Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
At BNP Paribas, we see value in diversity, equal opportunity and the quality of our lives together. That’s why the Group works daily with all its stakeholders to create an environment that is respectful of everyone, based on equality, and where fighting discrimination represents a primary goal.
A strong ambition and a proactive policy in favour of equality
Since 2004 and the signing of the first agreement on professional equality, BNP Paribas has pursued an active policy in favour of diversity, equality and inclusion. For example, it has taken a number of in-house initiatives to move forward in the right direction; it has also partnered with federating entities such as the United Nations and provided support to international actions whose goal is to encourage a fair environment for everyone and to make progress in the way people think of these issues. BNP Paribas’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion is also seen outside the Group, with regards to its customers and partners. This is reflected in its proactive initiatives and commitments in five major areas:
- Professional equality between women and men
- Multiculturalism and diversity of origins
- Gender and LGBTQIA+
- Age and intergenerational relations
To promote this policy, the choice was made to set up cross-disciplinary and decentralised governance, which is crucial for a Group that has almost 200,000 employees in 65 countries. A dedicated team of 40 Diversity Officers promotes and enlivens these themes on a daily basis. In a major in-house survey conducted in autumn 2021, more than 80,000 employees expressed their highly positive view of the Group’s Diversity & Inclusion policy, with a favourable score of 84%.
Developing and getting the most of all backgrounds
A policy committed to gender equality at the workplace
BNP Paribas fully integrates the challenge of professional equality in its HR programmes, including wage equality, professional promotion, training, skills development, and other areas. It pursues its efforts to promote diversity in professional positions and representativity of women, with a view to shared governance.
"Gender diversity in our teams, with respect for each person’s differences, offers each day more creativity, commitment and, hence performance to our Group."
In information technology positions, still mostly occupied by men, BNP Paribas has set the ambitious target of raising the percentage of women in these jobs from 32% to 37% by the end of 2024. This would widen the Group’s lead compared to its peers.
Concrete targets for professional equality between women and men:
women on the Executive Committee by 2025
of women in IT sector by the end of 2024 (32% in May 2022)
Fighting abuse on women and its impact in the workplace
BNP Paribas has for several years been proactive in fighting violence against women. Such violence occurs in their private lives, but it also affects the victims’ professional lives, including their self-esteem, concentration, and productivity. Violence against women therefore constitutes an obstacle to career development and to professional equality.
Each year on 25 November, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an opportunity to remind employees of the contacts and resourses that are available to them, such as the awareness-raising e-learning presentation “Marital Violence and its Impact at the Workplace”. The Group also marks its support for “Orange Day” campaign (sponsored by UN Women) by displaying an orange version of its logo on social media.
As an active member of OneInThreeWomen (Europe’s top network of companies committed to combatting violence against women) since it was established in 2018, BNP Paribas in 2021 took on new commitments by joining the “Gender-based violence” coalition as part of the Generation Equality Forum for five years. Its goal: to pursue and intensify the Group’s actions between now and 2026 via three commitments – as a pioneering company, as an employer, and as a bank.
In providing economic solutions to women subjected to violence, the banking offers provided by BNP Paribas and Nickel can help them to recover their financial independence. Since June 2020, it has also been possible for victims of marital violence to have their employee savings released. Beyond gender-based violence, no discrimination in any form has any place at BNP Paribas. Common global governance has been set up to deal with situations of moral or sexual harassment and violence at the workplace. And as the fight is also waged outside the workplace, the Group is committed to promoting the values of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.
Promoting employment and insertion of disabled persons
Parents and caregivers: a company committed to supporting its employees
Professional equality also requires the right work-life balance, particularly for parents and caregivers – most of whom are women – who must deal with strong family obligations. BNP Paribas is therefore especially alert to these issues and takes numerous actions in support of employees, including providing financial assistance and day-care facilities for young children in many countries, making prevention services and occupational health teams available, and providing social welfare assistance. Talks and roundtable discussions are held on these issues to provide useful, real-world tools during the Group’s parenthood week or national caregivers day in France. Held remotely during the pandemic, these events were an opportunity for parents, among others, to discuss the difficulties they have encountered during the lockdowns.
