This year the BNP Paribas Group ‘Diversity and Inclusion Week’ will run from 3-7 October.
“In order to create a really motivating work environment, we all need to open up to other people and show respect for differences. Dedicating this week to diversity and inclusiveness will help to strengthen BNP Paribas’ commitment to these values and foster dialogue across the Group on this subject,” underlined Barbara Levéel, BNP Paribas Group Head of Diversity.
Diversity and Inclusion Week will feature a large number of events in various countries where the Group is established, including Belgium, France, Italy, the UK and the USA. The events will touch on such themes as skills-based volunteering, cultural and religious diversity, and stereotyping.
In France, BNP Paribas will be challenging stereotypical views on personal disabilities by putting forward a number of testimonies illustrating exceptional life stories, including a Paralympic table tennis champion and an aerobatics pilot who lives with a disability. In addition, the film ‘Women and Men’, by French journalist and TV presenter Frédérique Bedos, will be screened several times during the Week. The film highlights the importance of gender parity and points out what a serious obstacle the discrimination faced by women all over the world poses to economic and social progress.
Last year BNP Paribas signed the ‘Autre Cercle’ Charter, thus marking the Bank’s commitment to oppose all forms of discrimination against people on the grounds of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation, and set up an internal Pride France network. Meanwhile, going forward, the Group is taking further action as part of its policy of ensuring an inclusive working environment for all. A conference is to be held at BNP Paribas Cardif and there will be an international day dedicated to this subject in the UK.
In Belgium, BNP Paribas Fortis will be rolling out an initiative called ‘LiveMyJob’. Twenty employees will be giving their colleagues the opportunity to follow them at work for a day. This initiative will also be on offer in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and the UK.
In total, more than 150 events will be running all over the world during BNP Paribas Diversity and Inclusion Week.
Ten years and more
Over ten years’ commitment to Diversity: BNP Paribas was one of the first banking groups to commit to a policy of preventing unfair discrimination and promoting diversity. As long ago as 2006, Discrimination Risk was listed among the 30 major operational risks recognised by the Group. Furthermore, BNP Paribas strongly encourages respect for and appreciation of all kinds of differences.
BNP Paribas Diversity policy, which is strongly focused on ensuring equality of opportunity and encouraging inclusiveness, is in force in all countries where the Group is established. Through a special Network of Diversity Correspondents, the Group is able to coordinate all initiatives taken worldwide, while adapting specific action to local conditions and requirements.
Since 2004, BNP Paribas has lived up to its Diversity policy on a day-to-day basis by: signing up to a number of formal agreements; providing Diversity training designed to combat stereotypes; taking measures to promote equality at work between women and men and also internationalise the management; introducing a Disability policy designed to foster recruitment of disabled persons and assist their adaptation to working life; forging partnerships with specialist organisations working in this field and supporting employee networks whose purpose is to promote inclusion.
In 2009, BNP Paribas SA was awarded the Diversity label by French national standardisation body AFNOR in recognition of the Bank’s overall efforts in this field. Since then, Group businesses BNP Paribas Cardif,
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, Arval and BNP Paribas Factor have each also been awarded the label.
BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 74 countries, with more than 189,000 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, corporates 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 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.