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Addressing the gender balance

Our goal is for women to represent at least 25% of our group leaders – our most senior managers – by 2020


The gender balance across BP as a whole is steadily improving, with women representing 34% of BP’s population, compared with 33% in 2016 and 32% the year before. We’re working to improve these numbers further by, for example, developing mentoring, sponsorship and coaching programmes to help more women advance. That said, we still have work to do at the executive and senior levels.


We pay equal pay for like or equal work. We published 2017 data on our gender pay gap in the UK, which shows a difference in overall average pay between male and female employees. This gap is largely due to a higher proportion of men in senior levels of the organization and specific roles, such as offshore work, that attract higher pay, bonuses or allowances. We are taking action to address this disparity.



Many of our jobs rely on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, which historically have attracted more men. To understand why some students – girls and boys – don’t choose STEM subjects, we developed a five-year programme with King’s College London, University College London and the Science Museum. The research informs our work with schools, from employee volunteering to producing STEM-related teaching resources.

BP employees by gender (%)

All staff

BP employees by gender chart. All staff – 34% female, 66% male

We participate in industry mentoring to advance gender diversity

Graduate hires

BP employees by gender chart. Graduate hires – 45% female, 55% male

We work closely with universities to attract women into scientific and engineering roles

Experienced hires

BP employees by gender chart. Experienced hires – 42% female, 58% male

We support programmes that enable women to resume their careers after a break

Group leaders

BP employees by gender chart. Group leaders – 21% female, 79% male

We are on track for women to represent a quarter of our most senior managers by 2020

Board directors

BP employees by gender chart. Board of directors – 23% female, 77% male

Our goal is for women to represent 30% of board membership by 2020

Having the right policies in place

Our diversity and inclusion policy promotes diversity in our job shortlists and on our interview panels. We provide agile working arrangements where possible to support the flexibility that employees need to manage their work/life balance. We offer support to those returning to work after an extended period of leave.


Industry principles

We are working with our peers to close the gender gap in our industry. As part of the World Economic Forum’s oil and gas group, we jointly agreed to a set of principles to promote the development of women’s careers.


To attract and retain the best men and women, we need to put great policies into practice for all. As leaders we must show that these policies work so we create a culture that people want to be part of.
Louise Kingham,chief executive, The Energy Institute, and board member, POWERful Women