Addressing the need to increase the number of diverse suppliers in the energy industry, Shell Deer Park Chemicals recently invited 40 women business owners associated with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) to spend an afternoon at the site to learn about the industry and how to best position their companies as potential suppliers.

WBENC certifies women-owned businesses across the U.S., enabling access to the education, support and tools they need to grow and succeed. Shell is a co-sponsor of the WBENC Energy Executive Program, which helps strengthen industry knowledge and relationships, increases competitive advantages and adds capabilities to become an integral part of the global energy supply chain.

“Shell wants to engage with women-owned businesses and see how we can help develop their companies and ultimately be a source of business opportunities,” said US Gulf Coast Supply Chain Manager Todd Arnold, who led the effort to organize the event with WBENC Senior Director Lindsey All. “We would not have been able to accomplish this without the unbelievable support from the site, from volunteers serving as tour escorts through our facilities to the senior leaders who participated in the panel discussions.”

‘See behind the curtain’

A highlight for Arnold was the feedback at the event’s conclusion. “There was an awareness that it was a unique opportunity to see behind the curtain and help them find their fit with Shell, and that is a major objective we wanted to achieve,” Arnold said. He also observed numerous participants in discussions with senior leaders that may be the start of mentor-type relationships.

As a corporation, Shell has a goal to build on its long history of working with diverse suppliers as part of its support for diversity, equity and inclusion. “Beyond the growth targets, ultimately it’s just the right thing to do,” Arnold said. “It starts internally with staffing our company but includes our supplier base as an important core value.”

Learn more about Shell’s commitment to Supplier Diversity.

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