19 October 2015
Over in the Netherlands, global energy giant, Shell, marked the European nation's Coming Out Day by illuminating two of its main offices in rainbow lighting last Monday.
The office buildings were the company’s headquarters in The Hague and the Shell Technology Center in Amsterdam.
Commenting on the initiative, Shell’s Marloes Michon, Vice President of Human Resources Benelux & France, said in a statement:
"We at Shell believe in creating an open culture. A working environment that allows for differences is essential to innovate, develop and retain the talent that we as competitive and innovative energy company desperately need.
"If LGBT staff do not feel safe to come out at work, they are forced to hide who they really are. This results in tensions. Research shows that LGBT employees who are unable to be open about their orientation are 20-30% less productive."
The gesture was welcomed by David Pollard of Netherlands-based LGBT advocacy group, Workplace Pride who said:
"Shell is setting the pace for visibility surrounding LGBT inclusion in the workplace with the rainbow lighting on their research center in North Amsterdam".
Shell operates in 70 countries including South Africa and employs around 94,000 people worldwide.
HOWEVER, despite its growing reputation for embracing diversity and inclusion, it has also frequently made headlines for being involved in environmental controversies.