At BNP Paribas UK we are looking at Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through four pillars (Gender, Race & Ethnicity, Disability & Mental Health and LGBTQ+) with a strong focus on intersectionality.
We are committed to Gender equality and are proud signees to the Women in Finance Charter, the HeforShe initiative and #JamaisSansElles.
Our development programme for mid-career women has now run successfully for four consecutive years, with the aim of helping female employees strategically manage their careers and further strengthen our pipeline of female talent. Last year brought a new focus on intersectionality, acknowledging some of the unique challenges for women with diverse characteristics and backgrounds.
Women in Global Markets
This is a global business driven initiative launched by Global Markets designed to drive gender diversity by leveraging BNP Paribas Global Markets’ networks and business knowledge to implement measurable and achievable targets.
Race & Ethnicity
BNP Paribas is committed, along with our entire UK leadership team, to ensuring that every employee feels valued and supported.
In July 2020, BNP Paribas signed the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, a widely recognised and respected framework to help businesses tackle barriers that ethnic minority colleagues face in recruitment and career progression. The signing saw the appointment of Simon Olenka, Regional Head of UK and Middle East, Securities Services, as the CIB UK Executive Sponsor for Race and Ethnicity, working with UK Head of Diversity and Inclusion Ama Ocansey to drive forward initiatives. The business also established a working group on Race & Ethnicity, made up of diverse talents from across the business.
We have formed productive partnerships to help address our talent pipeline, including Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a charitable organisation helping us to strengthen our capabilities to attract diverse profiles of candidate, and the #10000BlackInterns programme.
B.L.A.C.K in Global Markets
In 2021 Global Markets launched B.L.A.C.K in GM (Building Leaders, Allies, Careers and Knowledge in GM) in the UK. It is Global Markets’ first business-led racial diversity initiative, sponsored by Head of Global Markets UK Arne Groes, that aims to improve our racial diversity through raising awareness on topics such as unconscious bias, promoting the benefits of racial diversity internally and through partnerships with local secondary schools.
Disability & Mental Health
Creating an inclusive working environment for those with all forms of disability is an important part of our UK Diversity and Inclusion agenda. BNP Paribas signed the International Labour Organisation Charter in 2016 in order to strengthen our commitment to disability across all BNP Paribas territories. This expresses Group Management’s desire of a global innovative approach and by committing to go beyond legal requirements.
In the UK our Disability work has focused on improving our support of neurodiverse employees and removing barriers to those with disabilities in the recruitment process. As first of its kind we now offer a diagnostic benefit for staff and families. We have recently become a level 2 status Disability Confident Employer.
Ambitious about Autism
In 2021 we started to collaborate with Ambitious about Autism, a UK charity dedicated to bridging the gap between education and employment for young people with autism. The charity has created a great framework for providing advice to young people, helping them navigate obstacles faced in career development, whilst engaging employers like BNP Paribas on issues around recruiting and developing a neurodiverse workforce. The partnership challenges recruitment processes, promotes more inclusive thinking and drive innovation, which in turn will help future-proof the business.
When it comes to supporting your mental health, we are conscious that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We know that a productive workforce is one that is mentally healthy, that’s why wellbeing is, and will remain, a priority area of our UK programme. To help further our ambitions, we are pleased to be offering mental health training sessions, health assessments, menopause support and nutritional therapy.
Since 2015 when Jean-Laurent Bonnafé signed the L’Autre Cercle engagement charter to promote diversity and inclusion of LGBTQ+ staff, BNP Paribas has been actively fighting homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, in order to create an inclusive and safe workplace for all its employees – no matter what their sexual orientation and/or gender identity – and to support employees who could be victim of discriminations.
In the UK as part of our support of the LGBTQ+ community, we have been proud partners of Black Pride for five years and are named partners of Canterbury Pride and are also involved in other local Pride events in Swindon and Wiltshire, Birmingham and Belfast. More recently we have partnered with Opening Doors, a charity that works alongside LGBTQ+ people over 50 in the UK and supports them against isolation, loneliness, discrimination and prejudice.
We further launched a Gender Transition Guide for staff – a big step forward in our support of transgender employees and are encouraging all employees to use their personal pronouns.
We are also starting to look at social mobility.