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Our people

Our people play an important role in accelerating Shell’s transition to a net-zero emissions business, while also helping us address the energy needs of today. We aim to develop the talent of our people within a diverse and inclusive environment where we can empower them to be their best.

All metrics throughout this section exclude the employees in portfolio companies, except for the metrics reflecting total employee numbers, actual number of employees by geography, percentage of women employees, and mandatory training courses.

In 2022

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    employees at December 31, 2022

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    Countries and territories

    countries in which we operate

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    women on the Board of Directors

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    Executive committee

    women in Executive Committee

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    Senior leaders

    women in senior leadership positions

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    Women employees

    women employees

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    formal training days for employees, joint-venture partners, and contractors

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    Experienced hires

    People joined Shell
    (40% women, 60% men)

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    Graduate hires

    People joined Shell
    (49% women, 51% men)

Employee overview

We employed 93,000 people on a full- or part-time basis at the end of 2022. This compares with 83,000 at the end of 2021 and 88,000 at the end of 2020. The data include people working in Shell subsidiaries, Shell-operated joint ventures and those seconded to non-Shell-operated joint operations, or ventures and associates. The employee numbers for 2021 and 2020 reflect headcount in the Shell HR system and full-time equivalent numbers for portfolio companies, which maintain their own HR systems.

Changes in headcount

In Shell companies, excluding portfolio companies, headcount fell by 5,000 from 82,000 to 77,000 between 2020 and 2021.

At the end of 2022, after the implementation of our Reshape strategy which saw a reduction of more than 7,300 jobs in Shell, headcount grew by 2,000 to 79,000 people because of the recruitment of employees in Information and Digital Technology and Trading and Supply.

The Reshape job reduction includes 3,500 employees who elected to leave Shell on selective voluntary severance (SVS), thereby reducing the number of enforced redundancies. We have always sought to conduct the job reductions process in accordance with our core values of honesty, integrity, and respect for people. Throughout the Reshape process, we supported those facing job reductions by helping them to find internal and external opportunities to retrain or learn new skills.

In Shell portfolio companies which maintain their own HR system, full-time equivalent employee numbers remained constant between 2020 and 2021. At the end of 2022, the employee headcount in portfolio companies increased by 8,000 to 14,000 people driven mainly by acquisitions, growth in new activities and new disclosure in Mobility, Lubricants, Renewables and Energy Solutions as we continue to implement our Powering Progress strategy.

The table below presents the breakdown of employee numbers by geographical area.

Note 32 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements” provides the average number of employees by business segment.

Actual number of employees by geographical area

























North America




South America








Voluntary turnover is a reliable indicator of the effectiveness of Shell’s people management policies. In 2022, our voluntary resignations remained low compared with a range of industries. Around 5.0% of all Shell employees voluntarily resigned in 2022. This compared with 4.4% in 2021.

The tables below present the breakdown of employees by type of employment contract and age group.

Percentage of employees by contract types





Permanent Contract/employment at-will [A]




Fixed Term Contract





Employment at-will is used in the USA to describe employment contracts.

Percentage of employees by age group





Under 30 years old




Between 30–50 years old




Above 50 years old




Shell aims to be an attractive employer to its existing and prospective employees. Across the more than 70 countries we operate in, we provide competitive remuneration with a range of benefits, such as global minimum maternity leave of 16 weeks. From January 2023, we offer at least eight weeks paid parental leave for non-birthing parents.

People are our most important asset and we believe in developing our employees. Career progression tools, such as an internal job portal, individual development plans, coaching and formal training have been in place for many years. We offer employees the opportunity to develop their careers within Shell, including rotations across different parts of the businesses to advance their skills and progress.

In 2022, 10,300 Shell employees were promoted (40% of which were women and 60% men), compared with 10,000 promotions (44% of which were women and 56% men) in 2021.

People development is a priority in company-wide and leadership communications. We account for learning as part of annual budget planning and we aim to ensure our learning curricula are updated and accessible to all employees.

