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Dempsey, Jr. Leads BP America’s Initiatives to Recruit Diverse STEM Specialists
Ray Dempsey, Jr., chief diversity officer, leads the efforts to ensure BP America attracts, retains, and develops a diverse workforce, especially when it comes to STEM.
“We also work to ensure we include diverse suppliers in our supply chain, and to ensure our relationships with communities reflect the rich diversity of the places in which we operate across BP in America,” says Dempsey.
The heart of all of that diversity is its diversified workforce. “We’re determined to build a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of the world in which we operate, and that’s especially meaningful in the U.S.,” he emphasizes.
To develop that workforce, BP has formed many partnerships, Dempsey points out. “We partner with national student organizations like the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) to ensure we have access to the very best talent.”
BP also partners with organizations on specific campuses. “We work to engage with diverse student organizations on the college campuses we visit. We’re intentional about ensuring that diverse students are a part of our internship programs, which are a significant source of our full-time hires each year.”
BP America’s commitment to STEM students is wide-reaching, according to Dempsey. “We invest in STEM education because STEM disciplines are essential to the work we do every day to solve the world’s energy challenges. We support a broad range of STEM organizations, including national groups like STEM Connector and NACME who are working to close the gaps in representation for women and minorities in STEM disciplines.”
BP reaches out to scores of other organizations, big and small, too. “We also support programs at the local level in every place we have a business presence across the U.S.,” he elaborates.
“And we work hard to include our employees in this effort through programs like our BP STEM Ambassadors volunteer program, which helps our employees to share STEM materials in schools in their own communities.”
Dempsey’s belief in the primacy of diversity in maximizing potential begins with his own team. “I have the great fortune of leading an especially diverse team. It’s exciting to see how we share different ideas and perspectives, and bring different experiences to bear in dealing with the business challenges we face every day. We learn from each other, and we do things together that make BP a better company.”
The diversity push is working, he notes. “I hear stories every day about how it’s helping us to be more innovative and more inclusive, and ultimately to perform better. Having the power of diverse perspectives in all of our decision-making is a real competitive advantage.”
Another advantage that BP America has in attracting and keeping a diverse STEM workforce is its values, according to Dempsey.
“BP recently set a new ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get to net zero. We find that current and potential employees are inspired by this new vision.”
BP America’s benefit package is another powerful attractor, he says. “We’ve also made some important changes to our benefits programs, including extended parental leave for both mothers and fathers, and enhanced vacation allowance for all employees.”
The location of its corporate headquarters is also appealing. “We know that the demographics of America are changing fast, and our workforce needs to continually change, too. Houston, TX is our single largest workplace, and as the ‘most diverse city in America,’ so it sets a high bar for challenging us to learn how we can create real business value from the rich diversity of our workforce, our vendor and supplier partners, and the communities in which we are present.”
One way BP America meets that challenge is via its BRGs. “Our 12 business resource groups cover a broad range of dimensions of difference, from the BP Women’s Network to BP Pride to BP African-American Network to the BRG for our Latinx employees to our Accessibility BRG,” he concludes.
Learn more about Houston, TX-headquartered BP America via LinkedIn, Flickr, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Explore open positions at bp.com/en_us/united-states/home/careers.html.
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