Strengthening the Talent Pipeline is Shell’s strategic platform for promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, with a focus on ensuring the industry’s readiness to meet the energy challenges of the future. The heart of Shell’s efforts is in the classroom — with teacher professional development, K–12 educational programs and workforce initiatives geared toward technical workers.
The National Math & Science Initiative has projected that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs in the United States will require postsecondary education. Beyond this, there are numerous gaps in certain skillsets and students from diverse backgrounds pursuing STEM careers. The Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration found that while women currently constitute 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, only 24 percent are employed in STEM careers, with fewer than 15 percent as engineers.
Shell has a multipronged program to address STEM skill shortages:
For our STEM education efforts, we partner with the National Science Teachers Association, the National Energy Education Development Project and the Houston Hispanic Forum. To improve demographic representation in the STEM fields, we have partnered with Smithsonian Science Foundation to attract and retain minority science teachers across the country. Shell works with four-year universities and local community colleges to ensure access to technical education for top talent.
Each year, more than 1 million students are touched by our STEM programs, and an additional 15,000 teachers (in 3,000 schools) benefit from Shell-sponsored teacher professional development. Last year, more than 90,000 parents were engaged in college readiness programs. Our workforce development initiatives convert nearly 70 percent of scholarship recipients to full-time employees, and more than 90 percent of our first-year interns are invited back for a second year.