Stichting Shell Pensioenfonds (SSPF) administers pension entitlements and pension rights for former and current Shell employees who entered company service before July 1, 2013, and their dependants. SSPF believes it is important that all the fund's stakeholders feel that they are being represented. Where possible SSPF endeavours to ensure that the Board and the Accountability Council are a representation of the current participants.
Basic principles of the SSPF Diversity Policy
Diversity is consciously promoted within the bodies and committees of SSPF on the grounds that it has the effect of broadening the horizons of the Board, the Accountability Council and the Board of Supervisors and therefore brings improved management, improved accountability and improved internal supervision respectively. The Diversity Policy is therefore a core element in the composition of the bodies of SSPF.
Therefore, in the appointment and subsequent recruitment of Board members, the Accountability Council and the Board of Supervisors of SSPF, diversity is taken into account in addition to the required expertise, competences and professional conduct, as described in the Pension Fund Code of Governance and the Dutch Labour Foundation, which entered into effect on January 1, 2014.
For the composition and succession of the Board and the Accountability Council every endeavour is made to:
- represent diverse skills, cultures and opinions as a result of which the members of the Board and the Accountability Council form a reasonable representation of SSPF stakeholders;
- strike a good balance of men and women;
- have an even age distribution.
When addressing these objectives it is important to be aware that Shell is an oil and gas company and that traditionally (and even now) there are many more men than women. Participants of SSPF are aging. Due to the closed nature of the SSPF scheme (since July 1, 2013) the average age of participants will increase in years to come.
In the appointment and subsequent recruitment of members of the Board of Supervisors, training, background, personality, gender and age are taken into account.
Another dimension of diversity is complementarity; a diversity of people with skills and expertise that complement each other. This results in more complete management, accountability and internal supervision.
The above diversity requirements for prospective members of the Board and the Board of Supervisors have been included in the profile. The same competence level is desired for the Accountability Council. The Board assesses proposed candidates for SSPF bodies and committees partly based on diversity objectives.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at Shell
The SSPF Diversity Policy complements the Shell Group's Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Policy. D&I is a permanent process that focuses on respecting the diversity of people, and allows them to be themselves and achieve their best at work. It removes obstacles so that each employee can make a valuable contribution to Shell's activities regardless of how different he or she is.
"Diversity" means all the ways in which people differ from each other. This includes diversity through visible differences such as age, gender, ethnicity and physical condition. But also invisible differences such as beliefs, religion, nationality, life experience, sexual orientation etc. Various networks are active within Shell in the Netherlands, such as the Shell Women's Network, Young Shell, the Shell Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Network, the Shell enAble Network for employees with disabilities, the Shell Middle East and North Africa Network and the Shell Asia-Pacific Network.
"Inclusion" means a work environment where differences between people are appreciated, where everyone has the opportunity to be himself within the values, norms and principles of Shell, and where his or her skills and talents can develop. Inclusion results in an organisation where people are connected with each other and the company. This is not only good for the motivation of the employees but also creates added economic value.
The annual Shell People Survey contains questions about D&I which together form the D&I Index. The questions relate to whether the work environment appreciates different values and perspectives and is free of discrimination and offensive behaviour. Recent years have shown a marked improvement in these aspects at Shell.