Isma Ismail – Role Model Campaign

Photographer: Gina Tamer Saad ©
Make-up artist: Olena Tvorcha


“Shell has the ambition to become one of the most diverse and inclusive organisations in the world, a place where everyone (from employees, to our customers, partners and suppliers) feels valued and respected and has a strong sense of belonging. Unique people. Powerful together.”

Isma Ismail
General Manager


“I was born and raised in Malaysia. I was 1 of the 5 women out of 78 who graduated in Computer Science that year from a university in the United States. I then realized the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I started my career as a Software engineer before becoming a transformative leader in Information and Digital Technology. I joined Shell 16 years ago and eventually moved to the Netherlands, where I am still living today.

My sense of purpose is to make a difference for the betterment of others. I am passionate about making things simpler, using innovations & technologies to enable efficiencies and engaging in how to reduce CO2 for a better world whilst ensuring equality in access to Energy.

I enjoy empowering my team and developing staff to reach their full potential, collaborating across boundaries for a common and greater purpose, and lifting each other up.

As a champion of Women in Technology, I led Shell Organizing team since 2020 to bring #WOMENINTECHNOLOGY virtual event to Shell with speakers and ambassadors making an impactful presence to the 100+K global participants; plus providing visibility to Shell as an equal opportunity organization with 50% female on the Royal Dutch Shell Board.”

Why do you think is important that Role Models need to be visible?

“It is important because people may not know their own potential until they see what is possible. By being visible, others around you may get inspired. This may drive them to reach higher and aspire for more. Inspiring, encouraging, mentoring, coaching all enable us to give back to society. It is amazing when we can help someone to rise to their potential. Being visible is not enough, we need to ‘make room’ for other women and those with diverse background to be at the top.

It is also important to realize that sometimes we are already a role model to others without us realizing it. With realizing that will come seeing the impact you make (even when you are not aware) and thinking about how you want to show up every day to help those that want to be where you are.”


Tekst interview