Bringing balance to the Upstream Leadership team
In the UK sector of the North Sea, Shell produces approximately 10% of UK oil and gas. Shell produces oil and gas from more than 50 interests in North Sea Fields, 30 North Sea platforms and two FPSO’s – one operated and one operated on our behalf. We operate three onshore gas plants and a marine terminal that distributes natural gas liquids around the world.
Our Upstream business face specific challenges in achieving gender balance because of the under-representation of women in specialist roles. These roles also attract higher levels of pay because of a scarcity of skills in the market. So recognising this, we have plans to build a culture in which women can thrive to achieve better representation.
Our Upstream business extracts oil and gas from the North Sea and brings it onshore to meet the many energy needs in the UK. Traditionally, it has been a very male dominated environment, due to the tough working conditions and fewer women studying engineering at university. Because of this, 14% of our technical roles are held by women, with few senior female role models.
One area we are focusing on is improving diversity at the top. Achieving better balance at the leadership level has brought more diversity of thought to our discussions, leading to:
- More visible leaders for junior employees to look up to;
- A more inclusive and open culture where issues are discussed and acted upon; and
- A fresh approach to developing women ranging from our social investment programmes for secondary school pupils to targeting female colleagues for development opportunities.
There is no quick fix, balance will take time, but we are committed to bringing about change. Our focus is now on bringing better balance at the middle management level, so our culture strengthens from the top to bottom.
We recognise the strength that comes from having a balanced and diverse organisation. To be successful in Upstream we must continue to embrace and champion diversity and inclusion, as evidenced by the leadership team taking active roles within our employee networks. There are unique challenges to the Upstream business, and the initiatives in place aim to support us in achieving our goal of a better balance amongst leadership and within technical roles, as we know this will make us an even stronger business.
Journey to Gender Balance: Upstream Leadership Team
Title: Upstream Leadership Team | Journey to Gender Balance
Duration: 1:37 minutes
How Shell UK have addressed the gender balance in their leadership team and are now extending efforts to reach balanced representation throughout the business.
Upstream Leadership Team | Journey to Gender Balance Transcript
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Interview with Steve Phimister
Vice President Upstream, Shell UK and Ireland
We have a very exciting business here and we need the very best minds to deliver on our very challenging objectives.
Slightly panning bird’s eye view of a deep water platform surrounded by ocean. Reverse mid-view footage of a worker, wearing safety gear, walking through the piping and infrastructure of a plant beneath blue sky. Close-ups in profile, cutting to a front view, of a worker, wearing safety gear, her gaze focused on the wheel she is turning.
I’m Steve Phimister, Vice President for Shell’s Upstream business in the UK and Ireland. We know that diversity creates the environment that we need for creativity and innovation, which is why we’re doing our best to address our gender balance.
Close-up of Steve Phimister, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment. Close-up in profile of a man and a woman seated alongside one another, engaged in conversation. High angle reverse view footage of the same two people, seated at a work station in an office, engaged in discussion; the man points to the computer screen facing them. Point of view footage, entering through a doorway, of several people engaged in discussion in an office, two seated in office chairs next to workstations, another standing and leaning against the work station countertop; a car park and trees are visible through the expanse of windows in the background. The shot cuts to a closer view of the three people engaged in discussion.
Over the last 12 months, on my leadership team, we have gone from a 20% female representation to where we are today, which is in balance. We’ve done that by casting the net very widely for the best minds and the best talent we can find across the Shell group.
Close-up of Steve Phimister, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment. Mid-view footage of several people seated around tables in a meeting room, laptops and documents open on the tables in front of them. Close-up of one of the women, Marianne Eide, seated at one of the tables, and then cutting to a close-up of her colleague seated across from her, as they speak in turn. Footage from various mid-view and close-up angles of two young women engaged in discussion, standing in front of a white paper chart on the wall to which different coloured post-it notes are affixed along with text and graphics; both touch and point to the chart in turn as they speak. Close-up of Steve Phimister, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment.
Interview with Marianne Eide
Development Manager, Shell UK and Ireland
I’m Marianne Eide. I’m the UK Development Manager. I think this really matters. Having women at the top of the organization as their role models will really encourage others to pursue their careers. This hasn’t just helped our gender balance, but it’s brought a different cultural perspective, and what we’re seeing is that it does make a difference.
Close-up of Marianne Eide, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment. Low angle footage of a worker, wearing safety gear, descending a stairway in a plant, the sun shining brightly in the blue sky above. Mid-view footage of two women, cutting to each one in turn, as they are engaged in discussion while seated in an office environment. Slightly panning footage of a man seated at a desk, wearing a headset, his gaze focused on the laptop in front of him; garden foliage can be seen through the expanse of windows behind him. Profile footage of several men and women seated at desks alongside each other in an office environment, an expanse of windows forming the background. Mid-view, cutting to close-up footage of a man and woman standing at a tall, round table in a modern professional interior space, holding coffees and engaged in discussion. Close-up of Marianne Eide, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment.
Interview with Anthea Hampson
Offshore Operated Asset Manager, Shell UK
I’m Anthea Hampson, Offshore Operated Asset Manager for the UK. By having better balance in the teams and greater diversity, we achieve better business outcomes. And as a UK leader, I’m proud of the progress we’re making on this.
Close-up of Anthea Hampson, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment. High angle close-up footage of a couple of the men seated in a meeting room, one gesturing as he speaks. Profile footage of a man and two women seated at desks alongside each other in an office environment, an expanse of windows forming the background. Wide footage of Anthea and another women seated in a meeting room, engaged in discussion, more colleagues seated together in the background. Close-up of Anthea as she speaks to her female colleague, cutting to a close-up of her colleague seated across from her, listening as Anthea speaks. Close-up of Anthea Hampson, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment.
Interview with Steve Phimister continued
And the work doesn’t stop there. We’re now extending our efforts to try to reach balanced representation much deeper into our organization throughout the business.
Close-up of Steve Phimister, speaking into the camera, seen in an interior office environment. Low angle, slightly zooming wide shot of Steve, Marianne and Anthea posing alongside one another, a large Shell pecten displayed on the brick wall that forms the background to the shot.
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© Shell International Limited 2018
For a number of years, each of our businesses and functions have focused on talent plans to support the identification and development of women at different stages of their careers.
We have maintained our focus on embedding the principles of diversity and inclusion in the way we do business despite challenging global conditions and an organisational review in 2020. Read more about how maintaining a diverse workforce is central to our Powering Progress strategy and the future of Shell in the UK.
These describe the specific and differing challenges in some of our business areas, and the actions being taken to improve representation and build a more balanced and inclusive workplace at Shell in the UK.