Celebrating differences makes a difference
A culture of openness and togetherness is helping enable our employees reach their full potential, no matter what their circumstances.
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."Peter
Network of support
To support our employees with disabilities, we have a number of supportive internal employee networks in place, most notably the enABLE Networks. First launched in 2005 in the UK, there are now thirteen enABLE Networks across the globe (some well established such as those in UK, NL, USA, Canada, Brazil, France and India, and others just starting out in our emerging markets’.)
Each enABLE Network provides people with disabilities, or people whose lives have been touched by those with disabilities, an open forum to engage and share experiences. Through this open discussion, the network raises awareness and understanding of the challenges faced so that line managers and colleagues have the knowledge to support those with disabilities to thrive in the workplace. It allows employees with disabilities the opportunity to improve the work environment to make it more inclusive for all.
“Through the sharing of information and personal stories, others in the company are able to develop their understanding of [disability matters] and their ability to be more inclusive in the workplace. – Cherrelle Williams
Creating a space for this dialogue is crucial to facilitating the kind of open collaboration that is required for employees with disabilities to thrive.
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:
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