However, our ethnicity declaration rate is not 100% and all calculations are based on a declaration rate of 75%. The 25% of our workforce who have not provided data or chosen not to declare their ethnicity cannot be included in our calculations.

We also recognise that without a near 100% declaration rate on ethnicity, we cannot at present provide a complete picture of pay and bonuses across Shell in the UK from an ethnicity perspective. Voluntarily publishing our ethnicity pay gap data demonstrates our commitment to greater transparency, and coupled with our internal campaigns, we hope this further increases our declaration rates. An improved declaration rate is crucial in building a more complete profile of our workforce and better tracking trends in the years ahead.

In our first year of voluntary reporting, the average ethnicity pay gap is 8.5% and our ethnicity bonus gap is 9.3%. Within the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, the pay gaps vary, and we see the highest pay gaps when comparing the average pay of Black employees with the rest of the workforce.

Explaining our gap

The key factor driving our ethnicity pay and bonus gap is:

Proportionately lower representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees than non-BAME employees in senior roles.


While Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees comprise 21.1% of our total UK workforce, overall Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation decreases as seniority increases, with 13.7% representation in senior roles which attract higher levels of pay. This means we have proportionately fewer Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees at senior levels, where the highest bonus amounts are typically paid, and this is the primary driver for our ethnicity bonus gap.

It remains a priority to increase the representation of ethnic minorities at Shell in the UK to be in line with the relevant UK working population, and to remove any barriers to progression to senior levels for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees. To drive this progress, we aim to increase the number of employees recruited from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and we have introduced recruitment aspirations for Black representation. We are sponsoring opportunities for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds to participate in development programmes, and providing greater visibility of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) role models for employees as they navigate their own careers.

Our approach

We aim to create a culture that allows all our employees to bring their whole selves to work, be their best and thrive and perform well. 

Case studies

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.

Download the 2020 report

Read more about our progress towards diversity balance.