When Peter, a consultant in Diversity and Inclusion, first joined Shell more than a decade ago, the term Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) was still in its infancy.

Today it is essential in creating a culture of openness and togetherness that enables our employees to reach their full potential and create a greater impact within the environment they work in. By celebrating differences it actually brings teams closer together.

"Diversity and Inclusion is not just about gender or ethnicity. It’s about recognising diversity of thought, valuing different generations and respecting cultural differences."


It’s Shell’s willingness to address and accommodate differences that first attracted Andy Kneen, Human Resources Manager for Gas in Projects and Technology and Chair of the enABLE Network in the Netherlands, to the organisation.

Networks of support

After graduating from university, Andy was involved in a road traffic accident. After two years of operations and rehabilitation, he felt ready to find a job.

“Shell was the first company to get back to me. At the time I was in a wheelchair, but they made it clear it wasn’t an issue. I had a very positive experience and I joined as a result of that. Shell was very accommodating and they created a great first impression.”

A few years into his career, Andy decided it was time to give something back. He joined Shell’s UK enABLE Network in 2005, when it was only a small group of employees who met to discuss issues surrounding disability in the workplace.

Today there are six enABLE Networks across the globe, including in the UK, the Netherlands, France, the USA, Canada and Brazil. 

“The network is now something we can use to raise awareness about different kinds of disability and impairments. It gives us the power to lobby the organisation and make the work environment more inclusive.”

Constantly raising the bar

While disability is a large focus of the D&I team at Shell, it isn’t the only one. Ensuring both gender and nationality diversity has long been a crucial part of Shell’s global policy.

Since 2000, when the first targets were put in place, the number of women in senior leadership positions has more than doubled. Added to this, there are now Women’s Networks in more than 20 countries.

In the countries in which we operate, we’re increasingly hiring local talent to fill senior positions. The people who understand how work is best done in countries around the world are those that have grown up and worked there. 

It’s aspects like this that show there is a true business case for embracing diversity beyond the moral responsibility to mirror the countries in which we work.

Support from top to bottom

D&I is not simply about addressing differences, it’s about creating an environment that enables people to develop and want to stay. It relies on support from all levels, especially from senior leaders.

Regular employee workplace surveys of Shell employees reaffirm this. The feedback shows that one of the biggest differentiators for employees is the behaviour of their immediate supervisor.

It’s a sentiment that goes right to the top:

"A diverse population in Shell contributes different ways of thinking, and through that, provides the innovation we need to ensure our portfolio is both attractive and resilient."

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

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