Shell to offer 16 weeks of paid maternity leave to employees

Shell recenly announced on its website that it will be the first major integrated oil and gas company to introduce a new global standard of 16 weeks paid maternity leave.

The move by the company appears to be a strategy to attract and keep female employees.

“For Shell, this is a very significant step in the right direction for equality,” says Exploration Geologist Claire Punins, who was a leading voice in the internal program to establish a global maternity framework. “All women should receive the support they need as new mothers, regardless of where they are in the world. Having a global maternity standard at Shell is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes business sense. It makes us more attractive to women seeking jobs, and means they stay with us for longer.”

While the standard explicitly addresses paid leave, Punins, a mother herself, believes it also creates an opportunity for important conversations around what women experience in Shell prior to, during, and after their maternity leave.

“Nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming exhilaration and exhaustion of becoming a mother when my son James was born,” she said.

Downstream Executive Director John Abbott said he feels the new standard will give prospective employees an insight into Shell’s commitment to being progressive and inclusive.

“The true hallmark of our progress is that inclusion is embedded in everything we do,” he says. “Introducing this minimum standard for paid maternity leave across Shell is good for our people and for our business, and, in my view, is simply the right thing to do.”

According to an article by Fuelfix, the new standard will go into effect in January 2018.