Supporting our LGBT talent at Shell
At Shell we support and enable remarkable people from every background and strive to be a pioneer of LGBT inclusion in the workplace.
At Shell we care about the diversity of our people because we believe that a fully inclusive workplace allows our employees to flourish and so allows our business to flourish.
When our employees excel, we excel. It’s for this reason that we are proud to support our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff, promoting equality for employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Inside this section
Meet James, co-founder and President of Kaleidoscope, to learn how the network has grown and what lies ahead at Shell.
Meet Michelle, a Senior Manager with Shell’s Prelude FLNG project, and someone who is bringing her whole self to work.
Shell consistently scored 100% in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index which rates US companies on LGBT equality.
Welcome to Shell - Everyone
During the week of Pride Amsterdam 2018 in the Netherlands, four Shell retail stations in the area proudly wear the rainbow colors, the universal symbol for equality. By supporting Pride Amsterdam, we want to let our staff, partners, customers and the wider community know that Shell values and celebrates the freedom to be who you are. Want to find out more? Have a look at the video above.
Title: Welcome to Shell. Everyone.
Duration: 01:33 minutes.
At Shell we encourage everyone to be their true self, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe that a fully inclusive workplace allows our employees, and our business, to flourish. When our employees excel, we excel. It’s for this reason that we are proud to support our LGBT+ employees from around the world.
During Pride Week, four Shell stations around Amsterdam will proudly carry the symbol of the LGBT+ community, the rainbow flag. Because we believe that diversity should be seen and celebrated. Welcome to Shell - Everyone.
Peaceful piano music
I think diversity is very important because, you need to be able to be you. It’s as simple as that.
Diversity is very important for society, because we need each other.
Simply being open and welcoming to everybody, everyone is equal; and if you can project that as a large company that’s very good for society.
[Marcel de Vreede]
Many people use this zebra crossing and are reminded of it every day – not just at Shell. In a country like the Netherlands, diversity should be such that everyone can be who they are and express themselves.
I do think that without diversity, life would perhaps be boring. Through the different cultures, different people, you can make a very good life out of it.
[Norbert van Beelen]
I think it’s courageous. The fact that Shell, is one of the first, and in some countries is taking the lead, I find that really courageous. It is not just like, “Look at me, I have a lanyard with pretty colors.”’ It is also because I want to be active and have people address me about diversity and inclusiveness.
[Machteld de Haan]
This is why four stations around Amsterdam are displaying the symbol of equality: the rainbow flag. Because we believe that diversity should be seen and celebrated. Welcome to Shell. Everyone.
“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 organization 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 organization 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 Kaleidoscope, 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 organization 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 organization working to achieve equality for LGBT Americans.
- Ally program – Shell has established a number of ally program 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 realized 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 prioritize 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, Organization 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.”
More in careers
Networks at Shell help staff to connect, share ideas and support each other in reaching their potential. Find out from the people involved how these communities are helping them develop.