Woman working from home during the Covid lockdown

A Digital World Accessible to All

Shell is creating an increasingly inclusive digital experience for employees and customers.

By Alisa Choong – Senior Vice President and Chief information Officer for Information & Digital Services and Operations on May 19, 2022

Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. At Shell we are working to become one of the most diverse and inclusive organisations in the world. A place where everyone feels valued and respected. In September 2021, our Executive Committee declared Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) a “business imperative”.

As a leader in our Information and Digital Technology organisation, I take great pride in the fact that, together with my colleagues, we can create an increasingly inclusive digital experience for our employees and our customers. If we don’t consider accessibility while designing and developing IT and digital solutions, we could be excluding people without realising. Therefore, our IT function plays a key role in enhancing the accessibility of our digital solutions.

We are also creating an increasingly inclusive experience for our customers. For example, our partnership with the fuelService app allows drivers with a disability to request assistance at our retail sites before they start their journeys, and pay from their cars.

Here are 4 key actions we took to make our digital solutions accessible to all our stakeholders, including staff.

1. Create IT Accessibility Standards

We require all our IT solutions to be as accessible as possible to all, regardless of disability. Our Accessibility Standards are embedded in our Brand standards. These standards include accessibility guidelines and best practices for design, communication, and coding.

2. Address the small details that make a big difference

For example, live captions are crucial to make meetings more inclusive to all participants, notably those with hearing impairment. We have rolled out live captions in 28 languages for our online webcasts. Colleagues can read live captions and also access transcriptions of meetings.

3. Put the standards into practice

Last year, we held our first IT Accessibility bootcamp. Over fifty colleagues from around the world developed innovative solutions in response to accessibility issues highlighted by users with disabilities. These results are now part of a technology deployment roadmap and the ideation bootcamp has become an annual event.

As a central organisation, the IT function helps to identify common needs and challenges, and source relevant solutions with suppliers. We replicate best practices and apply the learnings from the use of special hardware and software to build a service catalogue catering for different disability needs. We share our learnings back with our peers through the UK-based Business Disability Forum.

4. Be a champion for diversity

Our community of IT professionals has a mandate to champion Diversity, Equality & Inclusion within Shell and with our customers. We have trained over 850 IT professionals on accessibility. Over 40 colleagues including software engineers and testers, business analysts and project managers form a voluntary network to engage and drive awareness and ensure our commitments are met, whether building or buying technology.

a chart illustration of what everyone can do to support colleagues with IT Accessibility during meetings

Our accessibility commitments are backed from the very top. In 2019, our Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden joined the Valuable 500 - a global business collective made up of 500 CEOs and their companies, innovating together for disability inclusion. The following year, our Group Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jay Crotts signed the Accessible Technology Charter (see below). It sets out ten commitments to good practice on information and communications technology (ICT) accessibility – which we had met by the end of 2021.

The supply of affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy is crucial for addressing global challenges, including those related to poverty and inequality. A pillar of Shell’s Powering Progress strategy is our goal to Powering Lives through our products and activities, and by supporting an inclusive society and workplace.

Accessibility will remain a priority as digital technologies take more prominence in many aspects of our lives. We believe every solution should be accessible by design and tailored to the specific requirements of our colleagues and customers. 

To find out more about the business advantage of disability inclusion, listen to Alisa Choong and other senior executives at TechShare Pro 2021 in this video.

BDF Technology Charter signed by Shell CTO Jay Crotts

Alisa Choong is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Shell Information and Digital Services and Operations. She is responsible for the end-user strategy for Shell employee and contractors globally and plays a key role in laying the foundations for Shell’s digital transformation.

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