Bringing strong foundations through our Trader Development Programme
Building better gender balance in our Trading organisation through the Trader Development Programme, where people learn everything they need to know to become a trader.
Nigel Hobson, VP Trading and Supply
“Our trading business has hubs around the world and we manage our workforce’s diversity globally. The UK, though, is a good example of the challenges we face.
First, people often think that the trading industry is male-dominated. In reality, that’s changing, but people’s perceptions can make attracting female applicants tough.
Second, London is a global financial centre, so we face stiff competition to retain top female traders.
A key way to achieving balance in the future is going back to the start, asking ‘are we attracting enough diverse applicants?’ We have an excellent Trader Development Programme (TDP). But we found we weren’t attracting enough female candidates.
So, in 2017, we changed how we promote the programme. To reach a more diverse audience we broadened the channels we use to include Facebook, LinkedIn and media that appeal to a wider demographic. We also refreshed our assessment materials and now ensure a gender balance in our pool of people who assess potential candidates. The changes to our approach delivered some fantastic results: in 2017 45% of our internal and external TDP intake was female, way up on previous years. Of course, this is just part of our efforts – which also include initiatives like flexible working and inclusive leadership training – but it is making a real difference now and will in the future.”
By taking steps to remove barriers to participation in our industry for women, we are close to a 50/50 gender split for our graduate intake in 2018. This is a huge step and gives us strong, gender-balanced foundations for the future.
Journey to Gender Balance: Trader Development Programme
Trader Development Programme | Journey to Gender Balance Transcript
We're working hard to improve the gender balance in our trading organisation. We need the best men and women to succeed in a very competitive sector. But achieving gender balance can be challenging because people have an image of what they think the trading industry is like, and it can put off some candidates. That's something we're determined to change.
One way to get better balance tomorrow is by building strong foundations today. That's why we're focused on our Trader Development Programme. The programme is an intensive two- to three-year course that gives people the skills they need to become a successful trader. But we were really struggling to attract diverse applicants. So by changing the way we promote the programme and refreshing the candidate-selection process, we've noticed some fantastic results.
Last year, 45% of our intake was female, which is way up on previous years. The Trader Development Programme is a fantastic introduction to trading. There's a really good mix of people on the programme - different genders, backgrounds and nationalities. It gives us all the skills and experience we need and access to a great network of mentors to support us in our careers. It's great to see a more diverse community taking shape, which is already making an impact on our bottom line.
This is one of the many things we're doing to build better gender balance, and all of us on the leadership team are determined to continue making significant progress.
In September 2019, Shell in the UK held a series of engagements on D&I focused on race and ethnicity at work. This included a campaign to increase ethnicity declaration ahead of plans to better understand our ethnicity pay gap in 2020.
Our UK Chair, Sinead Lynch, hosted a ‘Let’s Talk About Race: A Time for Solidarity’ panel discussion in June 2020 on why the topic of race and ethnicity should matter to everyone at Shell in the UK, what we are doing to address racial inequality at work, and how we can all play our part to be more inclusive.
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.