Ocyan has entered into an investment agreement with a stake in Vidya Technology, a startup focused on asset integrity....
Black Awareness Month: Ocyan reaches goal of 30% blacks in leadership positions
Ocyan celebrates the achievement of a goal desired by many companies in the oil & gas sector where it operates: 30% of its leadership positions are already occupied by black people. The company anticipated by three years the public commitment assumed with the UN Global Compact, which foresaw reaching this level in 2025.
A number of actions are being taken to accelerate the quest for racial equality within Ocyan. Four years ago, the company created the Race and Ethnicity Affinity Group and, based on it, implemented the blind selection process for trainees and interns (when some of the candidate’s data, such as college, neighborhood, age, among others, are not informed and the interviews take place virtually with cameras turned off) and created a program to accelerate the functional progression with 43 members in positions close to leadership positions. All the actions are accompanied by the company’s management, which speeds up the process.
“This is the first visible result of four years of hard work, culture change, and breaking paradigms. We celebrate the success of this path, but it does not put us in a comfort zone. We want an increasingly diverse company because this brings well-being to everyone, expands innovation, and puts us in a position of searching for a more egalitarian society, in line with ESG commitments”, celebrates Bruna Fonseca, Ocyan’s People Manager.
Ocyan now has over 4,000 employees, 58% of whom are black. The expansion of the company’s activities this year, when nearly 1,900 new employees were hired, helped increase the participation of this public – they are 71% of the new hires.
The acceleration of the preparation of new leaders with individual development programs is in the goals of the company’s CEO, Roberto Bischoff, and counts on mentors such as Renato Costa, chemical engineer and director of the Drilling Unit, which gathers the five Ocyan rigs.
“When I was already working in Bahia, there was a boy who washed my car. Years later I met this same boy in Macaé (RJ), where one of Ocyan’s bases is, and he had become an engineer. He told me that he decided to study when he saw that a black man like me could have a nice car, a successful career. That is the importance of creating references. Representativeness and opportunities are fundamental and that is what we seek to show here”, says Costa, who has been at Ocyan for eight years and had a teaching career at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA).
Ocyan also has a black woman as an independent board member, engineer Cristina Pinho. She is one of the forerunners of black female presence in leadership positions in the oil & gas industry. Cristina is an inspiration to new black leaders that are being trained by Ocyan in the assessment program, such as Mariana Caldas, an internal auditor with a degree in administration and accounting.
“For me, the Diversity program was a game changer. The actions we have had over the years have broadened my knowledge. Having an affinity group focused on race and ethnicity means that sensitive issues for the minority can be discussed with leadership and worked on in a corporate manner, in addition to provoking in us the continuous work of our conscious and unconscious biases”, she added. “Making non-white members feel welcome and valued in the company and have opportunities to reach leadership positions (coordination, management and directors) is very important and motivating”, celebrates Mariana.
Applied at Ocyan since 2021 for trainees and interns, the model consists in conducting the virtual interview with a closed camera focusing on the candidate’s competencies and not on personal information such as where they live, age, and number of children, for example. “It doesn’t matter if the candidates are married, single, lives in Ipanema or Bangu. We are guiding our leaders to focus on their competence to occupy given positions. This is a very big culture change, both for the interviewers and the interviewees,” explains Bruna.
Top Management Involvement
Besides the internal actions, Ocyan has assumed commitments with the Global Compact, linked to the UN, in which there are result targets linked to the company’s top leadership. One of these commitments is the Ethnic-Racial Equity Movement, whose goal is to have 30% black, indigenous, quilombola, and other minority ethnic groups in leadership positions by 2025.
“It is important to remember that these are not just numbers, we are talking about people. In order to achieve these goals, we need to revise existing processes, focusing on psychological safety, integration, and well-being. Delivery can’t be solely technical,” adds Nir Lander, Ocyan’s Vice President of People and Management.
The company also has three other affinity groups: Gender, LGBTQIA+, and People with Disabilities. The groups have ambassadors and mentors, who are Ocyan’s top executives. The discussions include conversation wheels with guests on career challenges and leadership awareness.