We are making progress towards gender balance at Shell. Today, women make up 50% of our Board of Directors and 47% of our graduate recruits globally (in 2021).

We are working towards gender equality in many ways, from flexible working such as working part-time when possible and targeted training programmes. For example, our Women’s Career Development and Senior Women Connect programmes give women at Shell platforms to develop their leadership skills and build networks. In support of working mothers and their families, we have a global policy offering a minimum 16 weeks maternity leave in every country we operate in.

We support the development and career aspirations of all our employees and strive for a working environment that is supportive and inclusive for all. We continue to focus on attracting and developing women especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and leadership roles and on eliminating any specific barriers to participation and progression.

We are also helping to address wider societal issues, such as fewer women than men studying STEM. We support STEM programmes in more than 20 countries and our flagship programme NXplorers is active in schools in 20 countries. In 2021 more than 50,000 students took part.

But we still have more to do. We are working to increase the proportion of female senior leaders at Shell. By the end of 2021, the percentage of women in senior positions in Shell was 29.5%. Our aim is to reach 35% by 2025 and 40% by the end of the decade. We are also taking meaningful action to address our gender pay gap. Our 2021 gender pay gap for Shell companies in the UK was 17.8%. A gender pay gap is the difference in the average pay and bonuses of all men and women in an organisation. Shell UK has a gender pay gap for several reasons including the fact that we have fewer women than men in senior leadership positions and fewer women in specialist roles, which attract higher levels of pay. Our full report explores these in more detail.

As at December 31, 2021 women comprise:

  • 50% our board, which exceeds the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33%;
  • 25% of our Executive Committee;
  • 396 of our top 1335 leaders
  • 33% of staff
  • 47% of our graduates (meeting our graduate recruitment target).; and
  • 34% of 1292 experienced hires in 2021

Our commitments

  • Pyramid Icon

    We will work to achieve 35% representation of women in our top 1250 Senior Leaders by 2025, and 40% by 2030. At the end of 2021 our representation was at 29.5% against our aspirational target of 30% by 2021.

  • Pyarmid Icon

    We will maintain year-on-year improvements in female representation in our top 120 Senior Executive leaders*, initially achieving 30% and then aiming for gender equality. As December 31 2021, this was 27.3%. We believe achieving at least 30% representation is a critical threshold to accelerate progress.

  • Pyarmid Icon

    We will work to achieve gender equality in our graduate recruitment every year.

  • Pyarmid Icon

    We aim to maintain or exceed the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% female Board membership, progressing towards 50% or more representation. Currently six out of 12 (50%) of board members are women.

*The total number of Senior Executives may change from year to year, and our focus is on representation as a % of this total group.

Our actions

We have a global policy offering a minimum 16 weeks leave following maternity.

We offer opportunities for flexible working to our employees.

Our mentoring programmes support women as they develop their careers.

We have two talent programmes tailored for women – the Women’s Career Development Programme and Senior Women Connect. Shell has more than 30 women’s networks around the world.

We have signed the World Economic Forum declaration on closing the gender gap in the oil and gas sector.

Trading their way to the top

Shell’s leaders explain why diversity is more important than ever.

Read More

Working with others

  • Catalyst CEO Champions

    Catalyst CEO Champions

    Shell has endorsed the Catalyst CEO Champions for change initiative, which aims to speed up progress towards gender equality in companies.

    Visit the Catalyst CEO Champions


  • Times Top 50

    Times Top 50 Employers for Women

    In the UK, Shell is on the list of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women.

    Visit the Times Top 50 Employers for Women

  • Avtar

    Avtar Top 10 Best Employers for Women

    In India, Shell has received an external award from diversity and inclusion consultants Avtar as one of the Top 10 Best Employers for Women.

    Visit Avtar


Closing the gender gap in engineering and technology

Shell is committed to helping women reach senior roles in engineering and technology. We aim to #MakeTheFuture by closing the gender gap.

Gender gap stories

The gender gap is real and many of you are standing up for gender balance. Every action counts.