Race and equity

Events in 2020 have caused everyone to think more deeply about what diversity and inclusion means in the workplace. Within Shell, we have had many conversations on race and equity, how we can help combat systemic injustice or other societal issues, and what we can do to contribute to eliminating barriers to inclusion.

The creation of the Shell D&I Council for Race and the Employee Advisory Board (EAB) is one outcome of these conversations. The Council will focus on listening and taking steps to improve the inclusion and experience of Black employees and other underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. It will also make reporting and transparency of data a priority. When addressing representation gaps, the Council has identified the US and the UK as initial areas of focus. The Council will also look for ways to promote diversity in our supply chains and in the wider communities where we work. 

The Council is sponsored by Ben van Beurden, Shell’s CEO, Wael Sawan, Upstream Director, and Donny Ching, Legal Director. The Council has two independent members who provide outside perspectives and guidance; John Amaechi, CEO of APS, a UK strategy consultancy, and Marc H. Morial, President of the National Urban League, a civil rights and urban advocacy organisation in the USA.

The Council will also focus on changes to behaviours so that we are more inclusive of underrepresented groups within the organisation. The standards expected of employees and contractors are set out in our Code of Conduct and the Shell General Business Principles. We have clear guidelines for Shell leaders about the inclusive behaviours we expect from them and, starting in 2021, there will be mandatory training for all Shell employees promoting inclusive behaviours at work.

Shell employee networks include

  • The Shell Africa & Caribbean network
  • Shell Black network
  • Black, Asian & Minority ethnic (BAME) network
  • Asian network
  • IberoAmerican Network

A new conversation on race

Shell created the Employee Advisory Board (EAB) in October 2020. It is made up of 20 people with diverse perspectives and experiences from around the world. The members of the EAB include the heads of our Black and African networks in the USA, UK and the Netherlands. The EAB represents the voice of employees at Shell, and acts as advisor to the D&I Council for Race.

Ruby Anandajayasekeram

Ruby Anandajayasekeram, Shell Senior Legal Counsel, Australia is chair of the EAB:

 “Unfortunately, the world is not changing as quickly as I would like it to. It takes strength and courage to tackle difficult conversations, educate ourselves, listen to our people and their experiences, and take action to bring change. Having strong visible leadership from our CEO and other senior leaders is inspiring and has empowered many of us to speak up in 2020 and become more active change makers.

The events in 2020 have had a big impact on me and have caused me to reflect on my own experiences as a proud migrant Australian of Sri Lankan heritage, born in Canada, with my childhood in Tanzania and Kenya. My previous instinct was to assimilate without even thinking about it, because it was (and is) easier not to highlight your difference. But this needs to change – we all need to support each other to promote inclusive environments where we celebrate our differences, wear them with pride, and not leave them at the door when we walk into our workplaces in order to fit in.” 

It is important for the EAB to be able to ‘say it as it is’. The EAB looks forward to contributing to Shell’s vision of promoting an environment where everyone belongs, can be themselves and successfully thrive.

Inside this section

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An Opportunity to Make a Difference: Andy’s story

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