We believe that only through many points of view comes true wisdom. And it is the wisdom of many that will be most definitely needed to solve the energy challenges we face today and into the future.
One Shell, many faces.
Finding innovative and responsible ways to secure the world’s future supply of energy can’t be done by few. It’s a monumental undertaking, and it’s going to require the input, knowledge and creativity of people around the planet.
This is why we don’t look at inclusion as an act of corporate goodwill. We don’t see it simply as “the right thing to do.” To Shell, having a diverse workforce is the only way we can accomplish our greatest company objectives. Yet, even more importantly, we see it as a matter of global necessity.
The energy challenges we face are enormous – and we’re endeavoring to put the best minds in the world to work on developing the solutions.
At Shell, we have come to affectionately embrace our differences. We rely on diverse perspectives in order to make progress that has the world’s best interests at heart. Through active recruitment efforts we are succeeding in creating an ever more diverse workplace.
But to us that is not the goal, only the result of our approach. The true mark of our success is that inclusion has become embedded in everything we do as a company. It is beginning to define us.
It is securing the future of our company, no doubt. But we also feel that in some ways we are helping to secure the future of society itself. And we believe that is a worthy step in the right direction.
Progress is a community effort.
The entire world runs on energy. So it only makes sense to reach out to the world in ways that make real meaningful connections. And we can only do this by having a diverse workforce of individuals naturally acting as our global emissaries.
We constantly connect with our communities from the company level all the way to the volunteerism of our individual employees. We have and support several community organizations that work to improve opportunities for women, people of color, people with disabilities and others.
Shell leaders regularly serve on the boards of nonprofit associations. We have built close working relationships with organizations such as the National Urban League and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
We have found that their goals are intertwined with our own. Working together to create opportunities for a diverse range of people surely strengthens our communities, which in turn strengthens our company.
Our outreach efforts also go beyond what can be done today, and start moving toward what should be done for tomorrow. Solving our future energy challenges is going to require the emergence of brilliant thinkers in the fields of math, science and technology.
We can’t afford to just hope that this will happen, so we’re taking action to steer young people down these paths now and eventually increase the talent pool for the entire industry. We are making a significant investment in education, primarily in urban schools from elementary to the college level.
We have initiated a number of programs, including math and science camps and competitions, career fairs, teacher development, scholarships and internships. All this to get students excited about obtaining the knowledge they will need to be the pioneers of energy’s future.
A team approach
An atmosphere of inclusion cannot be achieved through a corporate directive. It takes real culture change. And we believe Shell is progressing in this every day. We are creating an environment that is open to new ideas, where people are comfortable speaking up and challenging the norm.
This culture of acceptance, self-assurance and mutual respect has led to the formation of several employee networks within Shell. These company-supported networks were first created to advance the best interests and foster the career development of specific groups, such as African American, Asian, LGBT, Hispanic, women employees as well as new graduates and experienced hires.
Yet they have evolved far beyond an internal focus to having great impact on helping Shell accomplish its business goals. In fact, each group must have an approved business plan in place before its annual budget is approved.
These highly accountable networks are extremely valuable to our company. Through new employee orientation assistance, mentoring and formal talent-management programs, our networks actively enhance Shell’s recruiting and retention efforts.
Through charity and business event participation, they help us connect with our surrounding communities. They also give us valuable insight on emerging and niche markets, and provide unique perspective on ways to build our revenue and boost our success.
One might think that having network groups separated by designations such as race, gender and lifestyle would contradict a culture of inclusiveness. On the contrary, having collective special interests represented helps us get very focused on the most important diversity issues, and guides us on taking concrete actions that have a chance to make a real difference.