People and culture

Our people are integral to the success of Woodside.

significant TOPIC

Our people are integral to the success of Woodside

To maintain a high performing organisation in a changing industry and society we will continue to evolve our people strategy to attract and retain highly capable people, as well as create a work environment for them to be at their best.

Our approach1

At Woodside, we recognise that to achieve our business ambitions, we must enable our people to excel. We strive to accomplish this by connecting our people to purpose, our capability to business strategy and creating a sense of pride in who we are as an organisation. We take a focused approach to creating a diverse and inclusive culture that is driven by our values led leadership and encourages our people to bring their best selves to work.

Through capability development and talent management initiatives, we aim to attract the right talent and develop our people’s capabilities to sustain our business needs of today and build a future ready workforce.

  1. This section refers to current intentions, plans or stated targets (where applicable). It also outlines information regarding our Management System and relevant processes and procedures. Where we refer to our activities without reference to a previous calendar year or using present tense, the relevant content may be updated from time to time at our discretion but no reliance should be placed by the reader on this page being up-to-date. We also recommend checking our Announcements page regarding our most recent business activities.

Our performance1

In 2023, we further integrated our organisation. We incorporated our annual people processes to measure performance against a common reward framework, migrated our learning management processes into a single system and expanded the delivery of the Navigator Leadership Development Program internationally.

The results from our 2023 Our Voice employee engagement survey show a continued increase in employee satisfaction with above benchmark participation rates demonstrating the willingness of our people to speak up and contribute to the shaping of our culture. We advanced critical work in support of our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy by launching an equity-based sponsorship program and establishing a global model for anti-racism and cultural respect.

We introduced a People Decision Framework empowering our leaders to approve decisions that affect the people they lead. We continued to progress the migration and integration of core components within our human resources technology landscape and will complete the first phase of human resources system integration in early 2024.

  1. This section refers to our performance within a specific time period. Please note that the relevant year, where the activity applies, is stated where appropriate. Where we refer to our activities without reference to a previous calendar year or using present tense, the relevant content may be updated from time to time at our discretion but no reliance should be placed by the reader on this page being up-to-date. We also recommend checking our Announcements page regarding our most recent business activities.

People data table

For more information refer to the people-related data table.

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Our culture is defined through Our Values. During 2023, we focused on integrating the cultures of heritage organisations post-merger, understanding employee experiences, and building our cultural foundations. Our efforts to hardwire culture into our systems has continued through policy harmonisation, talent and performance discussions.

Employee Impact Groups

Employee-led groups have a strong history of providing connections, support, advocacy, building capabilities and influencing change

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Focus areas for inclusion

In addition to addressing inclusion through various stages of the employee life cycle, Woodside has identified six diversity priorities within the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy.

These are:

  • Cultural background and faith
  • Enable all abilities
  • First Nations and Indigenous Peoples
  • Gender equality
  • Gender identity and sexual orientation
  • Race and ethnicity.

The Woodside Board recognises that having people with a range of backgrounds and experience is a critical requirement of an effective Board and its Committees. The Board’s commitment to improving diversity was enhanced in 2022 by setting goals for maintaining or improving representation of females and ethnic minorities on the board.

First Nations participation

In 2023, the overall representation of First Nations Australians in the Woodside workforce increased to 5.7% compared to the 2022 figure of 5.4%. First Nations Australian representation in leadership roles decreased to 0.7% in 2023 from 0.9% in 2022. Representation in mid-career and senior roles rose from 0.7% to 0.8%.

There have also been strong hiring indicators with 6.3% of new experienced hires identifying as First Nations Australians, compared to a target of 2%. Our tertiary pathway programs have achieved 17% of the new graduate cohort and 15% of the 2023-2024 Summer Vacation Program participants identifying as First Nations Australians. We have seen 57% of our new externally hired apprentices and trainees identifying as First Nations Australians, and 35% of those converting from apprenticeship or traineeship to Woodside employment also identify as First Nations Australians.

