Talent management

With a rich history that spans more than 135 years, ExxonMobil has been one of the most successful corporations in the world.  We have a strong culture that has underpinned our success for decades.  Foundational to this legacy are the commitment and hard work of our people as well as our shared core values of integrity, excellence, courage, resilience and care.  


In this article

Talent management

ExxonMobil’s primary talent management objective is to sustain a world-class workforce and ensure we have the capabilities to deliver our business objectives and grow shareholder value.  With our global scale, we offer broad and diverse career opportunities.  It begins with recruiting exceptional talent and continues with individually planned assignments and experiences that lead to broad skills development and a deep understanding of our businesses.  

Diversity is not a standalone activity; it is embedded in our core values, talent management approach, and the culture to which we aspire.

United States / International workforce split

Gender split, EMPT employees and executives

Worldwide, U.S.

EMPT - executive, managerial, professional and technical


Total number of employees
U.S. / International workforce, percentage

                  U.S. 40
                  International 60
EMPT employees and executives, by gender, percentage
                 Worldwide EMPTs - Male 66
                 Worldwide EMPTs - Female  34
                 Worldwide Executives - Male 78
                 Worldwide Executives - Female 22
                  U.S. EMPTs - Male 72
                  U.S. EMPTs - Female 28
                  U.S. Executives - Male 77
                  U.S. Executives - Female 23
U.S. Minority EMPT employees and executives, percentage
                  U.S. EMPTs 27
                  U.S. Executives 18

View the full performance data table. 

Recruitment and local workforce development 

ExxonMobil has consistently been a top-rated engineering employer with longstanding recruiting and internship programs for both professional and manufacturing disciplines.  Many of these programs have been in place for over 30 years. Our internships give students opportunities to apply classroom skills and concepts in the workplace, gain valuable exposure to their chosen field of study, and obtain practical work experience. 

Our complex operations require deep technical skills. More than 60 percent of our professional workforce have technical degrees, including from scientific and engineering disciplines. These disciplines traditionally have presented a lower availability of diverse candidates, which has a direct impact on our overall diversity mix.  Our programs are therefore designed to improve access to diverse talent.  Since 2014, we have consistently hired candidates for professional roles at levels above availability for female and U.S. minorities.  In 2019, 37 percent of our professional hires in the U.S. were minorities, with 14% percent Asian, 8% percent Black/African American, and 11% percent Hispanic/Latino.

ExxonMobil’s financial aid and internship programs play an important role in identifying diverse talent.  For example, in the United States, we provide scholarships and funding through partner associations with the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and others. These help expand the pool of talented students pursuing college degrees. We provide technical scholarships to minority students seeking degrees and certifications in operations disciplines. 

We also partner with local community and technical colleges near our major manufacturing or operating locations to provide scholarships and curriculum input. In some cases these partnerships provide equipment to support trade and technology programs.  Our objective is to support efforts that expand the skills of the local workforce to prepare them for roles in the energy industry.   

We also contribute to initiatives to increase diversity in the U.S. energy sector that are sponsored by industry trade groups such as the American Petroleum Institute. These include programs aimed at local workforce development for under-represented communities, as well as increasing the capacity and utilization of diverse suppliers who can support the industry.  


Number of executive, managerial, professional and technical (EMPT) hires 

              Worldwide EMPT hires 5,207
              U.S. EMPT hires 1,893
Worldwide EMPT hires, by gender, percentage
               Male EMPT hires 63
               Female EMPT hires  37
U.S. EMPT hires, by gender, percentage
              Male EMPT hires  68
              Female EMPT hires 32
U.S. Minority EMPT hires, percentage
                U.S. EMPT hires 37
                Asian 14
                Black/African-American  8
                Hispanic/Latino 11
We recruit exceptional people and give them personalized career plans and unique experiences, which leads to an average length of service of more than 30 years for career employees.

Employee development and retention

ExxonMobil invests in people for long-term careers. Through a combination of work assignments, on-the-job experiences, and focused training and education, employees acquire the skills and competencies to take on increasing levels of responsibility and job complexity.  

Our employees have expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, behavioral sciences, finance, mathematics, chemistry, and biology, to name just a few.  ExxonMobil has more than 20,000 scientists and engineers, including 2,300 PhDs, and has been recognized for technology innovations.

Our career-oriented, individually tailored development approach results in employees moving to new developmental roles about every three years. An average length of service for career employees is more than 30 years.  Employee development is enhanced by investing in formal training, which delivered 88,000 corporate or technical training sessions to employees in 2019.    
Retention is enabled though rewarding job experiences, a deliberate approach to career planning, and by sustaining a productive and inclusive workplace where employees can bring their unique perspectives to help achieve ExxonMobil’s business objectives.  

