We are making progress on gender balance at Shell. Today, women make up 38% of our Board of Directors and around 50% of our graduate recruits globally.

We still have more to do. The percentage of women in senior positions in Shell was 27.8% at the end of 2020. Our 2020 gender pay gap for Shell companies in the UK was 18%. A gender pay gap is the difference in the average pay and bonuses of all men and women. Shell UK has a gender pay gap because we have fewer women than men in senior leadership positions and fewer women in specialist roles attracting higher levels of pay.

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 the opportunity to strengthen their networks and focus on leadership. In support of working mothers and their families, we have a global policy offering a minimum 16 weeks leave following maternity, (or any longer period provided for locally).

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 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 17 countries. NXplorers promotes diversity and female participation in STEM subjects.

Our commitments

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    We will work to achieve 30% representation of women in our top 1400 leaders by the end of 2021, 35% by 2025 and 40% by 2030, compared with 27.8% at the end of 2020. We will maintain year-on-year improvements in female representation in our top 150 Senior Executive leaders, initially achieving 30% and then aiming for gender equality. At the end of 2020 this was 22.7%. We believe achieving at least 30% representation is a critical threshold to accelerate progress.

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

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    We aim to maintain or exceed the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% female Board membership, progressing towards 50% or more representation. Currently five out of 13 board members are women.

Our actions

We have a global policy offering a minimum 16 weeks leave following maternity, (or any longer period provided for locally).

We offer opportunities for flexible working to our employees.

Our mentoring programmes support talented women as they develop their careers.

We have two training programmes specifically 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

On International Women’s Day, 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.

Developing the female leaders of tomorrow

Discover how two leadership development programmes at Shell are helping women advance their careers and become the leaders of tomorrow.

NXplorers student wins a prestigious award

Read about Neha, from Karnataka, India who in 2020 won a national award for improving the health and safety of local farmers and helping them save energy by applying the skills she learned in NXplorers.