In 2023, we introduced an Indigenous Capability Strategy Advisor role that focuses on strategies to help progress Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent. We saw an increase in Our Voice engagement survey results including the sense of belonging score for Indigenous Australians being the highest it has ever been.

We have for the second year, had two of our employees graduate from the Australian Graduate School of Management Indigenous Executive Leaders Program. Three people completed the Certificate IV Aboriginal Leadership and Mentoring Program, we have now had seven people complete this training program between 2021-2023.

In 2023, we re-energised our approach to Indigenous Australian cultural learning to elevate our performance, including making it a mandatory learning for Australian based employees. During the year, 91.3% of Australian based employees completed training in 2023. We are committed to uplifting the capability of our people leaders as key agents of change. The Indigenous Cultural Learning for Leaders program is a progressive learning journey beginning with a powerful two-day immersion. The program is led by the Indigenous Consulting Group and aims to measurably uplift the skills, knowledge and capability of our leaders to lead culturally safe and inclusive teams particularly with respect to Indigenous employees. Over 350 of our leaders have completed the first stage of the program, with the company aiming for all Australian based people leaders completing this program by 2025.

In 2022, Woodside increased its investment in the Jawun Program by joining the Catalyse tier. This includes annual targets to send employees and executives on immersions to First Nations regional organisations and communities across Australia to share skills and knowledge, support capacity development and build relationships. During 2023, seven Woodside employees participated in six week long on-country secondments and nine Woodside Executives travelled on mini-immersions to the Kimberley, South Australia and Western Sydney. In 2024 we will also participate in the Indigenous Leader in Residence program, welcoming an Indigenous leader from a community based organisation to Woodside for a week of shadowing the cadence of some of our Executives.

  • 5.7 %

representation of First Nations Australians in the Woodside workforce
  • 0.7 %

First Nations Australian representation in leadership roles
  • 6.3 %

of new experienced hires identifying as First Nations Australian
  • 57 %

of our new externally hired apprentices and trainees identifying as First Nations Australians
  • 35 %

of those converting from apprenticeship or traineeship to Woodside employment also identify as First Nations Australians
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Referendum support

On Saturday, 14 October 2023, Australians were asked to vote in a Referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Throughout its Referendum advocacy, Woodside was acutely aware of the impact the event was likely to have on our Indigenous employees.

Gender participation

There has been steady improvement to all key metrics monitored for participation, including female participation overall, in leadership and in technician and trade roles.

The company reached 11.2% female representation in trades/technician roles as of 31 December 2023. This has been a key area for improvement and focus in accordance with applicable laws and governing documents. Continued efforts in this space include a focus on apprentice and trainee programs and the implementation of the Women in Operations Working Group.

Another way to improve gender balance is through supporting parents and carers in successfully balancing work and personal responsibilities. In May 2022, we made improvements to our parental leave provisions to extend paid leave, improve superannuation arrangements and ensure it was more easily accessible to both parents and all employees across the globe.

Driven by the Employees Driving Gender Equity (EDGE) group, Woodside continued its commitment to FamilyConnect@Woodside to support parents and carers. This initiative provides valuable information and resources including webinars to all employees in all locations. Within one month of launching in 2022, over 200 employees had registered. By the end of 2023, 488 employees had registered.

Recognising that mentorship is a critical component of employee growth, development and retention, EDGE leverages our partnership with the Women’s Energy Network (WEN) in Houston to deliver mentorship opportunities to our workforce. These enabled staff members to expand their networks, connect with other individuals in the energy industry and gain critical insights.

Tracking our gender equality progress

Each year we report on our gender equality progress for the Australia-based employee workforce by lodging an annual report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Data is as of 31 March 2023. 

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In March 2023, Woodside had four finalists in the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA Women in Resources Awards, with recognition across three individual categories and one for Outstanding Company Initiative for our Gender Equity focused Employee Resource Groups impact and success over many years to drive improvements.

