+d: three years of opening up new spaces
As the third anniversary of Tecpetrol's equity and inclusion program comes around, we remember the milestones notched up on a long and eventful road where all employees have had a chance to get involved. Looking to the future, we are set to expand and deepen the areas where we have a role to play, and provide our colleagues with more tools on our journey.
On its third anniversary, Tecpetrol's program is in full expansion mode, consolidating its presence and objectives among employees. Born as a declaration of diversity and inclusion by the company in a bid to stay abreast of the wave of social changes sweeping society, it did not stop there but transformed itself into a central tool to drive creativity and innovation.
The initiative started out by focusing on gender issues, with talks for women and a mentoring program. “We went from less to more, and at first we tackled global issues—because detecting unconscious biases was quite a big thing—and over time added more specific aspects,” explained Julieta Delorenzi, manager of Cultural Transformation, to Tecpetrol Hoy.
Over time, the program expanded from fostering support for effective leadership to the Maternity and Paternity Coaching programs; accompanying expatriate couples with the Dual Careers program; developing an inclusive approach to embrace the LGBT community; and holding webinars and workshops on intergenerational coexistence. The most recent initiative dropped in December 2021 with the aim of opening up spaces to encourage people to talk freely about disability without taboos.
On its first anniversary, the +d steering committee, also known as the Governance group, was created, with the idea of turning the diversity spotlight inwards, and the team established a series of goals. The group included Juan José Mata, Director of Finance and Javier Gutiérrez (who in May 2022 took over as Executive Assistant for the General Directorate of E&P) and Adela Guillaumin, Commercial Manager of the Pesqueria Power Plant (CEP). They were joined by the Esteban Grassi, head of Commercial Planning and Supply Chain of Shushufindi, who is the Group Ally working on Gender, and Julieta Vieytes, HR manager of the Neuquen basin, who is the Group Ally working on Disability, as well as Tecpetrol’s director of Human Resources, María Laura García. Earlier this year, two members were renewed. The director of Strategic Planning Jorge Dimópoulos and Daniel Valencio, director of Exploration and Development, replaced Mata and Gutiérrez, while Julieta Delorenzi joined, taking the Governance group to a membership of seven.
“Although Human Resources is heading up the program, senior management is playing a key role in terms of commitment and sponsorship. They provide direction to follow up on an action plan and measure progress, weighing in to enable any employee to join at different instances and contribute ideas, proposals, to be a part of the initiative,” highlighted Julieta Vieytes. As the HR manager of the Neuquen basin, she was one of the founding members of the group, and remembers the early days and first steps taken. "The program is constantly growing and developing its own identity because we’re all in this together."
Daniel Valencio has been committed to +d from the outset, as he took part in the two mentoring programs. “It was a fascinating experience, enriching as much for mentees as for mentors, because it’s so refreshing to share different takes on different genres and sectors (both functional and geographic) that we don't make the time for in our daily routine.” Now on the Governance team, his commitment is all the stronger. "The initiative is also about raising awareness of a whole host of issues to enable Tecpetrol to be a place where there’s no harassment or discrimination of any kind."
Beyond the numbers, the milestones and the awards—of which there have been many by now—the founding pillars of the program are all about respect and building environments of trust.
“It's good to do away with certain taboos, to call things by their name and not be afraid of asking other people how they prefer to be called,” reflects Delorenzi about the visible objectives of this “long road”, which involve empathy and sensitivity. "We want to work in a climate of trust so that people can feel free to ask for whatever they need."
To respond to these needs, the +d program’s more immediate goals are about creating specific tools to encourage inclusion, such as adapting digital communications (enlarging the font on the website, using color contrasts, bigger spaces between characters, choosing a medium that admits subtitles), and working with communication to make sure that no one is left out.
“We are going to continue deepening the five axes of the +d program so that all of us working at Tecpetrol do so in conditions of merit and equal opportunities, where we promote the most capable people,” concluded Valencio.