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SPE Section Committees provide a valuable contribution to the oil and gas industry in a variety of ways, from mentoring school and university students to providing stimulating opportunities for networking and continuing professional development. Our series concludes with an update on SPE Aberdeen’s Another Perspective Committee.

A wider perspective

Another Perspective (AP) was launched in 2009 as an initiative by a group of SPE Aberdeen volunteers with the aim of ‘providing support to current and potential female SPE members such that they are able to achieve their full potential’. A sub-committee was formed to work with the other Section committees in order to fulfil the key objectives of:

• promoting female role models and mentors to those within and entering the oil industry

• developing and encouraging the network of professional women

• promoting the benefits of gender diversity (ie increasing awareness of business drivers for attending women’s initiatives).

Maria Trujillo, who chaired Another Perspective until earlier this year, says: “I think that so far we have achieved the objectives established in 2009: we have helped to create a women’s network, holding two major seminars - Women in industry: unleashing the potential of your career, in 2011, and The leadership journey: unleashing the potential of your career, in March this year; we have helped to provide role models to younger members, an example being the Women in STEM events, held at the University of Aberdeen - and we have also promoted the gender balance initiative within the industry by collaborating with various company networks.

Original Another Perspective Committee

“However, we don’t want to be considered a group of women concerned only about women’s issues - we are a ‘multi-coloured’ industry, with different

cultures, backgrounds and levels of experience. Another Perspective, through its development, has realised that we have an even bigger scope and that we can highlight different issues that concern everyone working in the oil and gas sector.”

SPE Aberdeen Section Chair Anthony Onukwu agrees: “We have achieved a great deal through Another Perspective. However, we can always do better. We have now reached the point that we need to encompass diversity in its fullest sense - and that is what our new AP Committee is doing at the moment.”

Another Perspective has recently been re- launched, under the guidance of new Chair, Ella Minty. Ella, a Strategy and Change Consultant, says: “My own international SPE research has revealed that there are issues the industry avoids talking about. These include: human risk, age, sexism, racism, cultural diversity, change and leadership. On some, we do have a dialogue - but this tends to address the ‘should do’ without analysing what has initially

caused the status quo. Therefore, apart from the gender balance issues which the industry seems to currently proactively address, there are far greater risk areas with respect to the human component of the oil and gas industry worldwide.”

Ella explains that the new AP Committee will be the first SPE committee in the world to address these issues and provide a platform of dialogue for the industry: “Our aim is to organise two major, groundbreaking conferences for 2014: Another Perspective on Risk and Another Perspective on ‘isms’. The former will aim to achieve international media coverage and we hope will be a flagship event for SPE worldwide; the latter event will be a two-day conference on current hot topics: ageism, sexism and racism. As we shall hear, there are both managers and staff who have been severely affected by these workplace realities.”

She concludes: “SPE members can get involved in these initiatives by talking to us. They can raise their issues with us in confidence and tell us what they would be interested in knowing/learning/ debating!

“AP is about the ‘human component’ of the industry - it is about people, not job titles. Before anyone is an engineer, he/she is, first and foremost, a human being.”

For more information on Another Perspective, please contact:

A message from SPE Aberdeen’s new Communication Working Group

Times are changing and today, without an effective, constant and engaging communication process, no membership organisation can truly declare that it serves the needs of its members and that it listens to them, unless several criteria are fulfilled.

SPE Aberdeen’s Communication Committee is facing challenging but exciting times - we are no longer keeping a solid bridge between the volunteers of the Committee and SPE Aberdeen’s contractors, but are in the initial steps of making this bridge very fluid.

Both volunteers and contractors have a single goal: that of ensuring a proper dissemination, engagement and dialogue with all SPE Aberdeen’s stakeholders - our members, sponsors, partner organisations and the industry as a whole.

The Communication Working Group we have set up recently is starting to achieve its main aim: that of communicating - both internally and externally - in a highly professional and coordinated manner.

We are in the process of changing the website; we are going to ensure that the feedback we request from participants at events organised by SPE Aberdeen is properly followed-up, and that we stay true to the brand identity of SPE International, while keeping our local image; and, last but not least, that we shall have more and more members ‘talking’ to us via social media. The dialogue needs to start somewhere and we are taking the first steps towards it!


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