Shell’s connected colleagues
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.
Shell’s people are its top priority. Throughout the organization several support networks have been established to bring Shell’s diverse workforce together and leverage their talents to the benefit of the business.
With a range of objectives, including supporting and promoting business initiatives internally and externally, encouraging a healthier lifestyle and supporting personal and professional development, these communities help foster a company-wide culture of acceptance and mutual respect.
Here we look at four of these networks – the Women’s Network at Shell (WN@S), the enABLE Network for employees with disabilities, the Shell African Network and the LGBT Network – and the impact they’ve had on shaping Shell’s culture of diversity and inclusion.
Madiha believes networks are a great way to learn and develop.
When Madiha Khalid, who works as a HR Manager in Shell’s HR Operations, helped co-found the WN@S in Pakistan in 2014, it was in response to a need that was expressed through some internal employee survey results.
Women expressed the need for a forum to share experiences and lean on for support. The survey also concluded that women at Shell wanted to learn more about networking and female role models at work.
“I’m passionate about this network because it offers a safe environment and an opportunity to learn from each other,” says Madiha.
“It’s a unique opportunity not only for the current members but also for future members; itis a huge employee value proposition for women. Shell Pakistan was one of the first companies to have a structured women’s network in our country, so this is a great achievement and we are very proud of the team behind this.”
Madiha is a mother of two and knows first-hand how hard it is to get the balance right between work and family life. It’s important to her to help other women stay at work, realize their career ambitions, and be at their best.
Andy Kneen, HR Manager Trading and Supply Products, ex-chair and active member of the enABLE Networks in the UK and the Netherlands
Andy Kneen joined the enABLE Network in the UK in 2005 when it was just a small group of employees meeting to discuss issues surrounding disability in the workplace. With his help it grew in size and influence and today plays a leading role in progressing the disability agenda in Shell.
“People with disabilities innovate every day to manage their condition and adapt to different environments,” says Andy. “Often we find new ways to do things and look at scenarios from a different perspective. These are the type of skills we need in an organization like Shell.”
Today, there are nine enABLE branches across the globe dedicated to supporting and highlighting the work of disabled employees in Shell.
“The network is now something we can use to raise awareness about different kinds of disability and impairments,” adds Andy. “It gives us the power to lobby the organization and make the work environment more inclusive.”
Mavis Oti-Addo- Boateng, Board Advisor and Co-founder of the Shell African Network, UK
The Shell African Network (SAN) in the UK aims to improve the progression of employees of African and Caribbean heritage. Mavis Oti-Addo- Boateng says she’s benefitted both professionally and personally since the establishment of the network 17 years ago.
“Through personal development talks and mentoring sessions SAN has greatly enhanced my leadership, management, communication and negotiation skills. We help all our members gain career tips from senior Shell leaders – I’m proud to now be in the position where I can give back to the community alongside fulfilling my own career goals.”
Including a branch in the Netherlands, SAN membership totals nearly 300 people. In pursuit of their career ambitions, members connect through regular meetings, mentoring sessions and after-work social events.
“SAN has given me the opportunity to uphold strong personal values: fairness, giving back and helping others to achieve their dreams,” Mavis adds.
Robert Ingham, Chair of Shell LGBT Network, UK
The Shell LGBT Network was established to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues have the confidence to be themselves and reach their full potential within a wholly supportive work environment.
Robert Ingham has been Chair of the network since February 2016 and was Vice Chair before that. He joined the committee initially “to gain a greater understanding of what it would entail,” but it wasn’t long before he became a fully-fledged member as Events Officer.
“I have gained a huge amount from being the Chair – not only is it a great learning curve, it’s also helping develop my leadership skills. Plus, it’s wonderful to watch a Network evolve and knowing you are part of that,” says Rob.
“I’m very proud of what we have achieved and know there is so much more to do. With events over the past year, it is clear these networks are essential to help build people’s awareness and knowledge of what it means to be LGBT.”
The remit of the LGBT network in Shell isn’t just limited to within the organization: the network is also a founding member of InterEnergy, a group who provides networking and learning opportunities to LGBT professionals across the UK.
The range of networks at Shell captures our global commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive working culture in which every one of our people can achieve the career they deserve and enable the company to achieve outstanding business results.