Shell UK reports a 22.2% mean gender pay gap


Energy and fuel organisation Shell UK has reported a mean gender pay gap of 22.2% for fixed hourly pay across its seven employing entities with more than 250 employees and five employing entities with less than 250 employees as at 5 April 2017.

The organisation has reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2018 for its seven employing entities with more than 250 employees. Shell UK has voluntarily added its gender pay gap data for the organisation’s remaining five employing entities with less than 250 employees in order to provide a fuller picture across the business.

Gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were awarded bonus pay; and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

The median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 23.4% as at 5 April 2017.

The mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 5 April 2017 is 43.2%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 25.5%. Over this period, 97.5% of both men and women received a bonus payment.

More than a fifth (21.9%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Shell UK are women, compared to 25.5% in the second quartile, 29.8% in the third quartile, and 53.1% in the lowest pay quartile.

As at April 2017, 33% of Shell UK’s workforce are women, compared to 67% of men. More than a quarter (26.8%) of senior roles within the UK business were held by women as at quarter one in 2017, compared to 12% in 2005. Furthermore, 47.4% of the organisation’s UK graduate roles were filled with women in quarter one of 2017, compared to 34.3% in 2014 and 39.2% in 2005.

Shell UK has attributed its gender pay gap to the fact that more men than women hold senior positions within the business, and that women are underrepresented in upstream specialist roles, such as petroleum engineering, and trading positions. These job roles often attract higher levels of remuneration due to the scarcity of skills or because it is a highly competitive market. Upstream specialist roles, which are currently filled by 82% of men, also tend to attract premiums for offshore working or shift hours.

The organisation’s gender pay gap for bonuses has been attributed to the higher variable pay rates that can be seen in some areas of the business, such as trading. Although this reflects market practice, Shell UK has fewer females in these positions.

Shell UK has introduced a culture of inclusion in order to address its gender pay gap. This includes leadership principles, such as signing the World Economic Forum declaration on gender, leadership programmes that focus on inclusion and unconscious bias, and an annual UK diversity and inclusion week, as well as benefits such as enhanced maternity, adoption, surrogacy and shared parental leave policies, a variety of diversity and inclusion programmes to raise awareness and educate, and the implementation of voluntary employee network groups. All roles within the business are also advised as flexible working positions.

In addition, Shell UK measures UK diversity and inclusion every quarter, reviews succession plans to ensure talent pipelines are balanced, assesses performance ratings annually to check for unconscious bias, and aligns UK senior leaders’ global business targets with inclusion and gender balance aspirations. Shell UK uses gender neutral practices and unconscious bias during its recruitment process, defaults all job roles to be available on flexible working terms, and provides peer-to-peer coaching to support women at the organisation. Inspirational employee stories are also shared on internal news channels.

Shell UK also regularly analyses whether men and women are paid equally for equal work, and the organisation also conducts skew checks as part of its annual performance ratings.

Sign up to our newsletters

Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ronan Cassidy, chief HR and corporate officer, said: “The publication of the UK data provides a good opportunity to take stock, and a good reminder of why it is important to maintain the momentum of efforts internally and externally and keep focus on the issue.

“Our drive to gender balance started years ago. Are we where we aspire to be? No. But we should recognise the significant progress we have made, especially the marked change in gender balance at recruitment and the increase in senior leadership representation, and draw confidence from that for the future in driving gender presentation towards critical mass. The executive committee and I remain passionately committed to improving gender balance across all our businesses.”