It felt good that Shell cared about LGBT and the diversity of its people

When Filipe graduated in 2011, with a BSc in Human Resource Management & Employment Relations from the London School of Economics, his main goal was to be part of an international organisation that valued Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).

“Shell ticked all the boxes and before I knew it, I had been through all the stages of the recruitment process and was offered a place on the graduate programme. My first job rotation was as HR Advisor for IT and Finance, within Trading & Supply.

“I got to interact with colleagues from around the world. I was involved in an array of generalist HR activities from day one. Recruitment, on boarding, employee relations, performance management, data integrity and reporting were key areas.”

Shell’s culture and DNA

Before considering Shell, Filipe was not aware of Shell’s culture and commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.

“To be honest, I had this preconceived notion of Shell being a male dominated organisation,” he said. In the past 10 years, Shell has almost doubled the number of women in senior global leadership positions to 18.2% at the end of 2014. Naturally curious, Filipe researched Shell and discovered an active Shell LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Network promoting D&I activities and events both within and outside Shell.

“It felt good that Shell cared about LGBT and the diversity of its people. Back then, I challenged my own biases upon joining as at the time of applying, I wasn’t completely ‘out’. It probably mattered more, because I wanted to work for a company that valued diversity. 

“Within my first year, I organised a virtual session for more than 100 colleagues through the LGBT Employee Network on the importance of ‘bringing yourself to work’. This included senior Shell speakers and external perspectives.”

The LGBT Employee Networks

Shell Employee Networks operate on the principles of inclusion, open dialogue, and constructive contribution that focus on gender, culture and ethnicity, age groups, disability and sexual orientation.

The LGBT Network in the UK, for example, was established in the early 2000s, and now has groups in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, United States and India.

The Networks seek to promote equality for employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification. Shell employee volunteers form part of the Network to support LGBT staff. The LGBT Network brings people together, raises awareness of LGBT issues within the workplace and helps to break down barriers. The Networks connect globally to encourage equality, allowing employees to be themselves at work.

Progress, learnings and experience

Since March 2014, Filipe is in his second rotation of the graduate programme as the UK HR Policy Pensions & Benefits Advisor. He reflects on his personal and career learnings on his journey so far.  

“Don’t be afraid to challenge. You should engage with people about topics in a friendly, respectful and constructive way. This goes a long way to making an impact and bringing about change in society.

“Being myself is at the core of being able to develop and is vital to a happy and fulfilling life and career.” 

Discover more about our diverse and inclusive culture.

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