A Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) event next week is set to shake up the oil and gas industry by focusing for the first time on critical HR, diversity and inclusion issues.

The ‘Breaking the Cycle of Discrimination – workplace challenges in the oil and gas industry’ workshop will analyse the issues surrounding workplace interaction and team dynamics, set in the context of the international, multicultural oil and gas sector.

SPE Aberdeen Chairman Ross Lowdon said: “This workshop is the first of its kind for the industry and we will strive to ensure that it produces meaningful discussion and outcomes which will address the issues of workforce and talent retention.

“This event is exclusively structured to be a small circle, closed door forum, in which we expect to see a genuine, open and constructive dialogue take place. No media will be present at the event due to the confidentiality of what will be discussed, however we will share the workshop findings so that, as an industry, we can collaborate and act upon these outcomes.

“The workshop has been designed so that we learn from one another, from our mistakes and out strengths, whilst attempting to make the oil and gas industry a better and more inclusive place to work in. Here we have strong potential to transform the HR policies that operators and service companies across the globe currently employ.”

Two new additions to the panel have been announced today – Katie Reid, lead drilling engineer at Senergy and Karen Seath, general manager at Decom North Sea. They will be joined by keynote speaker Fergus Ewing MSP, along with speakers from Shell, ConoocoPhillips, Total, Sclumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Oil & Gas UK.

Ms Seath has more than 20 years’ experience in the scientific and commercial sectors, having been involved in projects in the offshore renewable energy, marine civil engineering and oil and gas sectors. Ms Seath recently joined Decom North Sea and this workshop will be her first public engagement in this capacity.

Joining Ms Seath is Ms Reid, who has been working for LR Senergy for more than seven years and has been involved in a variety of global projects with a diverse client base.. She is currently seconded to Dana Petroleum’s Western Isles Development Project.

Mr Lowdon continued: “I am delighted to welcome Ms Reid and Ms Seath to our panel session and we are particularly honoured that Ms Seath has selected this SPE forum as her first public engagement. The international industry experience that both bring to the table will be invaluable for this workshop and I look forward to hearing their perspective and experiences on some of the industry’s ‘unspoken’ issues.”

The event will take place at Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen on 1-2 October. Please visit http://www.spe.org/events/14aas2/pages/about/index.php to register before 26 September 2014.