Royal Dutch Shell Diversity Case Study

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Introduction Since 1996, Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) had been promoting the diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, which aimed to increase the variety of compositions and values the differences such as, age, sex, gender, race, nationality, and education (Sucher & Corsi, 2012, p. 5). Yet, Voser’s, the new Chief Executive Officer, Top Management Team (TMT), was dominated by middle-age American and European men from 2008 to 2009. Because diversity could have both positive and negative impacts on the company (Webber and Donahue, 2001) and the nature of industry as well as the contextual circumstances could both support or hinder various diversity characteristics (Cannella et al., 2008), the implications regarding the short run situations and…show more content…
Because the employees could not see the alignment between the D&I policies and the lack of diversity in the TMT (Sucher & Corsi, 2012, p 11), Shell, as a global firm, might not be able to fully achieve the diverse atmosphere it was hoping to establish. By having the no-diverse TMT for a long period, employees could think of the D&I initiatives as superficial. In order to convey that the D&I concepts were vital to both TMT and the company, senior executives and the CEO should make sure they are providing encouragement to help forming employees’ trust (CIPD, 2017). Employees might reflect the fact that Shell could not enforce the D&I initiatives at the TMT level as the failure of the D&I programs. This is because in order to emphasis a diverse culture, not only the standpoints of TMT could be keys to the successful execution of the D&I initiatives, but they could also help encourage the target minorities to strive for working in positions with power and voice (Jones, 2006). If Shell decided to keep the no diversity policy in the TMT despite all the efforts to encourage diversity mindset of the managers, to promote supportive environments and to provide guidelines for hiring and promotions, minority employees would start to lose confidence in the D&I initiatives seeing that there was still a barrier between them and positions in the upper echelon. Voser, however, might be able to defend his choice of the composition of TMT that there were not enough qualified managers with minority status at the senior level (Sucher & Corsi, 2012, p. 11). Nonetheless, since Shell had been promoting the D&I projects for quite a long time, in the long run, the employees’ confidence would depend on the composition of the TMT, which theoretically should reflect the more diverse pool of the TMT

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