In 2022, 266,000 formal training days were delivered to employees, joint-venture partners and contractors. This compares with 271,000 in 2021 and 234,000 in 2020. We aim to build the confidence of our employees in their employability throughout the energy transition. Shell has increased learning offerings related to new skills that may be needed. In 2022, around 4,000 Shell employees completed courses on various topics, including hydrogen production, carbon capture and storage, and energy management.

We have focused efforts on expanding access to virtual courses and on a return to in-person training workshops, which were paused due to the pandemic.

Team leadership plays a key role in driving employee engagement. We seek to develop leaders through learning programmes, domestic and international assignments, and project opportunities. In 2022, 25% of team leaders in Shell received access to a classroom learning.

Employee engagement and support

Hearing from employees provides valuable information for management and contributes to the governance of Shell. Insight into employee needs and perspectives enables Shell to continually learn and improve its policies, processes, and practices.

Management regularly engages with employees, including through internal and external elected employee representatives, and a range of local formal and informal channels. Our employee engagement forums also include webcasts and all-employee messages from our CEO and other senior leaders; town halls and team meetings; virtual coffee/chai connects; interviews with senior management; and internal social platforms. These engagements enable Shell to maintain a locally constructive employee and industrial relations environment.

In June 2022, the Chair of the Board, Sir Andrew Mackenzie, met with representatives of the Shell European Workers Council (SEWC) as part of their annual plenary meeting at Shell Centre in London. Also in 2022, various members of the Board visited sites in Singapore and the UK, where they engaged with Shell employees.

For further information on stakeholder engagement, see “Workforce engagement”.

The Shell People Survey is one of the key tools we use to measure employee engagement, motivation, affiliation and commitment to Shell. It provides insights into employees’ views and has had a consistently high response rate of above 80% since 2016. In 2022, the survey attained its highest ever response rate of 87% (up 3.4 percentage points from 2021). We believe that increased employee engagement can result in better business performance and safety. The Shell People Survey 2022 showed a positive, upward trajectory across all Shell businesses and functions. The average employee engagement score rose three points to 78 from the 2021 level and returned to the level seen in 2019 and 2020, our highest engagement score in the last 10 years, reflecting the resilience of our people during a time of change. Across Shell, employees also have access to senior leaders, local employee forums and employee resource groups. The Shell Global Helpline is available for employees to raise concerns or dilemmas anonymously if they wish.

Employee well-being

Shell believes people perform at their best when they feel cared for. We operate in locations with different local regulations and we seek to comply with all applicable local laws and regulations, including on working hours. Across Shell operations, we aim to eliminate discrimination in employment, forced labour, and child labour. We also respect the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association.

We take pride in fostering an environment that provides employees with the flexibility and support to focus on their mental, social, physical, and financial well-being. Shell has implemented initiatives and programmes to raise awareness of well-being at work, such as our Be Well, Care for Self, and I’m Not OK campaigns. We aim to develop individual and team skills, mindsets, and behaviours to create a safe working environment, to nurture a culture of care, and to continuously improve the support Shell offers employees.

Flexible work

Shell’s offices remain essential to business performance. Through them we seek to build a sense of community, foster affiliation, and collaboration, and create a place where employees feel welcomed and valued. Shell wants individuals and teams to perform at their best and key to this is to enable people to balance their work and personal lives. Following the pandemic, Shell launched its Future of Work guide to give employees and teams advice and greater choice in determining how, when and where they work to better meet business and their own needs.

We provide our people with what they need to work in our offices and other locations, with flexibility based on their reasonable business and personal needs. We also seek to provide what they need if they are working remotely. In 2022, we continued our home-working ergonomics programme, providing funding for proper office equipment for home use by existing employees and new joiners. We also provided tips on setting up and maintaining good ergonomics, working with others virtually and maintaining productivity. In 2022, more people chose to make use of Shell’s flexible working options.

Mental well-being

At Shell we strive to reduce the stigma related to mental ill health through open conversations, planned campaigns at country and global level, communications from senior leaders, engagement with elected employee representatives, and our experience-sharing portal for employees. In 2022, we developed and piloted our Global Mental Health Strategy and Programme designed to build a culture that promotes good mental health and protects against mental ill-health. The programme includes timely access to quality mental health support through Shell’s Employee Assistance Programme, which is available in most locations, and delivers professional counselling services. It also offers resources to help reduce the risk of stress and burnout.