ExxonMobil’s compensation and benefits programs support the company’s talent management approach and are designed to attract and retain talent for a life-long career through a total package that is market competitive.  Compensation is highly differentiated by individual performance and builds over a career, whereas benefit programs address employees’ needs throughout their careers and into retirement.   

Retirement plans such as savings and/or pension plans form an integral part of this offering and are underpinned by the financial strength of ExxonMobil, or the respective affiliate. 

Ensuring access to affordable health care helps employees effectively manage health care issues and reduces related financial concerns. ExxonMobil also offers a variety of workplace flexibility programs to maintain engagement and maximize productivity by addressing individual employee needs. Examples include adaptable workplace arrangements, modified work weeks, part-time employment, and adjustable work hours. 

Training spend

  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012  2011 2010
Total corporate and technical training expenditures, millions of dollars
77 62 94 108  124  117 96 88 80 77

View the full performance data table. 

Executive leadership development

Developing the company’s future leaders is vital given the complex and long-term nature of our business.  The decisions our executives make and the risks they manage play out over time horizons that are often decades in length.  Leadership development ensures we have the necessary skills and capabilities to deliver on our business strategies and facilitates development of the next generation of leaders from within the company.  Given the size and scale of ExxonMobil, developing these leaders requires a thoughtful and rigorous approach.  As an example, the average length of service for our most senior executive leaders is 36 years.  

Identification of future leaders begins in the early stages of employment. We look for employees who have the capability and willingness to contribute at senior levels of our organization throughout a long career.  It takes about 15-20 years to develop a new hire into an executive.  We focus on individualized development plans, prioritize targeted skills and capabilities, and ensure employees get the right assignments at the right stage in their careers to ensure readiness to assume larger executive level roles.  Development plans evolve over time as performance is demonstrated and leadership potential is tested.

ExxonMobil’s senior leadership team reviews individual development plans annually along with the overall health of our leadership pipeline and succession plans.  This includes monitoring key indicators to ensure the rate and pace of development are progressing as intended, including females, minorities, and international employees.  Where we see differences, necessary corrective actions are implemented and monitored.  

ExxonMobil’s board of directors plays an important role in leadership development.  The CEO leads an annual review with the board on the succession plans for key leadership positions and the diversity of our leadership pipeline.  

We are making good progress toward achieving our objective of proportionate diversity in our executive population.  For example, in 2019, 22 percent of ExxonMobil’s executives were women compared to 13 percent in 2009 – an increase of 69 percent. This compares to 34 percent female representation in our global professional workforce. Minority representation among our U.S. executives increased 80 percent, from 10 percent to 18 percent, from 2009 to 2019. Of the 18 percent U.S. minority executives, 6 percent were Asian, 5 percent were Black/African American, and 6 percent were Hispanic/Latino.  This compares to 27 percent minority representation in our U.S. professional workforce of which 9 percent were Asian, 7 percent Black/African American, and 9 percent Hispanic/Latino.

Leveraging diversity 

We strive to build an inclusive culture that respects and values diversity.  All employees have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and excel based on contributions and performance.  We maintain a foundational objective that employees are rewarded based on merit with consistent, uniform, and unbiased treatment.

ExxonMobil is committed to building and sustaining a diverse workforce.  Diversity strengthens us by promoting unique viewpoints and challenging each of us to think beyond our traditional frames of reference.  We leverage this diversity to create competitive advantage, enabling teams and individuals to be more innovative, resilient, and better equipped to navigate the complex and evolving global energy business. We expect our leaders to demonstrate behaviors that foster inclusive and productive work environments. 

Our ambition is that our workforce and leadership reflect the communities and culture where we operate, and to have proportionate representation aligned with availability.  We are proud of the progress we have made to diversify our workforce.  

Globally, more than 160 nationalities are represented in our employee base. Since 2015, female representation in our professional workforce has increased 6 percent. In the U.S., minority representation in our professional workforce has increased 18 percent over the same period. 

Employee-led resource groups (ERGs) assist management in delivering on our talent management objectives by supporting recruiting, onboarding and skills development through mentoring programs. Our ERGs include:

  • Asian Connection for Excellence (ACE)
  • Black Employee Success Team (BEST)
  • Global Organization for the Advancement of Latinos (GOAL)
  • Organization for New Employees (ONE)
  • People for Respect, Inclusion and Diversity of Employees (PRIDE)
  • Veteran Advocacy and Support Team (VAST)
  • Women’s Interest Network (WIN)

Our Standards of Business Conduct govern ExxonMobil employment practices.  These standards support our commitment to provide equal employment opportunities, prohibit discrimination in the workplace, and align with applicable laws in the countries where we operate.  We do not tolerate harassment in any form. A violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  We train all new employees on the standards and require periodic continuing education courses.

ExxonMobil actively fosters a productive work environment where individual and cultural differences are respected and valued, and where all employees are encouraged to contribute fully to achieving business results.