Shell operates in more than 70 countries and we value our differences in race and ethnicity. We have been working on improving the representation and experience of people of different races and ethnicities within our organisation by taking the following steps.

We support and sponsor different employee resource groups or networks around the world, including the Shell black Networking Group in the USA, the Shell African Network in the Netherlands, and the black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network in the UK. They bring together people at Shell to provide a strong voice that can help shape our workplaces.

Protests during 2020 in the USA and other parts of the world have caused everyone to think more deeply about what diversity and inclusion means at work. Within Shell, we have had many conversations on race and equity, how we can help address systemic injustice or other societal issues, and what we can do to contribute to eliminating barriers to inclusion. Many of these conversations were initiated and facilitated by our employee networks and took place at all levels of the company, including in the Executive Committee.

These conversations caused Shell to re-examine the experiences of our black and other ethnic minority employees, and to refocus on the importance of feeling included, respected and valued.

We also work with others. In the UK, for example, Shell was one of the first organisations to sign up to the Business in The Community Race at Work Charter, launched in 2018 to help companies to tackle barriers that ethnic minorities face in recruitment and career progression.

In the USA, we work closely with organisations such as the National Urban League, one of the largest and oldest civil rights organisations in the country, in these critical areas: supplier diversity and minority-owned businesses; science, technology engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programmes; and justice and civil engagement.

Our commitments

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    To maintain or exceed the Parker Review expectation of having at least one Board member from an ethnic minority by 2021 with a goal of then increasing that representation to two.

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    We will aim to increase racial and ethnic representation across our workforce so that we better reflect the communities in which we work and live. This commitment builds on historical efforts but goes further, beginning in the UK and the USA and followed by the Netherlands. We will be transparent about our progress.

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    We will focus on attracting, developing and progressing the careers of underrepresented people within our organisation, with a current emphasis on black employees and other people of colour.

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    Each country will develop diversity plans that are sensitive to local context. For example, in the UK, we have set a recruitment ambition to have 8% black representation in our graduate and experienced hires by 2025, to increase representation in line with UK society through actions such as mentoring and outreach. In the USA, the plans focus on increasing the representation and talent pipeline of black people and other people of colour, subject to compliance with local legislation.

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    Through the country plans we will also establish actions to support racial and ethnic equity in the communities in which we work through diversity outreach, workforce development and increased supplier diversity.

Our actions

In 2020, we created the Shell Diversity and Inclusion Council for Race, supported by an Employee Advisory Board. The Council is sponsored by Ben van Beurden, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer, Wael Sawan, Upstream Director, and Donny Ching, Legal Director. Read more about the Council and the Employee Advisory Board.

In the UK, Shell UK published its first diversity pay gap report in 2020 which voluntarily includes data on our ethnicity pay gap.

In the UK and the USA, we have revamped the mentoring and sponsorship programmes to better support black employees. This includes reciprocal mentoring opportunities for senior leaders to better understand the experiences of black colleagues and reflect on what they can do to be more inclusive – and to coach black mentees in their career progression.

We have initiated a global programme to identify key factors contributing to black representation gaps. This is starting with a focus on refreshed diversity and inclusion training for our employees and increased leadership accountability for promoting an inclusive environment for all employees throughout their careers.

We will use similar programmes and strategies to work to further understand the experiences and challenges facing our other underrepresented ethnic minority groups.

Working with others

  • National Urban League

    National Urban League

    In the USA, we work closely with organisations such as the National Urban League, one of the largest and oldest civil rights organisations in the country.

    Visit National Urban League

  • Business in The Community (BITC) - Race Equality Leadership Team

    Business in The Community (BITC) - Race Equality Leadership Team

    In the UK, for example, Shell was one of the first organisations to sign up to the Business in The Community Race at Work Charter.

    Visit Business in The Community

  • BRiIM logo

    Black Representation In Marketing

    We are part of BRiM (Black Representation In Marketing) - a cross-industry collaboration powered by a group of the world’s largest advertisers that aims to improve the representation of Black people in Marketing.

    Visit Black Representation In Marketing


- In the USA, Shell ranked number 10 in Minority Engineer Magazine’s Top 50 Employers 2020.


Supplier diversity

Shell is committed to aggressively seek out and develop the resources we will need to manage the energy needs of the 21st Century.

Shell in the UK diversity pay gap report

At Shell in the UK, we want to create an environment that is as diverse as the communities in which we operate; where all employees are able to be themselves, thrive and deliver great work.