Shell picks diversityspecialist Leslie Mays as VP Global

Special to and The Black Business Journal

Leslie Mays, an African-American with more than 20 years of change management and human resources experience, has been appointed by the oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies as its new vice president, for Group Global Diversity.

In this newly created position, a statement from Shell sent to USAfricaonline and The Black Business Journal stated that "she will work closely with the Committee of Managing Directors and the senior business leaders in the development of diversity strategy, policy and planning for the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies worldwide." Mays will have responsibility for providing leadership to regional diversity consulting teams around the world. On his part, Mark Moody Stuart, Chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell expressed confidence that "We look forward to Leslie Mays bringing valuable learning and experience to the Group as a whole and accelerating progress in this important area."

Shell Oil Company chairman, President and CEO, Steve Miller noted that, "Ms. Mays has done an exceptional job of helping Shell Oil become an industry leader in corporate diversity." Mays joined Shell Oil Company at its Houston headquarters in 1996 as executive director of diversity. She had served with General Mills as corporate diversity director and director of diversity development at Reebok International.

When I chatted with three senior and mid-level staff of Shell Oil, they variously described Ms. Mays to as "a first-rate professional." Another management exec of Shell said she is "a conciliator." A native of Houston, Ms Mays earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Texas Southern University. Her appointment will take effect on November 1, 1999. Evidently, Mays has served as valuable bridge for the diverse composite personnel interests inside an oil industry behemoth such as Shell's, inside the U.S. How well she'll perform on the international/global arena will be evident, soon, on the canvas of time. If her past achievements and record offer any guide, Shell seems to have picked a consummate achiever.

Nwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence Award, HABJ 1997, is the Founder & Publisher of USAfrica The Newspaper, (first African-owned U.S-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet), The Black Business Journal, and He covered U.S president Bill Clinton's visit to parts of Africa, March-April 2, 1998, and serves on Houston Mayor Lee Brown's international (Africa) business advisory board.

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