Financial well-being

In 2022, Shell published its Fair Pay Principle, which provides transparency internally and externally on the criteria Shell uses to pay employees fairly and competitively. The Fair Pay Principle includes our pay adjustment approach, assurance processes for paying a living wage and how we seek to mitigate bias in pay-related decisions. The cost-of-living crisis in 2022 has caused concerns for many people and during the year we have sought to help our employees navigate these challenging times. One of the ways in which we have done this is by sharing pay-related information more frequently in a bid to remove as much uncertainty as possible.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Our Powering Lives ambition is to become one of the world’s most diverse and inclusive organisations, a place where everyone – including employees, customers, partners and suppliers – feels valued, respected and has a strong sense of belonging. This ambition underpins our strategy and we believe it is the right thing to aspire to, making us a stronger organisation. We have set goals for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), and our CEO and Executive Committee are accountable for our progress. In 2022, we launched new external DE&I content on which includes data and proof points to show our progress against our DE&I ambitions.

Living by our values

Our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people underpin our DE&I approach. The Shell General Business Principles, Code of Conduct and Ethics and Compliance Manual help everyone at Shell act in line with our values.

All Shell employees and contractors with access to our HR systems are required to complete two mandatory training courses on DE&I, Conscious Inclusion and Respect in the Workplace, which reinforce expected behaviours for a respectful, inclusive workplace and Shell’s stance against discrimination and harassment, including bullying and sexual harassment.

Our inclusion strategy is about everyone. In 2022, our Shell People Survey showed a result of 82 points out of 100 for all questions relating to DE&I (up two points from 2021).

We also started rolling out voluntary self-identification for employees in our HR system. Employees now have the option to voluntarily declare their gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and disability, where relevant and legal. This data can enable us to better track and improve our progress.

We are focusing on removing barriers and taking targeted action to create equity of opportunity in four strategic priority areas: gender; race and ethnicity; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+); and enablement and disabilities inclusion. These focus areas are sponsored by various members of the Executive Committee.


We strive for gender equality across Shell and we have signed the World Economic Forum declaration on closing the gender gap in the oil and gas sector. We have also endorsed the Catalyst CEO Champions for Change initiative, where more than 70 chief executives seek to accelerate the advancement of women, especially those from ethnic minorities, into senior leadership and board positions.

As at December 31, 2022, 55% of the members of Shell plc’s Board were women up from 50% in 2021, with one woman also being the Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director. This exceeds the FTSE Women Leaders Review target of 40% women on boards by 2025 and is on track with our own ambition. Representation of women on the Executive Committee was 22% at the end of 2022.

At the end of 2022, the representation of women within our Senior Executive [A] positions was 25% compared with 27% in 2021. Our ambition is to improve women’s representation in this group every year to achieve gender equality.

[A] Senior Executives include the Executive Committee.

By 2025, we aim to have 35% representation of women in our Senior Leadership [A] and at least 40% representation by 2030. In 2022, 30.4% of Senior Leadership were women, up from 29.5% in 2021.

[A] Senior Leadership is a Shell measure based on compensation grade levels and is distinct from the term “senior manager” in the statutory disclosures in the table below.

Gender diversity data (at December 31, 2022)

Gender diversity data



Directors of the Company





Senior managers [A]





Employees (thousand)






Senior manager is defined in section 414C(9) of the Companies Act 2006 and, accordingly, the number disclosed comprises the Executive Committee members who were not Directors of the Company, and other directors of Shell subsidiaries.

In 2022, the proportion of women amongst experienced hires was 40%, compared with 44% in 2021. Our graduate hires number has consistently been 48% or 49% women, against our 50% ambition since 2019. In 2022, 49% of our graduate hires were women and 51% were men. Our overall representation of women in Shell was 33% at the end of 2022.