Race and ethnicity

In June 2022, Woodside’s Inclusion and Diversity Policy and Strategy was updated to include a focus on race and ethnicity.

The policy states that we are committed to “improving the diversity mix of our workforce to reflect the communities in which we operate. We recognise the different social and legislative frameworks in our different global locations and apply our inclusion and diversity and people management practices in accordance with this. Woodside is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and ensuring people management practices prevent or stop any form of discrimination.”

The racial equity component of our inclusion and diversity commitments is aimed at ensuring we continue to work towards equal access to opportunities across our organisation given the historical barriers in our communities and as Woodside does not currently have proportional racial and ethnic representation at all levels of our organisation.

During 2023, we established a global model of anti-racism and cultural respect. This model guides our approach to driving equity in our workplace and to reducing professional and career barriers for individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (BIPOC) in communities in which we operate.

Model of Anti-Racism and Cultural Respect

Woodside's Model for Anti-Racism and Cultural Respect

We acknowledge that systemic racism and cultural discrimination exists in our communities; and we therefore embed anti-racism measures into our practices, implement equity-based initiatives and encourage respect for cultural expression. We envision a company where, at all job levels, we are reflective of the communities in which we operate and of the available talent pool.

We value diversity of thought and lived experience. To be industry leaders, we pursue opportunities to unlock diversity of race and cultural identity across five pillars:

  • Respectful behaviours

    We do not accept racism or discrimination on the basis of race or cultural background. We actively work to help our people in their anti-racism journey.

  • Equitable access to opportunity

    All of our employees have equal access to opportunity regardless of race or cultural background.

  • Informed allies

    Our workforce is informed on systemic racism, racial discrimination, and inequalities that exist as a result of race and ethnicity or cultural background. We leverage this fluency to become agents of change in building an organisation that is anti-racist.

  • Representation

    We build a workforce that is representative of the communities in which we operate and of the available talent pool.

  • Felt experiences

    Our people have similar felt experiences in the workplace, regardless of their race or cultural background.

In 2023, Woodside launched an equity-based sponsorship program aimed at enabling more fair and equitable access to opportunities for our people. This program is currently being rolled out for United States employees who are people of colour, and we will explore ways in which we can roll this out more widely to other locations in future years.

During 2022-2023, workshops on subtle racism have been run in Australia. They are aimed at unpacking the more ambiguous, indirect, and innuendo-fuelled characteristics of subtle racism. The workshops included challenging peoples’ stereotypes and biases, as well as turning the lens on institutional systems and processes which may be a contributing factor. During 2023, 124 people participated in the workshops.

Following a racial maturity assessment, Woodside began engaging with potential partners to assess delivery of racial equity training to our United States based leaders and Australian based leaders with direct reports based in the United States. Such training is expected to equip our leaders to proactively work against racism and build racial equity through our routines, policies and people processes. During 2023, a vendor was selected to implement the training and a pilot training session was held.

In addition to the above, our Employee Impact Groups held a number of events to better inform our workforce on systemic racism in our communities and to upskill our people on racial equity and effective methods to identify and eliminate racism wherever it occurs.

The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (known as Harmony Day in Australia), held on 21 March annually, was recognised in the Woodside calendar with activities and education to raise awareness occurring across the globe.

In our Houston office, EmBRace held events throughout the year. Some of these were a month-long celebration of Black History Month with learning opportunities, recognition of Juneteenth with a service activity at Emancipation Park Conservancy in Houston, and Hispanic Heritage Month events that included events focused on cultural celebration, challenging biases, and community volunteering.

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Houston Ally Energy Grit Awards

In 2022, our EmBRace Employee Impact Group won the GRIT (Growth, Resilience, Innovation, Talent) Award for Best Employee Resource Group / Business Resource Group.

Culture background and faith

Woodside has a broad range of cultural diversity within the workforce which is highly valued, due to the different experience, knowledge, language skills, cultural intelligence and ways of working that come from this diverse group.

