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Life at Perficient

Increasing Diversity in the Refining and Petrochemical Industries

Millennial Black Businesswoman Addressing Colleagues At A Corporate Business Meeting, Close Up

At Perficient our colleagues not only get involved within our company, but within the industries they serve. A veteran of the oil and gas industry, Cheryl Scott is no different.  Over the course of her career, Cheryl maintained a strong association with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). AFPM was formed over 120 years ago to represent the U.S. refining and petrochemical industries.  The association continues to act as a leading voice, educating policymakers and the public on the value these industries provide the nation and the world.

Growth Through Diversity

Cheryl has been heavily involved in AFPM’s quest to bring more diversity to the industry. According to a recent S&P Global report, boards of oil and gas companies in 2019 only comprised 14% women. What’s even more staggering is that in 2015 only 6.7% of the workforce in oil and gas were African Americans, states a report published by the American Petroleum Institute.

It’s no secret that companies with diverse representation are generally more successful. They’re proven to be more profitable, innovative, and productive. “Through 2022, 75% of organizations with frontline decision-making teams reflecting a diverse and inclusive culture will exceed their financial targets”, states a recent article through Gartner.

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Through AFPM’s subset group, Women in Industry, Cheryl, and other members have encouraged thought leaders within the industry to have larger discussions on diversity and inclusion. During AFPM’s recent three day summit, Cheryl moderated a great discussion led by Dr. Simone Ahuja, “Navigating Change with a Growth Mindset”. Dr. Ahuja is the founder of Blood Orange, a global innovation and strategy firm, an author, and a public speaker.

The discussion not only promoted gender and cultural diversity within teams but also diversity in thought to help drive innovation. All members of the team must be able to have a voice, know how to speak up, and do so with no prejudices. Diversity is not only surface level but brings together people who think differently than one another. They must be able to respect one another’s thoughts, ideas, and creations.

AFPM’s goal is to provide a forum for open discussions and promote new ideas.  AFPM is showing that diversity can truly help grow the industry and the individual companies and corporations that serve them. Perficient is proud to have colleagues that use their voice and talents in meaningful ways. Way to go, Cheryl!


At Perficient, we continually look for ways to champion and challenge our talented workforce with interesting projects for high-profile clients, encourage personal and professional growth through training and mentoring, and celebrate our people-oriented culture and the innovative ways they serve Perficient and the community.

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Sarah Shapiro, Regional Marketing Manager

Sarah Shapiro is a Regional Marketing Manager based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Sarah oversees marketing efforts for Perficient's GEO business units across the United States. She is a proud member of Perficient's Women in Tech ERG and serves on the Special Olympics of Missouri Young Professionals Board

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