A crucial element of improving gender balance is addressing any gender pay gap and we are working on this. For example, in the UK, our 2022 average differences of pay of all men and women across all in-scope [A] Shell companies in the UK narrowed to 11.7% – 20.7%, compared with 7.3% – 21.8% in 2021. In parallel, the average differences of bonuses between men and women ranged from -0.2%-54.2% in 2022. In 2021, the top of this range was 54.9%. This gap exists for several reasons, including fewer women in senior leadership positions and fewer women in higher-paid specialist roles. More information about the UK gender pay gap at Shell can be found on our website.

[A] Shell companies in the UK with 250 or more employees in line with UK government requirements on gender pay gap reporting.

We also conduct an annual global gender pay equity review using a robust statistical approach. Countries in this review include Australia, France, the UK and South Africa. We take immediate action if required.

Race and ethnicity

We are working to address racial inequity and create an inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued. In 2020, we created the Shell Global Council for Race supported by a 20-member Employee Advisory Board composed of members from a diverse mix of racial and ethnic backgrounds. The Council, which is sponsored by the CEO aims to advance diversity in our workforce so that it better reflects communities where we work and from which we draw talent, and focuses on the USA, the UK and the Netherlands.

At December 31, 2022, Shell had one director from an minority ethnic group on its Board of Directors. At the time of publication of this report, Shell plc’s Board had three members from a minority ethnic background, which exceeds the UK’s Parker Review recommendation of at least one. In addition, one of our Executive Committee members identifies as being from a minority ethnic group.

In the USA:

  • In 2022, 13.7% of our US employees were Asian, 8.7% Black or African American, 11.9% Hispanic Latino, 63.5% White and 2.2% from other racial and ethnic groups, as reported to the US Department of Labor.

In the UK:

  • In 2022, 14.5% of our UK employees identified as Asian, 3.7% Black, 2.4% Mixed, 76.5% White and 3.0% from other ethnic minority background.

[A] As ethnicity declaration is voluntary, our ethnicity declaration rate is not 100% and all calculations are based on a declaration rate of 82.7% in the UK. The 17.3% of our workforce who have not provided data or have chosen not to declare their ethnicity were not included in our calculations.

  • We have set a recruitment ambition to have 8% Black representation in our graduate and experienced hires by 2025, to increase representation in line with UK society through actions such as mentoring and outreach.
  • Shell in the UK was one of the first FTSE 100 companies to voluntarily publish its ethnicity pay gap data in November 2020.

In the Netherlands, we continued to implement our first Ethnic Inclusion plan. We launched voluntary self identification for race and ethnicity for employees in our HR system in 2022.

In addition, Shell is working with key suppliers to ensure they understand Shell’s DE&I ambitions and expectations. For more information on our progress in the UK, the USA, and the Netherlands, see our website


We are working to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus (LGBT+) inclusion within Shell and the communities where we work. We promote equal opportunity and aim to create an environment where people feel included, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Our approach reinforces respect for people and provides psychological safety for our LGBT+ employees. Most of our work around LGBT+ inclusion happens at a country level in line with local policies, laws and regulations.

In 2022, we published our Global LGBT+ Inclusion Guidelines, which are based on best practice and are designed to help country teams develop their own plans.

We benchmark ourselves externally. In 2022, we were recognised as well advanced in our LGBT+ Workplace inclusion journey in the Workplace Pride Global 2022 Benchmark. We also received a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality 2022 Index and have earned this 100/100 award every year since 2016.

Shell’s LGBT+ forum has 15 chapters globally, with the most recent employee resource groups established in Singapore and Spain.

Disability inclusion and enABLEment

We aim to create an inclusive, psychologically safe and accessible environment where people with disabilities can excel. We provide support and make adjustments for people with disabilities during the recruitment process and throughout their careers with Shell. This includes equal access to valuable educational resources, training programmes, and emphasis on personal and professional development.

Our Global enABLEment Coalition, made up of leaders from our Employee Resource Groups, allies and key teams, helps to shape and drive the enABLEment strategy across Shell. The Coalition provides expertise and advice to Shell leaders, our businesses and our employee resource groups for accessibility, disability inclusion and enABLEment.

