The Diversity Policy is a core element in the composition of the bodies of SSPF. 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 see themselves represented.
Where possible SSPF endeavours to ensure that the board and the Accountability Council are a representation of the current participants. The SSPF diversity policy is in keeping with the so called Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policy of the Shell Group. D&I is a permanent process that focuses on respecting the diversity of people and gives them a free rein in their 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.
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. Diversity stimulates creativity, innovation and prevents tunnel vision. 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.
For the composition and succession of the board and the Accountability Council every endeavour is made to achieve:
- diversity of skills, cultures and opinions; members of the board and the Accountability Council form a reasonable reflection of those having an interest in SSPF.
- a balanced distribution of individuals among businesses, functions and locations.
- a good balance men and women.
- at least one member under and at least one member over 40.
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.
The present diversity SSPF
As of March 2020 2 of the 8 SSPF board members are women. Each of the 5 board members in active Shell service works for different business units (businesses and functions), including Joint Ventures, in the Netherlands and abroad. The backgrounds of retired Pension Fund Managers within the company are also diverse.
The SSPF Accountability Council consists of 4 women as of March 2020, 2 of whom fulfill the roles of Chairman and Secretary. The experience and background, within Shell, of representatives of the active participants as well as of the pension beneficiaries is very diverse.
1 of the 3 members of the board of Supervisors is a woman. She is also the Chairman. The members of the board of Supervisors have diverse professional and company backgrounds.
In the board's opinion a reasonable level of diversity has been achieved with regard to age and gender. However, the diversity can be further promoted in the coming years, specifically with regard to age. Attention is paid to this during the succession planning. For vacancies in the board or Accountability Council, Shell and the Central Staff Council of Shell in the Netherlands (COR) are requested to take specific account of the diversity standards in the Pension Fund Code of Governance when nominating candidates. The starting point is that SSPF at least meets these diversity standards.
Evaluation of the SSPF Diversity Policy
The board evaluates the Diversity Policy over the longer term 3 times per year. The SSPF Annual Report includes the reports about the age and gender composition of the board and Accountability Council and about the efforts made to promote diversity within the bodies.