To maintain or exceed the Parker Review expectation of having at least one Board member from an ethnic minority by 2021 (this was achieved), we now aim to increase that representation to two.
Working To Address Racial Inequity
We are working to address racial inequity and create an inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued.
Shell operates in more than 70 countries. We value our differences in race and ethnicity. We continue to work on improving the representation and experience of people of different races and ethnicities within our organisation by taking the following steps.
In 2020, we created Shell’s Global Council for Race, supported by a global Employee Advisory Board composed of employees from a diverse mix of racial and ethnic backgrounds from around the world. The Council is sponsored by Ben van Beurden, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer, Wael Sawan, Upstream Director, and Donny Ching, Legal Director, and its members include two external advisors, Marc Morial, President of the US National Urban League, and Dr Nneka Abulokwe ,OBE, Founder & CEO MicroMax Consulting. It aims to advance diversity in our workforce so that it better reflects communities where we work and from which we draw talent, and focuses on the USA, UK and the Netherlands because these are the Shell hubs where we see the most significant opportunities for representation and inclusion of racial and ethnic diversity. Read more about the Council and the Employee Advisory Board.
As of December 31, 2021, we met the Parker Review expectation with one member of our Board being ethnically diverse.
In the USA, in 2021, 65% of our US employees were White; 33.2% were People of Colour, with 13% Asian, 11.8% Hispanic/Latino, 8.4% Black, and 1.8% in the Other category. In the UK, in 2021, 78.5% of our UK employees identified as White and 21.5% were from an ethnic minority background. Our ethnic minority employees identified as Asian (13.1%), Black (3.4%), Mixed (2.4%) or Another Ethnic Background (2.6%). As ethnicity declaration is voluntary in the UK, our ethnicity declaration rate is not 100% and all calculations are based on a declaration rate of 81%.1
We aim to progressively roll out a global project starting in 2022 offering voluntary self-identification for employees (subject to local legal and contextual constraints), which will include race and ethnicity where relevant. Collecting this data from our employees will give us better insights to drive our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts forward.
Our ongoing conversations at all levels of the organisation on race and equity guide us as we continue to learn and refocus on the importance of feeling included, respected and valued, and what we can do to address racial inequity and eliminate barriers to inclusion.
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. We are also part of Black Representation in Marketing (BRiM), a UK initiative to improve the representation of Black people in marketing. In the Netherlands, we partner with the Refugee Talent Hub, to work together and learn from each other building on a foundation of innovative technology and skilled people with IT experience.
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. Through supplier diversity in the USA, Shell is investing in our collective future by growing capable, historically under-represented businesses into the supplier partners our industry needs to be sustainable and meet the energy needs of tomorrow. By doing so, we work to change the profile of our supply chain to reflect and uplift the communities in which we live and work.
We support and sponsor various employee resource groups or networks around the world focussing on race and ethnicity inclusion - including those with a focus on Asian, African, Black, Caribbean, Hispanic, Indigenous, Middle East, and Pacific groups. They bring together people at Shell to provide a strong voice that help us shape our workplaces.
1 The 19% of our workforce in the UK who have not provided data or have chosen not to declare their ethnicity were not included in our calculations.
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.
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.
Each country will develop diversity plans that are sensitive to local context. For example, in the UK, we have set a recruitment ambition that 8% of our graduate and experienced hires by 2025 be black, 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.
Through these 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, where applicable, increased supplier diversity.
Our Council for Race, established in 2020, and supported by a global Employee Advisory Board continues to focus on advancing diversity in our workforce so that it better reflects communities where we work and from which we draw talent. 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 was one of the first FTSE 100 companies to publish its first diversity pay gap report in November 2020 which voluntarily includes data on our ethnicity pay gap. Shell UK voluntarily published its second ethnicity pay gap report in March 2022. We also co-sponsored the UK 2021 Race at Work survey conducted by the membership organisation Business in the Community. In the US, we are launching mandatory anti-racism training for all US staff. In the Netherlands, we began implementing our first Ethnic Inclusion action plan in 2021 and established an employee sounding board and an external sounding board to support this process.
In the UK and the USA, we have created or revamped 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. This includes our aim to progressively roll out a global project starting in 2022 offering voluntary self-identification for employees (subject to local legal and contextual constraints), which will include race and ethnicity where relevant. This will help us better understand how we can support our staff from underrepresented ethnic minority groups and improve their inclusion experience at work.
Working with others
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.
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. We also co-sponsored the UK 2021 Race at Work survey conducted by Business in the Community.
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.
- In the USA, Shell ranked number 10 in Minority Engineer Magazine’s Top 50 Employers 2020.