Building a diverse workforce and an equitable and inclusive work culture is critical to Chesapeake’s sustainable success.
It’s been an ongoing priority since the adoption of our Diversity Council in 2016 and our signature on the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge in 2019. Our Board of Directors and executive leadership team are committed to cultivating a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected and employees feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion.
While we’ve historically valued diversity within our workforce, we look to do more. That’s why we’re building on our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) commitment the right way — by listening to the perspectives and recommendations of employees at all levels of our organization.
We view DEI as a competitive advantage and, more importantly, as a demonstration of our core value of respect — respect for everyone’s contribution, respect for each other’s voices and experiences, and respect for new ideas.
Like all corporations in this country, we have important work ahead of us. We pledge to be transparent in our progress and in the way we measure success in this critical area.
We start by defining DEI within our organization because we believe definitions encourage accountability and alignment. Through these definitions, we identify what’s important to us as an organization and show the relationship between these three concepts:
Diversity: Recognizing true disparities
Diversity reaches wide, honoring differences, demographics and backgrounds. While all diverse perspectives matter, true diversity recognizes disparities experienced by traditionally marginalized groups.
Equity: Rebalancing access to opportunities, free of barriers and systemic exclusion
Equity considers the needs and experiences of the individual (vs. equality, which assumes everyone is the same). It’s a belief that certain people or groups of people have been systemically excluded and deserve to be seen and included.
Inclusion: Creating a culture of voice, value and equal opportunities
Inclusion works to ensure that all have equal access to opportunities and feel empowered to contribute to company success. It’s the difference between being invited to a meeting vs. feeling like a valued member of the meeting.
Seeing Our Challenges
By first identifying our challenges to a truly diverse culture, we can address systemic issues and work toward solutions and long-term cultural change.
Our Progress and Commitments
The business case for DEI is clear, but it also must be personal. We must talk about our program in a way that resonates with all employees.
- Identified senior executive level DEI sponsor; adding champions as we build our leadership team
- Currently conducting focus groups with our individual contributors, giving them a voice so that our DEI initiatives are not “top down”
- Continue to amplify the voices of leaders and employees passionate about DEI, encouraging them to share their personal experiences
The oil and natural gas industry has historically lacked diversity.
- Facilitated trainings with our people leaders, encouraging proactive steps to reduce filters, blind spots and unconscious bias
- Continue celebrating months/days honoring traditionally marginalized groups through internal communications
- Continue to address unjust social issues through executive and internal communications
- Continue to actively search for diverse candidates for leadership positions and promote job postings to diverse candidates
- Train our people leaders on DEI awareness and how to encourage an inclusive work environment
Women have often been underrepresented in the oil and natural gas industry.
- Conducting a pay equity study to be used as a tool to ensure the company is treating all employees equitably
- Work to identify female and other protected class candidates for key leadership positions
- Provide unconscious-bias and related trainings to employees
Hiring is limited now, which impacts our opportunities to welcome diverse candidates.
- Put processes in place to ensure we reach diverse candidates with our job postings as our hiring needs increase
- Train recruiters and leaders on implicit biases to create a more equitable interview and hiring experience
Diversity is not just a workforce issue.
- Created a pilot supplier diversity program, including a Supplier Diversity team, to build our network of diverse suppliers and increase the amount of work awarded to those suppliers
To have a strong, inclusive workplace culture, we must create a sense of belonging where everyone contributes and feels comfortable bringing new ideas and challenging the status quo. Key to creating this culture is having a workforce that represents the diversity present in our operating areas and across the country. We recognize we have work to do, and measuring our demographics is an important step toward accountability and progress.
Women in workforce
Women in leadership (supervisor level and above)
Ethnic minorities in workforce
Ethnic minorities in leadership (supervisor level and above)
While we work to diversify Chesapeake’s employee base, our demographics have remained consistent since 2017, despite a more than 50% staff reduction.
As of Dec. 31, 2020
Leadership Committed to Diversity and Inclusion
Chesapeake was the first company in the oil and natural gas industry to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge. This pledge brings together the business community to promote, advance and outline specific actions around increasing diversity and inclusion in the workforce.
Through this pledge, companies commit to four goals:
- Making our workplaces safe to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion
- Implementing and expanding unconscious-bias education
- Sharing best, and unsuccessful, practices
- Creating and sharing strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our Board
Supporting Diverse Suppliers
In 2021, we launched our Supplier Diversity Program to increase the number of diverse suppliers hired by Chesapeake and to encourage the availability of a healthy and diverse supplier base to support our business.
Although definitions vary, diverse suppliers are typically businesses at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by people with disabilities, minorities, women, veterans or LGBTQ+ individuals.
We spent the first half of 2021 developing our strategy and building our framework for the pilot launch. Our pilot program includes the following elements:
- Strategy and policy
- Data and measures
- Supplier engagement
To measure our progress, we’ll evaluate the number of diverse suppliers included in bids and hired by the company. We’ll publish these numbers in 2022 to serve as a baseline moving forward.