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Advancing D&I at bp: Our Framework for Action

Release date:
18 August 2020
bp America chairman and president Dave Lawler sent this note on August 18, 2020 to bp’s US employees about the new Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) plan.


Recent racial injustices in the US have spotlighted challenges in our society. At bp, we have been working toward addressing these challenges, including launching the US Minority Ambition in 2017. In June, when we saw an opportunity to take immediate action, we did by observing Juneteenth 2020 as a day of reflection for all US employees and adding Martin Luther King Jr. Day to our official US holidays beginning in 2021. 

But what we’ve seen in the world and heard from our colleagues reinforces there is much more to do. It is clear that bp must play a larger part in remedying racial inequality where we can influence it in the US and abroad.

I want to be clear: Racism in any form is not tolerated at bp. But we must go much further. We need to improve on our shortcomings, learn from each other and ensure African Americans and other underrepresented minorities have a stronger voice within bp and the right development opportunities. 

To develop a plan that will bring about real change as it relates to race within bp, we listened carefully to you, researched other companies’ efforts and consulted our stakeholders. I’m pleased to share the three themes that capture bp’s Framework for Action and our commitments.



1. Publish a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) report, internally and externally, which will support a data-driven approach to progress and increase visibility and accountability (April 2021, coinciding with 2020 corporate reporting)

2. Reset our US Minority Ambition to continue to drive toward a US workforce that reflects the changing demographics of America, with quarterly reporting on progress, including sub-group detail (March 2021, following US 2020 Census report delivery).




3. Embed expectations and metrics on D&I delivery into entity operating plans and annual performance review process for all employees, including a direct link to compensation (January 2021).


4. Prohibit the Confederate flag and other symbols of hate from all bp sites. (Effective immediately).


5. Launch a mandatory anti-racism and inclusion program for all US employees that complements our existing unconscious bias training (January 2021).


6. Reshape the bp America D&I Council, ensuring each of the 11 entities has a representative accountable for supporting and delivering our US D&I plan and commitments (December 1, 2020, following Tier 3 announcements).      


7. Double our spend with US-based diverse suppliers by 2023, embedding supplier diversity objectives into global procurement processes to establish clear accountabilities and metrics. 




8. Double representation of African Americans in group leadership by 2023.


9. Launch a focused talent development program for African American and other underrepresented minorities with a goal of identifying and advancing high-potential and high-performing participants with career stewardship from the senior leadership team (January 2021).


10. Increase the diversity of our talent pools and candidate slates to support increased hiring and progression of African Americans and other underrepresented groups through focused talent attraction efforts, strengthening internship programs and by fostering additional partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (October 2020).


11. Increase educational and community funding to specific external organizations working to strengthen the STEM education pipeline for African Americans and other underrepresented minorities (January 2021).


Our continuing goal is to foster an environment where all employees can reach their full potential and improve the advancement of African Americans and other underrepresented minorities. This framework will help overcome our biggest employment progression and retention challenges, and we’ll continue using it to make other improvements as needed.

Just the beginning


This framework is more than making promises – we will be held accountable for our commitments and share our progress. We aim to accelerate our journey to equity with this framework, and the bp America D&I Council will report back quarterly on each theme.


To some of you, this may feel like we’re focusing on one group of employees over another. To others, these actions will not be enough. Balance is hard to achieve, but I’m confident this framework is the right path for bp’s future. The bpLT, leaders across the US and I are all committed to this important work. This is an ambitious framework, and we will dedicate the resources we need to achieve it.  


As always, your comments, questions and feedback are welcome. I am committed to delivering on this plan and will ensure this remains a priority.

Dave Lawler

bp America chairman and president