• Sustainable finance

Diversity and Inclusion: BNP Paribas affirms its values

Barbara Leveel
Barbara Leveel
Head of Diversity

This year, "BNP Paribas Diversity Week" will take place from October 9 to 20! The event will include 12 days of awareness and dialogue on topics relating to inclusion and diversity, everywhere around the world. Discover insights below by Barbara Levéel, Global Head of Diversity and HR CSR at BNP Paribas Group.

The main event for inclusion

Diversity is already a reality for nearly every company. But inclusion is the crucial next step that leads to mutual respect and collaboration between all the various talent working for the company. 

“Diversity Week” represents the annual high point for the Group’s policy to promote diversity and inclusion, which the Group has enacted for nearly 15 years. Diversity Week is the main event enabling employees from every Group entity, everywhere around the world, to meet and discuss topics such as gender equality, multiculturalism, disabilities and more. 

But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to connecting with employees and raising awareness. That’s why we offer different types of events in each country. In addition to conferences, debates and workshops, we also organize concerts, plays and tours: because culture is a powerful way to open minds

Above all, the goal of diversity and inclusion is to create a satisfying and rewarding work environment for all employees. 

Ask for a program

For the 2017 edition in France, BNP Paribas is notably offering a conference on new assistive technologies for people with disabilities, a debate on the relationship between banking activities and religious beliefs, a reflection on stereotypes in video games, etc. Tours of religious spaces are also scheduled to “learn more about other people and their differences.”

For the first time this year, the Netherlands, Ireland and Poland will organize their own local Diversity Weeks. 

In Belgium, this year’s event will focus on different generations, notably with the “Generations Got Talent” event which will take place in four different cities and the participation of Carol Allain, a generational specialist from Quebec. With nearly 20 events, Italy will organize a week dedicated to all forms of diversity in Rome, Milan, Naples and Florence. In Asia, documentary screenings will serve as a springboard for Group discussions on inclusion.

The other 51 weeks in the year

Corporate social responsibility is a crucial topic for BNP Paribas. And not just during Diversity Week! One of the challenges for an international Group like BNP Paribas is to outline a global policy that takes into account the specific nature and needs of each entity, and to enact the policy across 74 countries and among 192,000 employees. 

That was one of objectives behind the creation in September 2017 of the Commitment Department, headed by Antoine Sire, member of the Group’s Executive Committee. The Department should also boost the visibility of our actions and expand the scope of our efforts. 

In terms of impact, the measures in favor of Diversity and Inclusion paint a clear picture. When it comes to professional equality between women and men, for example, women have accounted for 40% of all nominations to the Group’s Top 100 managers since 2014. And by 2020, women will represent more than 30% of the bank’s 2,000 Senior Managers. 

But we must also be prepared to face new challenges. For example, the digital revolution raises the question of accessibility for seniors, as well as people with visual or hearing impairments. We need to plan out our digital transformation to benefit our employees, as well as our customers and all our stakeholders.

Today, 91% of Human Resources managers in France say they have observed discrimination at their companies, based primarily on age (55%), but also on origin, physical appearance, ethnicity, disability and gender.

In this context, it makes sense for us to apply our Diversity and Inclusion policy on an even wider scale. The policy favors awareness and promotes the optimal integration of each employee within the Group

It’s our responsibility, and our commitment! 

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