Why have workplace diversity and inclusion become a priority?
Diversity of origins, non-discrimination on the grounds of age, gender or sexual orientation and/or gender identity, improved accessibility for disabled people, religious diversity, etc.
Diversity and inclusion are core commitments of BNP Paribas.
Going beyond regulatory and legal requirements, BNP Paribas has for years developed a committed and responsible D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) policy in all countries where the Group does business.
For nearly 15 years, to deploy its actions as widely as possible across all its entities, BNP Paribas has assembled a team and a dedicated committee involving more than 40 Diversity Officers, representing the Group’s 72 countries as well as all business lines and functions.
This is how the “Promotion of diversity and inclusion” became one of the company’s 12 CSR commitments in 2012. In 2015, the Group defined diversity as one of its core corporate values (the “BNP Paribas Way”).
Many different actions
BNP Paribas has based its policy on three priorities that we pursue on an international level:
Professional equality between women and men
The Group notably set the target of reaching 25% representation of women on its Executive Committees and more than 30% among Senior Manager positions by 2020. BNP Paribas was one of the first companies to sign the “Women Empowerment Principles (WEP)” and partner with the UN’s HeForShe campaign, which promotes gender equality worldwide by mobilizing men to work for this cause.
Multiculturalism and Diversity of origin
this is done by partnering with organizations committed to this issue (Télémaque, NQT, Club XXIème siècle, etc.), by developing specific networks connected to personal backgrounds, by undertaking actions to diversify applicant pools (Sciences-Po) and by combating stereotypes (recruiting + careers…).
As a signatory of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network Charter, BNP Paribas promotes the employment of people with disabilities, takes measures to ensure job retention and encourages universal accessibility.
The success of this policy also stems from the commitment of more than 20,000 staff members who get involved in professional networks on a daily basis and breathe life into this policy around the world, as illustrated by:
- Ability, the mutual aid network for employees with a disability or a disabling or chronic illness
Afrinity, open to all female and male employees who wish to share their affinities for the African continent. African Heritage (AHBNG) in the USA. Friends of Africa in Belgium…
- All Abroad, proposed for international employees with a view to facilitating their integration and everyday life,
- Happy Men Share More, a network of men committed to closing the gender gap as well as encouraging better work-life balance,
- BNP Paribas Mixcity, an association committed to promoting professional equality (represented in more than 20 countries and involving nearly 8,000 women and men, of whom 1,600 are in France),
- WeGenerations is an inclusive network, the purpose of which is to increase exchanges between young and senior employees, as well as between the Group’s subsidiaries and various business lines.
- Pride France, open to all employees and essentially involving LGBT+ staff and their loved ones. Other networks are also present and active in the UK, the USA, Belgium, Italy or Portugal.
In many countries, BNP Paribas is committed to battling homophobia and transphobia, as confirmed by Jean-Laurent Bonnafé’s signing of L’Autre Cercle Charter in 2015, or research conducted in conjunction with the United Nations for the publication of an international Code of Conduct, the objective of which is to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in businesses. In 2019, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé was named “Ally Executive” at the 1st LGBT+ Role Models Ceremony by the L’Autre Cercle association.
Key dates for diversity at BNP Paribas
A virtuous ecosystemTaking action for diversity and inclusion also requires training and raising the awareness of all employees. BNP Paribas reaches out to all its employees through an increasing number of local initiatives (e-learning, conferences, signing of charters, etc.), while also contributing to developing these values beyond our company gates: by sharing these good practices with suppliers but also clients and, more generally, all stakeholders (schools and universities, associations, etc.).
BNP Paribas thus seeks to help build a more inclusive and accountable society.
What is the regulatory context?
France now regulates certain issues relating to diversity: obligation for companies with more than 20 employees to respect a 6% quota of employees with disabilities in its workforce, while companies with more than 50 employees must be covered by an agreement or action plan on professional equality between men and women and another pertaining to employment of seniors.
In Europe, while the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of November 4, 1950 already prohibited all types of discrimination, the continent has since added several new texts:
- the European Directive of June 29, 2000, known as the "Race Directive," which protects European citizens against any form of discrimination based on their origin,
- the European Directive of November 27, 2000, known as the "Employment Directive," which aims to support integration of all workers into the job market.
In France, the Diversity Charter of 2004 was a key turning point. This ethical commitment encourages businesses to respect and promote diversity within their teams. BNP Paribas was one of the first companies to sign this charter.