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Frontera Energy Corp. – 2019 SDG Leadership Awards

Frontera Energy Corp.

Website: http://www.fronteraenergy.ca/

Industry: Oil & Gas

Primary SDG Focus

Secondary SDG Focus

Please summarize your company’s SDG focus, how was that SDG was implemented and how did achieved and measured the impact.

In Frontera Energy we believe that collective intelligence is a key competitive advantage in these times in which the challenges and complexities of our operations and surroundings require an integral approach. For years, economic, racial and gender differences have accumulated knowledge and power in homogenized groups with little space for plural and minority views. The status quo is continuously defied by the global access to information, spreading the fight for equality to all corners. This fight has special relevance in the labor field in which men and women seek for equal opportunities that guarantee companies reach collective intelligence.

The oil and gas industry has one of the lowest shares of women among major industries such as health, education, finance, agriculture, etc., with 22% of their participation. Also, women face major hurdles to career advancement, with 13% of women in the executive level of the companies.* Regarding this background, since 2016 Frontera is committed to close gaps and break paradigms associated with the role of women in the industry and move towards more balanced gender relations, through a Gender Equality Strategy aligned with the certification program EQUIPARES for the implementation of a Gender Equality Management System in partnership with the Colombian Ministry of Labor, the High Council for Women’s Equity of the Presidency of Colombia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). This strategy aims to promote a cultural transformation and to develop equality and inclusion initiatives related to retention and selection of human talent, promotion and development, training, remuneration and salary, health and life quality, sexual and labor harassment, internal and external communications, work-life balance and community relations.

Aligned with this strategy, the Company has a Gender Declaration which stems from the Corporation’s Sustainability Policy approved by the board of directors, an action plan with KPIs which is updated annually, and a Gender Equality Group composed by different managers of the Company, responsible for monitoring and evaluating of the Declaration and its action plan, as well for the implementation of the Gender Equality Management System.

As a recognition to our corporate efforts, in 2018 we received EQUIPARES’ Silver Seal certification after an external audit of our processes and initiatives related to gender equality and diversity. The Company was granted 98.9 points out of 100 and was the first oil company in Colombia (and South America) to achieve this certification. This achievement was the incentive to continue working in this field and the reason why we are currently implementing the last phase of this program to obtain the Gold Seal.

Some findings and results of this process were:

  1. The Company developed an internal diagnosis of the status of women and men in 7 key dimensions to promote diversity and inclusion. This diagnosis was based on the best practices identified by the Ministry of Labour and UNDP and information collected on interviews to managers, employees, etc, focus groups and the anaylisis of internal processes and documents.
  2. In terms of Retention and Selection , the Company identified an opportunity to improve this procedure in order to guarantee inclusion and non-discrimination in the selection of staff for its corporate offices and fields. The Company includes in Job Descriptions all the conditions related to work schedules, availability to travel, manage of hazardous chemicals in the workplace, among others. Also in all the interviews’ processes the Company eliminate all types of discrminatory questions such as marital status, family, etc, and health exams that could affect the selection of personnel.
  3. In terms of Promotion and and professional development, the Company identified a unique opportunity to promote the career advancement of women to executive levels. Currently, the Company has one women in the Board of Directors, and 29 women in managerial levels (23% of total managers), and is engaged to continue improving these important indicators for the future of the industry.
  4. In terms of training, the Company developed various Gender Equality trainings for employees, communities and suppliers which raised awareness on this global problematic and the impact of the private companies in closing historic labor and educational gaps between men and women.
  5. The Company identified only 4,03%/100% of Gender Wage Gap which is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women doing the same job. Regarding this result, the Company updated all its remuneration and benefits policy in order to implement the best practices in the industry and eliminate these differences which are the result of various mergers.
  6. In termns of sexual and labour harrastment, the Comany implemented communication campaigns to raise awareness

In Frontera we firmly believe that achieving a real Gender Equality is a long-term effort and these initial results are just an incentive to continue our contribution to this global challenge. *Source: Boston Consulting Group. Bridging the gender gap in Oil and Gas.

How was your primary SDG focus identified and prioritized in the company’s value chain?

Frontera’s Sustainability Model is composed by six corporate commitments: • We operate with excellence and ensure the health and well-being of our employees: creating value through efficient processes to maximize our economic performance, in alignment with the highest health and safety standards.

  • We act consistently and transparently: in accordance with our corporate values, internal rules and the law. \
  • We work in harmony with the environment: ensuring preservation and protection of natural resources within our operation.
  • We contribute to the sustainable development of communities: by creating competitive territories in the areas where we operate and performing shared value initiatives with our communities.
  • We have the best talent and promote respect of human rights for our internal and external stakeholders: guaranteeing the welfare and holistic development of people, including our personnel.
  • We promote a sustainable supply chain: with suppliers as the best allies for a sustainable and efficient operation

As this model is understood by our directors and employees as the way we conduct our business and what we expect of our value chain, it is constantly discussed and updated with our different stakeholders through a continous engagement, which ensures their support to our business strategy of creating value and contributing to the sustainable development of society in harmony with the environment.

This stakeholder engagement also ensure the identification and priorization of the focus of these commitments, which we implement and communicate in an annual basis. In relation with our Gender Equality Strategy since 2016 we have been identifyng the best practices in the industry, implementing diverse initiatives accross all the organization, and promoting its implementation in our value chain. In Frontera, we firmly believe that our contribuiton to Gender Equality could not have the same impact if we do not work closely with our suppliers and contractors.

How was your primary SDG integrated and anchored throughout your business?

