At the Chevron Richmond Refinery on Thursday, June 15, employees took a break from their workday to enjoy soul food and live music while visiting resource booths to learn about the history of Juneteenth and also opportunities to mentor college interns.
A week later, Refinery employees sampled traditional Filipino dishes on the Richmond campus and danced in honor of Philippine Independence Day.
This week, employees gathered yet again to celebrate a Pride Month local happy hour and to host openly gay Oakland firefighter Kim Green as a speaker. At the start of the month, Pride flags were raised at three separate locations of the Chevron Richmond property.
Similar to the U.S., Chevron’s global workforce of nearly 44,000 people, including over 1,200 workers in Richmond, is highly diverse. The company considers the diversity of ideas, backgrounds and perspectives as among its greatest strengths. In its Diversity & Inclusion Policy, Chevron notes that “hiring and retaining individuals with an array of talents, ideas and experiences propels the innovation that drives our success.”
“Hiring and retaining individuals with an array of talents, ideas and experiences propels the innovation that drives our success.”
One way Chevron reinforces that worldview companywide is to fund employee-run networks that promote and celebrate diversity at its facilities throughout the year, including the Richmond Refinery. The Black Employee Network, Filipino Employee Network and PRIDE (Promoting Respect, Inclusion, and Dignity for Everyone) Employee Network are among them. Other networks represent and embolden employees who are veterans, women, Latin Americans and Native Americans. Employees embrace the policy.
“It’s awesome, it’s part of who we are,” said Lucia Watson, an operational excellence assurance manager who is highly active in employee networks at the Richmond Refinery.
“What impacts one group impacts us all because we’re all working together,” Watson added. “So it’s important that we’re celebrating this type of event here, not just for Black employees but for all employees.”
The Refinery’s more recent Juneteenth celebration, did not come with speeches, but rather with live music from the band Top Shelf, soul food from Slow Hand BBQ and educational resource booths. Earlier in the day, Chevron corporate employees from throughout the world tuned into a live presentation from the Smithsonian Institute on the history of Juneteenth.
Then a week later, on June 22, the Chevron Richmond campus saw an influx of more delicious food and live music at the Filipino Employee Network’s celebration of Philippine Independence Day. The event observes the national holiday on June 12 commemorating the nation’s declaration of independence from Spain in 1898. At the Refinery, the milestone was celebrated with traditional music and iconic Filipino dishes like pancit, chicken adobo and lumpia, according to Watson. A dance troupe, Kaisahaan, performed a cultural dance suite, while two short video presentation on Philippine Independence Day and a short video on tourism were shown, Watson said.
Michael Adams, lead engineer at Chevron Richmond who actively supports the BEN, said these events enable employees to “enjoy everyone’s diversity” while bonding over a good time.
“I just want everyone to appreciate this day and what freedom means for everyone,” Adams said.