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Influence doesn’t require power, Shell CEO says

Globe&Mail.com: Influence doesn’t require power, Shell CEO says

By Richard Bloom

Saturday, June 5, 2004 – Page B7

Departing Shell Canada Ltd. president and chief executive officer Linda Cook says women don’t have to be born into power or privilege to exert influence on society, noting that women from all walks of life have made significant impacts on the world.

“Don’t forget that, for thousands of years, women have honed their skills as influencers without overt power. As wives and mothers we have cajoled and persuaded to great effect,” said Ms. Cook, above, in a keynote address to a Women of Influence luncheon of nearly 1,000 people.

The speech in Toronto was her second-last public address as head of the company. In August, Ms. Cook will become a managing director of Shell Canada parent Royal Dutch/Shell Group in the Netherlands after only a year at her post in Calgary.

The promotion comes as Royal Dutch tries to improve its reputation following a massive reserve reporting fiasco this year that saw the company downgrade 20 per cent of its reserves from “proven” to less certain categories. Three other downgrades followed, for a total reduction in reserves of 23 per cent, or 4.47 billion barrels.

During a brief interview with reporters after the luncheon, she would not comment on the reserves issue nor on her new job.

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