Our mission as a company is to generate value through responsible exploration and production of oil and gas. We value life, health and wellbeing. We work together and ethically, using our abilities to grow and assure a high performance culture.

Our values inspire our decisions and our resources support the future, to take Frontera and its surroundings, in a safe manner, to a place of progress, adding value and confidence.

Our Corporate Values are:

  1. We lead by example with Integrity, acting consistently and transparently, as well as maintaining an open dialogue in our relations.
  2. Respect means that we value diversity and inclusion, we learn from experience and appreciate different points of view. We are authentic.
  3. With our Commitment we demonstrate that we are responsible for our decisions, we work as a team to reach our business goals and seek excellence through innovation, adaptation and learning.
  4. Through Sustainability we preserve and care for the well-being of our employees and contractors, and encourage safety in our operations. This means that we promote the creation of social, economic and environmental value through positive interaction with our stakeholders. We produce reliable results, understanding that our actions generate long-term value.

Regarding these corporate guidelines, our Gender Equality Policy is completely anchored throughout our business and is implemented in a daily basis.

Did you employ any innovative approaches in your efforts to implement the goal?

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With the aim of closing gaps and move towards more balanced gender relations in the workplace, the Company developed an internal diagnosis of the status of women and men in 7 key dimensions to promote diversity and inclusion. This diagnosis based on the best practices identified by the Ministry of Labour and UNDP, was the principal tool for developing the Gender Declaration and the Action Plan, which its implementation throuoghout the business was recognized by the EQUIPARES certification program.

The principal results of this diagnosis were:

  1. In terms of Retention and Selection the Company identified an opportunity to improve this procedure in order to guarantee inclusion and non-discrimination in the selection of staff for our coporate offices and fields. The Company includes in Job Descriptions all the conditions related to work schedules, availability to travel, manage of hazardous chemicals in the workplace, among others. Also in all the interviews’ processes the Company eliminate all types of discrminatory questions such as marital status, family, etc, and health exams that could affect the selection of personnel.
  2. In terms of Promotion and and professional development. The Company identified a unique opportunity to promote the career advancement of women to executive levels. Currently, the Company has one women in the Board of Directors, and 29 women in managerial levels, and is engaged to continue improving these important indicators for the future of the industry.
  3. In terms of training, the Company has developed various Gender Equality trainings for employees, communities and suppliers.
  4. The Company identified only 4,03%/100% of Gender Wage Gap which is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women doing the same job. Regarding this result, the Company updated all its remuneration and benefits policy in order to implement the best practices in the industry and eliminate these differences which are the result of various mergers.

Were any partnerships leveraged or created?

We implemented the EQUIPARES certification program in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, the High Council for Women’s Equity of the Presidency of Colombia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

What communications strategy did you employ to share the initiative with your stakeholders?

Since 2016 the Company has implemented various internal and external communications campaigns to create awareness and train our different stakeholders on issues related with gender equality such as: sexual and labour harassment, work-life balance, historic gender inequalities in the countries where we operate and in our industry. We have also shared with our suppliers and contractors the knowledge acquired in this process with EQUIPARES.

How were KPIs and the levels of success outlined and defined?

The KPIs were defined with the responsible areas for each dimension identified and prioritized for its contribution to the Gender Equality in our Company, based on a list of indicators given by EQUIPARES: Retention and selection of human talent, promotion and development, training, remuneration and salary, health and life quality, sexual and labor harassment, internal and external communications and work balance. Currently, the Company has an action plan with these KPIs which is constantly monitored internally and is being reviewed by the Ministry of Labour and UNDP, due to our intention of obtaining the Gold Seal for December 2019.

How were reporting and monitoring conceptualized and undertaken?

The progress in the compliance of the KPIs defined for each dimension, is constantly reported to the Gender Group of the Company, who is responsible for the implementation of our Gender Declaration and the Action Plan. This group meets every two months throughout the year and based on the results reported, its members discuss, plan and prioritize the different actions required in each dimension.

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What were some key lessons learned?

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Our company is part of a historically male-dominated industry, so starting to talk about gender equality issues was a great challenge. However, through the constant training and awareness of our directors and employees, we have managed to raise awareness about the impact of our actions facing this global problematic.

Gender equality initiatives must be aligned with the strategic purpose of the Company, in order to guarantee its implementation in all the areas required.

To ensure a long-term corporate effort on this issue, it is key to demonstrate improvements in Human Talent, Sustainability and Reputation indicators, as well as highlighting early victories which can promote the continuity of these programs, despite the difficulties it can present for being a problematic related to cultural conditions, specially in Latin American countries.

What were the key impacts and results?

With the implementation of our Gender Equality Strategy the Company has achieved:

  1. A Gender Declaration which stems from the Corporation’s Sustainability Policy approved by the board of directors.
  2. A diagnosis of the status of the company regarding indicators related to Gender Equality in terms of staff, career opportunites, salary and benefits, sexual and labour harrasment, among others.
  3. An action plan with KPIs for 7 dimensions identified for its contribution to the Diversity and inclusion of the Company.
  4. A Gender Group composed by 17 managers of the following areas: Operations, Compliance, Human Talent, Communications, Sustainability, Corporate Governance, among others.

In terms of recognitions:

  1. Our commitment to promote diversity and gender equality in our operations was recognized by the Colombian Oil Engineer Society. This recognition confirmed our corporate effort to close gaps and break paradigms associated with the role of women in the industry and move towards more balanced gender relations.
  2. We achieved the Silver Seal of the Gender Equality certification Program of the Colombian Ministry Labour as the first company in oil and gas industry.