“Diversity in the workforce has made Shell a great place to work, and brings the best out of everyone I work with. And yet, even though I was so aware of the inclusive culture at Shell, I was still blown away by the response from my colleagues when I eventually decided to come out.”
- Michelle Gardiner, Senior Manager Shell FLNG Project
Our approach is all about reinforcing respect for our employees and raising awareness rather than changing individual beliefs. Our Code of Conduct expects us to provide equal opportunity for all staff wherever they work regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Statement of Intent
“To create an inclusive work environment where all employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are given every opportunity to reach their full potential. We will ensure respect for our people and providing psychological safety for LGBT staff at Shell in line with our core values.”
LGBT Networks at Shell
Shell LGBT Networks have been set up as a supportive space for LGBT colleagues to find confidence in being themselves at work. They aim to raise awareness of the challenges that LGBT staff face and work with people at all levels of the organisation to ensure Shell is an inclusive workplace.
The first LGBT Network was established at Shell in the US in 1997 and was soon followed by networks around the world, including in the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, India and as recently as 2015 in South Africa (see box).
“I’m so grateful to work for an organisation that not only supported the launch of this network but constantly strives to become a more inclusive space for its employees. I look forward to seeing Kaleidoscope continue to reach beyond our corporate head offices to our people in regional Australia.”
- James Fowler, Mechanical Engineer and co-founder & President of Kaleidescope, Shell Australia’s LGBTI+ Network
They connect colleagues – including allies - across the business and raise awareness by breaking down barriers, for example by running awareness and support sessions, and participating in local events.
Showing our support
Our support for LGBT equality includes:
- Workplace Pride – Shell is a member of Workplace Pride, a non-profit umbrella organisation foundation based in Amsterdam that strives for greater acceptance of LGBT people in the workplace and society. In 2012 we became a co-signatory of the Workplace Pride Declaration of Amsterdam in support of an LGBT inclusive workplace.
- Human Rights Campaign – Shell is a corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest civil rights organisation working to achieve equality for LGBT Americans.
- Ally programmes – Shell has established a number of ally programmes that serve to make senior leaders more aware of the challenges of being LGBT across Shell, as well as having leaders visibly and actively supporting the work of the various networks.
- Flying the flag for Pride –As a public sign of corporate support, Shell flies the Pride flag outside many offices during Pride weeks and International Coming Out Day.
Take a look at our video Celebrating Pride All Around the World
- Awareness training – We provide awareness training on sexual orientation as part of our D&I Learning Portfolio. We incorporate LGBT inclusion in all D&I training globally wherever Shell operates, including countries where being LGBT may be subject to restrictive legislation.
Strength to be yourself
Professionals like Karrie Trauth are proud to work and inspire others at Shell, and we aspire to offer the kind of environment that attracts and motivates them to give their best.
“Since working at Shell, I’ve realised just how much emotional energy is wasted by members of the LGBT+ community who feel they cannot be out at work. Statistically employees are 15-20% less efficient if they’re not out at work, making it extremely important for companies to prioritise an inclusive environment if they want to achieve maximum productivity.”
Karrie Trauth, General Manager for Shipping and Maritime technology and Innovation
Shell recently became the first company in South Africa to establish an LGBT Network. While the country is very progressive in terms of LGBT rights in Africa, this was still a big moment.
Mark Emdin, Organisation Effectiveness Manager, Global Functions, said: “It should serve as a beacon for staff in countries where it’s not easy, or even legal, to be LGBT, that they can be their true selves at Shell.”