA region including Europe, Africa and the Middle East.KPMG promotes energy industry diversity with female global leadership teamFurther addressed at the conference, under this year’s theme ‘Powering the future with next generation of energy’, was the subject of talent management more broadly, with a focus on the shifting expectations of a millennial workforce, along with the role of current and future technologies such as digitisation and robotic process automation in the energy industry. Gopal Balasubramaniam, Head of ENR for KPMG in the Middle East and South Asia (a sub-division of the EMA region) commented on the evolving employee mentality in the energy sector;

“Within the ENR industry, millennials will be looking for different things from their careers than the outgoing 20th century workforce, with job satisfaction, environmental credentials, accelerated career progression and the need to be constantly challenged becoming increasingly important. Oil and gas firms must invest in understanding how they can meet these needs, to ensure that they are able to recruit and retain new talent, which will be essential for the business’ survival.”

Balasubramaniam, a Partner with KPMG’s Qatar office (which in a single office structure includes Jeyapriya Partiban, Head of Risk Consulting for Bahrain among its partnership ranks as the first female Partner appointed for KPMG in Bahrain and Qatar), concludes overall; “The world’s social and economic environments are continually evolving, and it is certain that the mindset and expectations of those who will lead the world’s businesses and governments in the future will similarly change.”

KPMG in Bahrain recently supported the Kingdom’s first Women Power Summit as a consulting sponsor, with the event attracting more than 700 attendees across its schedule of seminars, workshops, and panel discussions on female entrepreneurial empowerment in the MENA region.