As he becomes Chair of the Board of Catalyst, an organisation aiming to expand opportunities for women and business, Shell’s CEO explains why D&I is a strategy for winning.
CEO Peter Voser has been appointed Chair of the Board of the non-profit organisation Catalyst, which works to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women and business around the world. He originally joined the Catalyst Board in 2010. We ask him what his appointment means for him and for Shell.
Peter, why do you believe Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is so important for Shell, and how can it help us achieve our ambition of becoming the world’s most competitive and innovative energy company?
I strongly believe that diversity and inclusion is a strategy for winning and directly supports our ambition. It’s about unleashing talent and matching it to business success. Embedding D&I within our structure, people, processes and culture will result in more customers, employees, stakeholders and partners choosing Shell more often.
D&I is an important part of who we are and what we stand for and a necessity for sustainable growth.
What does this appointment mean for Shell and to you personally?
I think this is a great opportunity for Shell. Catalyst is a highly-respected forum for some of the world’s leading thinkers in this area. Shell has a strong two-way relationship with Catalyst. We benefit from its research and its member networks and we bring our own experience, having driven a global D&I agenda for many years now. Our continued and close association with Catalyst clearly demonstrates how seriously we’re taking our objective of getting more women into Shell’s talent pipeline and how committed we are to developing our people.
I consider it a great personal honour to take this leading role in working to expand opportunities for women across the world. I passionately believe this has benefits for individuals, communities and organisations everywhere.
When you spoke at the 2011 Catalyst Awards, you said that a diverse and inclusive workforce was just about the strongest asset an organisation can have and that you were investing a lot of your time in building up Shell’s strength in this area. What progress have we made in the past two years and what do you think has been your biggest contribution?
We have made progress in different areas of diversity and inclusion, but when focusing specifically on gender diversity, I’d say we have made improvements over time in terms of recruiting women, strengthening the female talent pipeline and representation of women in senior leadership positions. But we are not where we want to be yet. On the contrary, I want us to up our game and accelerate progress by delivering on our commitments.
What does this mean for women at all levels across Shell?
That Shell is serious about attracting, recruiting and developing the best and most diverse talent, who will contribute to the future success of our company. And that opportunities for talented females will increase as we make progress in our quest for great diversity in our global mix. Shell is a great place to work and D&I is an advantage that will enable a competitive performance culture.
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