In 2022, we rolled out our Global enABLEment priorities which set out the actions we intend to deliver in countries around the world to support Disability Inclusion and enABLEment. We now have 15 enABLE employee resource groups around the world.

Our workplace accessibility (WPA) service covers 81 locations around the world to ensure that all employees have access to reasonable workplace adjustments so that they can work effectively. The team is supported by functions such as Shell Health, Human Resources, Real Estate and IT. During the pandemic we combined our home-working ergonomics programme with WPA to help all employees to continue to work from home. In collaboration with Purple Space, a professional development hub for disability network leaders, we piloted a personal development course for our employees with disabilities based in the UK. We also launched a LinkedIn learning path called “Spotlight – Disability Inclusion: A Guide for Line Managers”

We are part of the Valuable500, which connects 500 of the world’s most influential global businesses to create a tipping point for large scale disability inclusion. We are also active members of the Business Disability Forum.

Code of conduct

Shell is committed to prohibiting bribery, money laundering and tax evasion, and to conducting business in line with our Shell General Business Principles and Code of Conduct. We maintain a global anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) and anti-money laundering (AML) programme designed to prevent, detect, remediate, and learn from potential violations. This is in line with the UN Global Compact Principle 10 which states that businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

We do not tolerate the direct or indirect offer, payment, solicitation or acceptance of bribes in any form, nor the facilitation of tax evasion. Facilitation payments are also prohibited. The Shell Code of Conduct includes specific guidance for Shell employees and contractors on requirements to avoid or declare actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest, and on offering or accepting gifts and hospitality.

To support the Code of Conduct, we have mandatory risk-based procedures and controls that address a range of compliance risks and ensure that we focus resources, reporting and attention appropriately. By making a commitment to our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people, and by following the Code of Conduct, employees and contractors help protect Shell’s reputation.

The pandemic led to an increase in hybrid working and this has required Shell to focus even more on conduct risk. Managerial duties have increased to maintain oversight of employees more frequently working from locations outside of an office and where information must continue to be safeguarded. All employees and contractors are required to undertake mandatory training courses in the Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Information every four and two years respectively. We continue to reiterate and emphasise that adherence to Shell’s compliance requirements is essential to protecting our business.

Our ethics and compliance requirements are articulated through our policies, standards and procedures and supported by the Ethical Decision-Making Framework, a tool to help employees think through and discuss, in a structured way, the potential legal, ethical and external consequences of decisions. They are communicated to Shell employees and contractors and, where necessary and appropriate, to agents and business partners. We monitor and report internally on adherence to select ethics and compliance requirements, such as mandatory training completion and due diligence screening. We pay particular attention to our due diligence procedures when dealing with third parties. We also make our requirements clear to third parties through a variety of measures, such as standard contract clauses. We offer a good practice anti-bribery and corruption e-learning course to third parties that may not have a training programme in place. We have published our Ethics and Compliance Manual on

The Shell Ethics and Compliance Office, with assistance from Legal, helps the businesses and functions to implement the ABC/AML and other programmes, assess risks, and monitors and reports on progress. In 2022, lawyers and compliance professionals supported Shell businesses and functions in addressing the implications of the war in Ukraine. They provided legal, and ethics and compliance support, including in relation to Shell’s intention to withdraw from Russian hydrocarbons. The Shell Ethics and Compliance Office regularly reviews and revises all ethics and compliance programmes to ensure they remain up to date with applicable laws, regulations and best practices. This includes incorporating results from relevant internal audits, assurance reviews and investigations, and periodically commissioning external reviews and benchmarking.

We investigate all good-faith allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct, however they are raised. We are committed to ensuring all such incidents are investigated by specialists in accordance with our Investigation Principles. Allegations may be raised confidentially and anonymously through several channels, including a Shell Global Helpline operated by an independent provider. We align with local reporting and investigation channels where required by law.

In 2022, there were 1,790 entries to the Shell Global Helpline: 1,381 allegations and 409 enquiries. The Business Integrity Department is a specialist investigative unit within Shell Internal Audit that is responsible for managing the Shell Global Helpline and the Group level incident management procedures. The Board has delegated the oversight of the functioning of the Shell Global Helpline to the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee is authorised to establish and monitor the implementation of procedures for the receipt, retention, proportionate and independent investigation and follow-up action of reported matters.

