FROM 2008-2010, Royal Dutch Shell had chosen to recognize International Women’s Day by sponsoring or participating in events and webcasts coordinated by outside organizations. In 2011, we chose to organize and execute our own global webcast in recognition of International Women’s Day. Since we have operations in over 90 countries, it was no easy task to ensure all time zones were given a reasonable opportunity to participate. The webcast was designed to communicate our progress against our goal of increasing the number of women in our senior leadership, to give visibility to more leaders who have been champions of our women’s initiatives, and to showcase the numerous contributions being made by our women’s employee networks around the world.
We scheduled two webcasts coordinated out of our headquarters in The Netherlands to give everyone a chance to participate. Women’s Employee Network leaders from the Netherlands and the UK presented the many accomplishments of the Employee Networks around the world. The webcasts were taped for playback for those who could not participate live, and we transcribed the webcasts for those with a hearing impairment.
In the end, well over a thousand individuals participated in at least one of the webcasts. The quantitative feedback collected at the end of each webcast and the anecdotal comments made in the office indicate this was the most successful webcast we’d ever held. It clearly accomplished our three objectives and raised the overall visibility of D&I globally.
The fact that we initiated our own global webcast with internal presenters conveyed a level of management commitment that went far beyond what we had done in the past. In addition, the profiling of our women’s networks globally had never been done in this way before, and it showcased a “joined up” effort across all the networks and, for most, was the first time others outside their country had heard the success stories from other regions.