Through our “fundamental rights and global social framework“ signed in 2018, all female employees are given a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave minimum, and male employees are encouraged to take their minimum six days of paid paternity leave, including in those countries that have not yet officially enacted these policies. Lastly, in the vast majority of our entities, adoption leave is granted to adopting couples and to same-sex couples.
An inclusive working environment
The strength of multiculturalism
Present in 65 countries, with employees from 171 different nationalities, BNP Paribas is highly committed to the diversity and wealth provided by this sharing of cultures, which take part in the Group’s development. It is on the basis of this conviction that BNP Paribas has, over the years, supported many programmes and associations working for occupational integration of persons who, unfortunately, still encounter difficulties. These include Projet Banlieues and L’Ascenseur in France, Posse in the US, a sponsorship plan for integrating refugees in Europe and others. The Group promotes initial access to employment and diversity on its teams.
Since being created last year, the CulturAll network has brought together various internal networks that act to support diversity of origins in countries where BNP Paribas is located. This is a nice demonstration of the collective and personal involvement of BNP Paribas staff in addressing a global societal challenge.
in which BNP Paribas does business
within the Group
of CulturAll network
LGBTQIA+: BNP Paribas among the pioneers
In 2015, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé was the first head of a French bank to sign the LGBT charter of Autre Cercle, a French NGO. Signatory companies pledge to create a more inclusive working environment and to ensure equality of treatment. This support marks the Group’s determination to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender.
"Inclusion also means constantly questioning one’s role as an employer, while banning discrimination of all types and while creating conditions in which each person can achieve its potential and aspirations".
Each year, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, numerous initiatives are conducted to support a working environment promoting speaking out and dialogue. Some examples:
- In France, the Bank offers the “A chacun son image” option, which gives customers access to a bankcard with a LGBT+ visual. On this card and on all BNP Paribas cards, it is possible to remove a gender-based title or to use one’s usual first name.
- In Belgium, BNP Paribas Fortis flies the rainbow flag in front of some of its buildings, thus showing its support for values defended during International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB).
- In the United States, BNP Paribas USA in 2021 signed the Business Coalition for Equality Act. This network of employers pledges to guarantee the same rights and protections for all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Established in 2009 in the UK, the BNP Paribas PRIDE network is now present in 22 of the Group’s countries and brings together more than 3,000 employees identifying themselves as LGBT+ or allies.
The Group’s engagement has been recognised by the regular presence since 2017 of Jean-Laurent Bonnafé on the list of the top 10 OUTstanding LGBT+ Ally Executives.
Training our managers and teams and raising their awareness
Taking action in favour of diversity, equality and inclusion also means training and raising awareness of all our teams. At BNP Paribas, actions against discrimination take various forms, including e-learning, talks, staff-development programmes, and leadership). For example, retail banking customer service reps and managers in France are given an e-learning programme on “non-discrimination among customers”; in the UK CIB managers are asked to take inclusive leadership training.
A survey conducted in 2021 of Group employees produced highly positive results on various dimensions of diversity. Employees believe that BNP Paribas pledges to treat employees fairly and equitably, regardless of their ethnic origin (88% agree), sexual orientation (88%), nationality (87%), gender (85%), possible disability (84%), or age (82%).
Facilitating and enhancing intergenerational relations
Mentorship is another precious tool for developing exchanges between generations:
- WeGenerations, an in-house network, promotes the passing on of experience in both directions of the age pyramid.
- Donation of senior skills is also encouraged through BNP Paribas SA’s latest diversity & inclusion agreement, which allows many employees to end their professional career while putting their professional skills at the service of a partner association.
A Group and its employees engaged through all its entities
Celebrating equality, diversity and inclusion
The key role of employees networks
Reflecting society’s concerns, the networks create links and are, at once, relays of information, “suggestion boxes”, and vectors of awareness on themes both varied and crucial, such as professional equality (BNP Paribas Mixcity), sexual orientation and gender (BNP Paribas PRIDE), intergenerational relations (WeGenerations), parenthood, origins (Afrinity and BOLD - Black Organisation for Leadership Development), disability (Ability), and others.
Photos: ©Martin Barraud/Caia Image / Westend61 / Marharyta Demydova / ReeldealHD images / Johnér / bnenin