During 2023, Woodside built up resources to increase the capability for intercultural workplace relationships to better leverage the rich diversity and ideas of the people working with us. For example, this included workshops to better prepare project teams moving to South Korea to support cultural adjustment.

Flexibility is provided to employees to flex up to five public holidays for other days of personal significance, including cultural or religious significance.

In 2023, both the CALD and EmBRace Employee Impact Groups held enriching events to engage our workforce on different cultural backgrounds. In Houston, EmBRace hosted events in October to honour Hispanic Heritage Month and events in November to honour Native American Month. In Australia, various lunches and educational events were hosted highlighting and celebrating the richness and value of the diverse cultural backgrounds and linguistic skills that are present in the workforce.

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Harmony Day

The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is held on 21 March every year. In Australia, this is recognised broadly as Harmony Day. Led by the CALD Employee Impact Group, we recognise Harmony Day is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all, regardless of racial, cultural, faith, ethnic, or linguistic background.

Enabling all abilities

During 2023, improvements were made to our recruitment process and a Workplace Adjustment Guide was introduced to better support employees and line leaders to effectively implement appropriate adjustments to enable people to be successful in the workplace.

Our ADAPT Employee Impact Group worked to support inclusion through recognising Neurodiversity Awareness Week and the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. These events included raising awareness via values moments and stories and running sessions to share information about accessibility and supports.

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Sharing Learnings About NeuroInclusion

A cross-industry event, Inclusive Pathways into the Resources Industry, was held in November 2023 to share learnings and build awareness.

Gender identity and sexual orientation

In both Houston and Perth, we celebrate the locally recognised Pride Month each year with events dedicated to raising awareness, enhancing our respectful culture, amplifying LGBTIQA+ voices and strengthening allyship for this community.

These events were hosted by our Vibe Employee Impact Group, which focuses on creating an inclusive culture for members of the LGBTIQA+ community. In 2023, seven employees identifying as LGBTIQA+ commenced the Authentic Leaders Program. This program provides insight, inspiration and community to empower LGBTIQA+ talent to realise their full potential. Attendees reported improvements in personal confidence within and outside of the workplace.

During 2023, 488 people completed some form of LGBTIQA+ awareness and inclusion training.

Featured Case Study

Pride Shines Bright

The Progress Pride flag - embraced by the LGBTIQA+ community as a newer, more inclusive symbol of pride, has been painted on North Rankin A's West Crane Pedestal.

People capability

Leadership development is identified as a key enabler for our corporate strategy. The Navigator Leadership Development Program is our whole of business framework for leadership development. It is built around five distinct phases aligned to an individual’s growth and capabilities in leadership development. Each phase encompasses an immersive learning experience with application of skills, before providing an opportunity to extend those skills in preparation for the next step in the leadership journey.

In 2023 the program expanded globally to Houston, Trinidad and Tobago, Senegal and China. Over 2,500 current employees have engaged in a Navigator learning experience since its commencement in 2021.

In May 2023, Navigator won the Workforce Development category of the APPEA Excellence Awards (organisation now renamed to Australian Energy Producers (AEP)) for building diverse capability and underpinning cultural change. To have this program recognised by an external body is indicative of its importance and strengthens our commitment to enabling cultural change at Woodside through cross business connections and upskilling our people to be the best leaders they can be.

With Navigator now entering its fourth year we have been able to understand observable and tangible examples of improved performance with a sustained and positive momentum. Our employees and their leaders have reported:

  • Improved self confidence, self efficacy and authenticity.
  • Improved interpersonal skills such as listening, questioning and a willingness to provide constructive feedback and challenge.
  • Improved professional and personal relationships.
  • Conscious application of a growth mindset in their approach to work, which is positively impacting their willingness to embrace new responsibilities, opportunities, and discretionary effort.

The tools and skills our people now have are having a positive impact on our employee experience and resulting cultural environment.

Click on each of the following topics to view more about it.

People data table

For more information refer to the people-related data table.

View data table