Tecpetrol in the final round of WEPS
Tecpetrol is the only company in the energy industry to make it through to the final round of the second edition of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Argentina Award for “Compañías para ellas” (Companies for women) organized jointly by UN Women, the International Labor Organisation (ILO) and the European Union.
Tecpetrol’s flagship diversity program, +d, is about to celebrate its second anniversary, a successful initiative driven by the conviction that each person brings unique abilities to the company, enabling stronger teams to be built. The program’s results are not just being perceived internally, as shown by the company’s nomination among 60 other applicants to win one of the most prestigious gender equality awards in the region.
This recognition crowns a process that Tecpetrol started in 2020 with the United Nations, one year into the deployment of its diversity program. Last year, the company adhered to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), devised by UN Women in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact. The WEPs offer companies guidance on how to promote gender equality and empower women, not only in the workplace but also in the marketplace and the community, as part of their commitment to the global 2030 agenda, the shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.
For Tecpetrol, this is also about setting the example to show the benefits of equality as good business practice. Tecpetrol has certified the measures it develops under these principles to contribute to equality, and as part of the award process, welcomed a team of UN auditors to review the company’s actions, who also identified opportunities for improvement and suggested some adjustments.
Rocío Leiguarda, head of corporate communications at Tecpetrol, who led the application process for the WEPs Award, describes the consultants’ feedback as “a highly enriching process. The suggestions they made for improvement were very specific and geared towards our industry. The whole process involved so much more than just an application for an award, as it entailed a management process that showed us we were on the right track and encouraged us to work to evolve and stay up-to-date.”
Prior to the application, the company carried out an intensive survey of all the gender equality initiatives being deployed throughout its operations in Latin America: “Although the application for the award was principally based on information about our operations in Argentina, we saw this an opportunity to broaden our research into significant and sensitive issues current at all our operations. Along the way, we saw that we have met several of the objectives set by the survey and were able to identified areas of opportunity. For me, the most important and enriching thing was that we were able to put the specific needs of each group on the table,” said Julieta Delorenzi, who heads up special Human Resources projects, including this survey. The data was consolidated thanks to the efforts of employees from various areas such as Communications, Talent Development, Tecpetrol University, Benefits, Audit, Health and Safety, Compliance and the Normative System, among others.
“The process culminated in a virtual audit meeting where we had to provide access to policies, digital records, manuals, and other types of documentation bearing out the statements we made in our self-diagnosis. All of this required prior organizational work on our side, since we weren’t allowed to send in evidence after the meeting. The whole audit event was recorded and lasted more than 4 hours,” explained Julieta Vieytes, Human Resources manager for the Southern Cone, who is based in Buenos Aires and took part in the audit.
The last stage in the process was an interview with Ricardo Markous to understand the depth of Tecpetrol's leadership commitment to gender equality.
“We are convinced that this external recognition has come about because +d is a coherent, consistent ongoing program involving the company’s directors and part of the strategic orientation taken by all areas. We develop routines and rituals, as well as monitoring, order and control systems that allow us to be accountable for what we do, which is the only way to achieve continuous improvement. With diversity, our efforts began with a small group of people focused on gender equality, and when other people started joining in, we added new dimensions as they emerged and became relevant. In addition, the issue of diversity is no longer only under the aegis of Human Resources, but is now intrinsic to our culture. One example showing this is that we’re now carrying out the second edition of our Lean In Together Circles, aimed at boosting our competitive strengths based on diversity throughout the organization. The idea is to do this by identifying and analyzing unconscious biases in different work situations. The groups are self-managing and are being led by the participants from the first round of Lean In Circles,” adds Maria Laura García, Talent Manager and Communication.
Tecpetrol’s competition for the WEPs award includes top-tier Argentine companies such as: Accenture, American Express, Banco Galicia, Bristol Myers Squibb, Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes, Citibank, C&F, Distribuidora Frappampino SRL, Enel Argentina, EY, Ford Argentina, Globant, Grupo Mitre, HR Strategy, JP Morgan, L'Oréal Argentina, ManpowerGroup, Mercury Global Logistics, McCann Buenos Aires, Medtronic Latin America, Newsan, Prudential, PWC, Renault, Tabes SA, Travel Pharma, Universidad de Flores, and Win & Winnow Language Services.
The winners will be announced at a closed-door event on Wednesday, June 23 at 5 pm (GMT-3). “This process has helped us to grow and gain so much in many different ways. Regardless of who receives the award on Wednesday, making it through to the last round in the contest the first time we apply is for us already an award in itself," concludes Rocío Leiguarda.