Career and life have been a catalogue of firsts for Shell’s senior vice president of shipping and maritime, Karrie Trauth.

Growing up in Ohio in the Midwest of the US, Trauth was accepted to study at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and embarked on a Navy scholarship programme. She stayed on to take a master’s so she could hit the year for the first class of female US Navy Officers to serve in combat vessels.

Trauth saw action in the Bosnian conflict in the early to mid-1990s — one of just 12 women on a vessel with 1,000 crew and 2,000 marines, and got her first glimpse of what she now describes as “the spotlight of leadership”.