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We seek to provide a workplace that celebrates diversity, supports learning and development and drives high performance.

Performance summary

  • Five employees received an Oil Search Value and Behaviour Award.
  • Three PNG citizens were appointed as Independent Members on Oil Search Board Committees.
  • 117 frontline supervisors in PNG completed the first module of the Supervising Our Way programme.
  • Two employee diversity and inclusion focus groups were held, attended by 31 staff.
  • 80 employees attended unconscious bias training.
  • PNG citizens made up 83% of our workforce and 23% of the senior management team in PNG.
  • The Oil Search Code of Conduct was revised.

Ensuring leadership pathways for local employees

Having local representation strengthens our workforce and is an important element of our socio-economic contribution to PNG. We are committed to taking a strategic approach to increasing the number of PNG citizen employees at all levels of the Company.

In late 2015, we identified the potential benefits of a more targeted approach to ensuring our current and future PNG citizen leaders get the appropriate support they need to step into leadership positions. We now have a structured Citizen Development Programme (CDP), with the objective of increasing the number of PNG citizens in leadership roles.

During the year, we undertook several steps as part of the CDP. These included:

  • Commencing the set-up of a dedicated citizen development team, headed by a citizen General Manager and supported by local and expatriate organisational development specialists.
  • Defining the programme objectives and a multi-year plan, backed by an annual budget of US$2 million.
  • Integrating the programme with other workforce planning objectives — including the Company-wide succession planning and talent review to identify potential participants — and aligning programme goals with our broader diversity and inclusion objectives.
  • Conducting an internal awareness campaign on the objectives and impacts of the CDP and developing supporting resources for managers of local staff so they can provide appropriate support and coaching.

As part of the CDP, we are exploring new ways of ensuring the right skills and knowledge are transferred on the job. One example is altering the shift roster of field-based staff so participants can work alongside and learn from employees in more senior positions. We are also exploring training opportunities with our joint venture partners and some suppliers.

In early 2017, each CDP participant will have a customised development plan. These plans will ensure the right balance of on-the-job experiences, exposure, coaching and education to develop each person’s leadership capability. The CDP team will work with the business to identify new positions, training requirements and any other support that participants require.

Strengthening our succession planning

During 2016, we simplified and broadened our talent and succession process. Our goal was to get more information about more employees so our leadership team would have deeper insights into the health of the Company talent pool. This has helped them to make more informed, holistic decisions about our people — for example, the process played a key role in identifying participants for the CDP.

We created several new positions in late 2015 as a result of the Business Optimisation Programme , and some positions were vacated when we closed the Brisbane office. Filling these positions in 2016 enabled us to enhance our talent pool by recruiting external talent, including at senior management level.

Reviewing our talent and succession process also helped us to identify key talent gaps and to use external recruitment to fill them.

During the year, the representation of females and PNG citizens in our leadership and management succession plans increased from 27% and 22% in 2015, to 33% and 38% respectively.

Employees demonstrating Oil Search values and behaviours

In 2016, our employees actively displayed our values and behaviours and their commitment to improving the lives of people in PNG.     

  • Nine employees and members of their families raised over US$680 by running a sausage sizzle to support Cheshire DisAbility Services in Port Moresby, which provides meals and health care supplies for residents.
  • Donating enough rice, noodles, biscuits, tinned food, cooking oil and laundry detergent to ensure 160 patients could complete their tuberculosis treatment at Kikori Hospital in the Gulf Province. This meant 100% of patients admitted from January to September could remain in hospital for the duration of their treatment.
  • 36 employees donated 31 litres of blood to the Port Moresby General Hospital Blood Bank.

During the year, we also launched an awards programme to recognise employees who demonstrate the Oil Search behaviours in their job. Over 18 employees were nominated and we selected five winners.

In 2017, we plan to develop a more formal, Company-wide employee participation, giving and engagement programme that makes our employee volunteering and giving activities more effective.

Code of Conduct revised

In October, our Board approved a revised Code of Conduct. The updated version is embedded with four key principles that inform our employees’ decision-making, actions and behaviour.

The Code also includes new guidance around our relationships with contractors and other stakeholders. It reinforces our commitment to upholding the principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights and outlines how to ensure a safe, incident-free workplace that values and promotes diversity.

