Creating a sense of belonging for everyone―International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Published: 12/03/2021

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Did you know that 80% of disabilities develop during working life and 50% of us become a carer or caregiver by age 50? When I learned these facts, and that caring for people with disabilities disproportionately affects women, I realized that creating a more inclusive workplace for people with visible and non-visible disabilities, and carers, isn’t just important for companies worldwide, but essential.

At Schlumberger, we have always believed that talent is diverse and as we lead the energy transition through technology and digital innovation even more diverse talent will be needed—including talent that may have visible or non-visible disabilities or care for someone with a disability or condition.

I’m tremendously proud of our diversity and inclusion journey as a company. I work in a company representing 170 different nationalities. If you look at our ten-strong executive leadership team, nine nationalities are represented. This mix of nationalities and cultures within teams is mirrored at every level of the company across the globe. It’s unique and something I’ve really come to value during my nearly twenty-five years with the company.

We’ve also made progress more recently, and over the past two years we’ve increased the representation of women in the senior management team and the company—even through the challenges of the pandemic. When we first started our gender balance journey in 1994 we only had 5% women in the company. Since then, we’ve made significant progress. Today, we’re on track to achieve 25% salaried women at all levels of the business by 2025. So, we have extended our gender balance milestone to 30% by 2030. Across our industry, there are challenges to improve representation of women. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve a gender-balanced company and contribute to a more gender-balanced energy industry.

However, it’s important to note that diversity is not the same as inclusion and at Schlumberger we are increasingly understanding that there is much more we can do to create an environment where everyone feels they belong, including those with visible and non-visible disabilities.

Today marks an important step in our inclusion journey as we show our support for the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

We’ve recently joined the Valuable 500, a global collective of like-minded international companies committed to improving the future of work for disabled employees. Internally, we are introducing three new company-wide training programs for managers, HR, and employees regarding disability. Across the world, our offices and facilities will light up in purple to raise awareness—purple representing disability. Our employees will be encouraged to wear something purple or do something in purple, even if it’s changing the font color of their emails.

The front face of a Schlumberger building lit up with purple-colored lighting in support of International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Three women celebrating disability day while showing support through wearing a purple t-shirt

We have also launched a new employee resource group (ERG) called ThisAbility Network. Through the ThisAbility ERG, we aim to build a community and better understand the needs of different employees across the company and to provide a space for employees with disabilities or carer responsibilities to share experiences—if they wish to.

These are small steps, but they are a start. Our hope is that through these steps we will create conversations inside and outside the company—because from conversations come ideas and from ideas come actions that will allow us to continue our diversity and inclusion journey and build a truly inclusive culture where everyone feels they belong.

Read more about our diversity and inclusion initiatives at Schlumberger in our Global Stewardship report.

Abdellah Merad
Abdellah Merad, Executive Sponsor, Diversity and Inclusion
Abdellah Merad, Executive Sponsor, Diversity and Inclusion
Article Topics
Executive Management