Shell women discuss gender equality in the workplace.
Four Shell women discuss their career progressions and gender equality in the workplace.

How can women in energy achieve true gender equality?

We posed this question to a panel of four women working at Shell, and recorded their answers for a podcast to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016. All four believe that progress towards equality is being made globally, but that more needs to be done.

“It’s important for young women to see other women in leadership positions,” says Li P’ing Yu, Business Advisor to the Director of Shell’s Upstream business. Li P’ing knows how important role models can be, especially at the start of a career, having worked at Shell with some of the industry’s most accomplished professionals.

Li P’ing’s colleagues Maria Irvin, Nayrim Buchan and Marjolein van Delft have the same view. In the podcast, they share their experiences of working in energy, what they believe needs be done to achieve gender equality and what employers should be doing to attract more women into the industry.

“Careers in engineering aren’t easy, but they are rewarding,” says Nayrim. If we can get this message out to young women, she adds, then we can show the next generation that you can develop a meaningful career, regardless of gender or circumstance.

Shell’s commitment to equal opportunities for men and women made it the only oil and gas company to earn a place in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015 in the UK.

Meet our speakers

Li P’ing Yu, Business Advisor to the Director of UI

Li P’ing Yu, Business Advisor to the Director of Upstream

Li P’ing joined Shell in 2002 as a project engineer in Malaysia and her early years in Shell included roles in project management and contracting & procurement. She moved to the Netherlands in 2006 where she held a number of strategic, project integration, business development and commercial roles. In 2014, Li P’ing went on to study for her MBA at IMD in Switzerland before returning to Shell to take up her current role as Business Advisor to the Upstream Director.

Maria Irvin, VP HR Talent and Development

Maria Irvin, Vice President HR Talent and Development

Maria studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and graduated with an Honours degree in 1992. She began her career with BP as a process engineer at Grangemouth Refinery in Scotland. In 2004 she joined Shell, where she has built a successful career. In 2009, Maria became Vice President HR Exploration in the former Upstream International business. In 2015, she took up her present role as Vice President HR Talent and Development in Upstream. She oversees talent management including senior resourcing and succession, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and graduate and experienced recruitment.

Nayrim Buchan, Wells Engineering Manager

Nayrim Buchan, Wells Engineering Manager

Nayrim started her career as a consultant production technologist working for a number of oil and gas operators around the world. She joined Shell in 2014 as an experienced hire and went on to become the Functional Lead and Technical Authority for Completions and Well Interventions (CWI).

Marjolein van Delft, Indirect Tax Lead EMEA

Marjolein van Delft, Indirect Tax Lead, EMEA

Marjolein is also President of the Shell Women’s Network NL. In this role she has set a new strategy of implementing gender balance to achieve better business performance. She is also passionate about Diversity & Inclusion and is an active member of the ‘D&I in tax’ team.

International Women's Day activities around the globe

To engage with colleagues on the topics raised by International Women’s Day 2016, a number of events are taking place at offices around the world. There will be a Women@Work: Powering Forward event in Singapore with speakers from Shell, Microsoft, P&G, INSEAD plus invited speakers from EY and Twitter. In the Netherlands there will be a webcast led by Marjan van Loon, President Director of Shell Nederland, elaborating on the importance of gender diversity. And in the UK, Balance at Shell is asking people to #PledgeforParity to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity.

To discover more about International Women’s Day visit the official website.

More in careers

Women's perspective

Hear from some of the women making an impact at Shell and discover how they’re developing their careers and inspiring change in the workplace.

Embracing diversity

We’re committed to creating inclusive teams. Learn more about our people and networks who’ll help you feel supported and inspired.

You may also be interested in