Violation of the Code of Conduct or its policies can result in disciplinary action, up to and including contract termination or dismissal. In some cases, we may report a violation to the relevant authorities, which could lead to legal action, fines or imprisonment.

Internal investigations confirmed 183 substantiated breaches of the Code of Conduct in 2022. Disciplinary action was taken against 216 group employees and contractors, including 53 contract terminations. In 2022, most violations of our Code concerned the categories Harassment, Conflict of Interest and Protection of Assets.

Employee share plans

We have a number of share plans designed to align employees’ interests with our performance through share ownership.

For information on the share-based compensation plans for Executive Directors, see the “Directors’ Remuneration Report”.

Performance Share Plan, Long-term Incentive Plan and exchanged awards under the BG Long-term Incentive Plan

Under the Performance Share Plan (PSP), 50% of the award is linked to certain indicators described in “Performance indicators” on pages XXX, averaged over the performance period. For 2019, 12.5% of the award was linked to free cash flow (FCF) and the remaining 37.5% was linked to a comparative performance condition which involves a comparison with four of our main competitors over the performance period, based on three performance measures. For 2020, 11.25% of the award was linked to the FCF measure and 5% was linked to an energy transition measure. The remaining 33.75% was linked to the comparative performance condition. From 2021 and 2022, 10% of the award is linked to the FCF measure and 10% is linked to an energy transition measure. The remaining 30% is linked to the comparative performance condition. From 2023, 12.5% of the award is linked to an organic FCF measure and 12.5% is linked to an energy transition measure. The remaining 25% is linked to the comparative performance condition, which is based on two performance measures.

Under the Long-term Incentive Plan (LTIP) awards made in 2019 and 2020, 22.5% of the award is linked to the FCF measure and 10% is linked to an energy transition measure. The remaining 67.5% is linked to the comparative performance condition mentioned above. From 2021 and 2022, 20% of the award is linked to the FCF measure and 20% is linked to an energy transition measure. The remaining 60% is linked to the comparative performance condition. From 2023, 25% of the award is linked to an organic FCF measure and 25% is linked to an energy transition measure. The remaining 50% is linked to the comparative performance condition, that is based on two performance measures.

Separately, following the BG acquisition, certain employee share awards made in 2015 under BG’s Long-term Incentive Plan were automatically exchanged for equivalent awards over shares in the Company. The outstanding awards take the form of nil-cost options.

Under all plans, all shares that vest are increased by an amount equal to the notional dividends accrued on those shares during the period from the award date to the vesting date. In certain circumstances, awards may be adjusted before delivery or subject to clawback after delivery. None of the awards result in beneficial ownership until the shares vest.

See Note 27 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements”.

Restricted share plan

Under the Restricted Share Plan (and the Free Share Schedule to the Shell Share Plan 2014), free share awards are made on a highly selective basis to senior staff. Shares are awarded subject to a two- or three-year retention period. All shares that vest are increased by an amount equal to the notional dividends accrued on those shares during the period from the award date to the vesting date. In certain circumstances, awards may be adjusted before delivery or subject to clawback after delivery.

Global Employee Share Purchase Plan

Eligible employees in participating countries may participate in the Global Employee Share Purchase Plan. This plan enables them to make contributions from net pay towards the purchase of the Company’s shares at a 15% discount to the market price, either at the start or at the end of an annual cycle, whichever date offers the lower market price.

UK Shell All Employee Share Ownership Plan

Eligible employees of participating Shell companies in the UK may participate in the Shell All Employee Share Ownership Plan, under which monthly contributions from gross pay are made towards the purchase of the Company’s shares. For every six shares purchased by the employee, one matching share is provided at no cost to the employee.

Powering Progress Share Award

This was a one-off share award granted to all eligible employees of Shell on June 18, 2021. This award supports employee engagement in the Powering Progress strategy. These awards vested on June 20, 2022.

free cash flow
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Long-term Incentive Plan
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Performance Share Plan
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