As part of the Code of Conduct refresh, in 2017 we will commence an annual employee training programme, including scenario-based sessions, workshops and an assessment.

During the year, Oil Search investigated all reported and suspected breaches of our Code of Conduct. After investigation, two written warnings were issued and four terminations occurred as a result of  breaches relating to drugs and alcohol, harassment and bullying, and health, safety, environment and security. There were zero instances of discrimination reported and no calls were made to our Whistle-blower Hotline.

Also during the year, we collated our expectations on whistle-blower protection, the giving and receiving of gifts and entertainment, conflicts of interest, selection of business partners and political donations into one Corruption Prevention Procedure. We will run associated refresher training for all employees and contractors in 2017 and every two years thereafter.

Diversifying the Board

In October, our Board announced the creation of new roles at the Board Committee level though the appointment of suitably qualified PNG citizens as our first Independent Members. These appointments reflect our continued investment in PNG’s future and align with our aim of enhancing the local pool of capable, well-rounded business leaders.

Richard Kuna, Mary Johns and Serena Sasinian have considerable senior management experience in PNG and will strengthen the Board through their experience, local knowledge and well-established local networks. In return, they will gain the experience and knowledge that go with working with the Board and management team of one of PNG’s largest listed companies.

In early 2017, our new Independent Members will join key members of our senior management team at a series of workshops on good governance practices, to be delivered by an independent training provider.

Two new Directors, Dr Eileen Doyle and Mel Togolo CBE joined our Board in 2016, following the temporary departure of Fiona Harris and retirement of Bart Philemon. In December, Dr Ziggy Switkowski also retired and was replaced by Fiona Harris, whose return will be effective January 2017. This means that, for the first time, there will be two women on the Oil Search Board of nine Directors, and four women on the various Board Committees.

Understanding and addressing barriers to women in the workplace

In April, we conducted internal diversity focus groups in PNG and Sydney so our staff could voice their views on diversity and inclusivity and discuss opportunities for improvement. The groups were attended by more than 30 staff from all levels and resulted in several ideas that were presented to the Board as part of a diversity and inclusion workshop. A number of quick wins resulted, including ensuring female-specific personal protective equipment is available to all women in the field, and paying superannuation to staff who take unpaid parental leave. The latter was introduced in July as a new employee benefit that sets our Company apart in both Australia and PNG.

In May, we participated in a pilot training programme coordinated by the PNG Business Coalition for Women (BCFW) in partnership with the International Monetary Fund. Its purpose was to identify ways companies could increase awareness of, and improve the safety of, women who work in remote locations. The pilot included a training programme that provided the skills and tools required to carry out audits that help improve women’s workplace safety. As well as receiving training, our Company’s participants contributed to discussions on gender safety awareness, recommended policies and KPIs, and provided feedback on pilot tools. The tools will be available to all members of PNG BCFW in 2017.  

In September, unconscious bias training was held with members of the senior management team in Sydney, Port Moresby and at Ridge Camp, and an unconscious bias awareness session was held with the executive team and participants of the Accelerated Development Programme. The training provided tools to help participants identify how bias may affect their decision-making and the impact that it can have on our ability to provide a diverse and inclusive workplace. The rest of the workforce will receive similar training throughout 2017.

Also In 2017, we will complete a gender-based pay equity analysis, conduct a staff diversity and inclusion survey, and identify opportunities to improve how technical roles are advertised to better attract female applicants.

Progress against Oil Search’s Diversity and Inclusion Goals




Results in 2016


Increase percentage of females in leadership roles by 2017

#icon-on-track# On track

The number of females in leadership roles increased from 18% in 2015 to 21% in 2016


Increase percentage of PNG citizens in leadership roles by 2017

#icon-on-track# On track

The percentage of PNG citizens in leadership roles increased from 21% in 2015 to 23% in 2016


Increase percentage of female graduates and apprentices by 2017

#icon-on-track# On track

The percentage of female graduates and apprentices decreased from 38% and 36% in 2015 to 26% and 34% respectively.  This was due to the Business Optimisation Programme in late 2015.  We remain on track to meet our overall target in 2017


Increase representation of females and PNG citizens in succession plans for leadership and management roles

#icon-on-track# On track

The representation of females and PNG citizens in succession plans has increased from 27% and 22% in 2015, to 33% and 38% respectively in 2016