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BNP Paribas announces Jean-Laurent Bonnafé’s commitment to the HeForShe “Thematic Champion” initiative for gender equality

  • Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, joins the eight Thematic Champions dedicated to promoting the HeForShe initiative launched by the United Nations Organisation in 2014.

  • Under a 3-year partnership, BNP Paribas commits to advancing towards gender parity in professional areas of the Bank that are predominantly female or male.

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, BNP Paribas CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé is stepping up his commitment to promoting gender equality by becoming one of the Thematic Champions supporting the HeForShe movement, thereby joining Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada; Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank Group; Lord Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC; Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, Christopher M. Crane, CEO and President, Exelon Corporation; Emmanuel Faber, Global CEO, Danone; Giles York QPM, Chief Constable, Sussex Police; Nick Ephgrave QPM, Chief Constable, Surrey Police. The aim of the HeForShe initiative is to encourage governmental leaders and Top Leaders of both public and private sector enterprises to publicly promote and take concrete steps to foster equality between men and women through specific fields of action.

As part of the 3-year partnership, BNP Paribas commits to increasing the proportion of either men or women recruited to key positions in two areas: Human Resources, which traditionally has a preponderance of female staff; and Global Markets, a field traditionally dominated by male employees. For example, the Group will be aiming for a target of 40% female employees taking part in Graduate & Talent programmes for financial markets activities over the three years. In addition, the Group will be reaching out through the HeForShe programme and the United Nations to women entrepreneurs working to develop renewable energies all over the world.  

BNP Paribas CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé declared: “Creating a respectful environment that favours equal opportunities for all employees is a fundamental prerequisite for any successful organisation. Women represent more than half of the world's population, and companies need to go further collectively to ensure the right conditions for all women to leverage their skills, talent and creativity. This is an essential condition to accelerate economic development for all, and to contribute to a better future.”

Gender equality is at the heart of BNP Paribas’ company engagement strategy. Some 53% of Group staff are female, and women make up 27% of the 2000 top managers, up from less than 10% some

10 years ago. This partnership with the UN represents a further step in reinforcing the voluntary policy of fostering equality in the workplace adopted by BNP Paribas more than ten years ago:

  • In 2011, BNP Paribas signed the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) set out by the UN.

  • Since 2010 the Group has signed collective agreements on workplace equality in France and in Europe that include numerical targets which are carefully monitored so as to measure progress made and assess the impact of these actions.

  • In 2015, a number of BNP Paribas staff, including Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, actively supported the launch of the HeForShe movement; which led the Group to become the official sponsor in 2017 of the Paris event of HeForShe Art Week.

  • In 2017, BNP Paribas launched the #ConnectHers initiative in France, which aims to support the growth of entrepreneurship among women, and joined forces with Financi'Elles, the first-ever federation of in-house networks of female managers in the financial sector in France.

  • There are a number of staff networks in operation at the Group, including the
    BNP Paribas MixCity association, which gathers over 7,000 women all over the world around the challenges of workplace equality and the advancement of women.

Read Jean-Laurent Bonnafé's editorial on LinkedIn


UN Women is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, New York. Tel: +1 646 781-4400. Fax: +1 646 781-4496.

About HeForShe

Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality in our lifetime. HeForShe invites people around the world to stand together as equal partners to craft a shared vision of a gender equal world and implement specific, locally relevant solutions for the good of all of humanity.

About HeForShe Thematic Initiative

Launched by His Excellency Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada in September 2016, the HeForShe Thematic Champions Initiative is a growing cohort of select world leaders who stand out as true visionaries on  gender equality and who are lending their influence and conviction to UN Women’s efforts. They are spurring concrete action and centrally positioning gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment.

About HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative

IMPACT 10x10x10 engages key decision makers at governments, corporations and universities around the world to drive change from the top. IMPACT Champions make gender equality an institutional priority, committing to real change within and beyond each of their organizations. Each IMPACT Champion implements the HeForShe IMPACT framework and develops three bold, game-changing commitments to advance and ultimately achieve gender equality for all. Measurement and transparency will be at the heart of these commitments, so successful initiatives can serve as models for the political, corporate and academic world.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 74 countries, with more than 192,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporate and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the European leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.