Recently I was honored to receive the 2017 Rodney D. Chipp Award from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), in recognition of ExxonMobil’s contributions to the advancement of women in engineering.
The award is named for the husband of Beatrice Hicks, SWE’s first president. Mr. Chipp – himself a prominent engineer – was a strong advocate for women in the field.
The Chipp Award reflects the work of scores of women and men over the past several decades to build a culture of inclusion and diversity. As such, it’s really not about me. It’s about the entire organization.
At ExxonMobil, we view inclusion and diversity as essential to business success.
The inclusion of different thoughts, skills and cultures is a key competitive advantage. Our ability to harness the potential and strength of a diverse workforce helps improve our bottom line. And by hiring and promoting more women engineers, we are better positioned for success today and in the future.
Last year, more than 40 percent of our new engineering hires in the United States were women, which is higher than the country’s percentage of female engineering students.
But attracting highly qualified women to join our team is only the beginning. After we have recruited the best women engineers, we must work to develop and foster their talents. We have made progress on this front as well. More than 30 percent of our management and professional staff worldwide today are women – an increase of more than 50 percent in the past decade. Women are presidents of two of our business lines, with more to come.
All companies have a responsibility to open opportunities to both women and men of all backgrounds and enable them not to just survive, but advance and thrive.
While there is still much work to do, I am proud of the efforts ExxonMobil is taking to help women achieve their full potential as engineering leaders.
Mark W. Albers is Senior Vice President of Exxon Mobil Corporation.