“Achieving gender equity remains a business imperative, and critical to best serving the interests of our clients. From territory to departmental level, we are committed to embedding policies and initiatives that accelerate this agenda and help us create an inclusive, dynamic and thriving workplace for all.” Kieron Smith, Deputy Global Head of Prime Solutions & Financing & Sponsor for Women in Finance Charter
BNP Paribas CIB signed the Women in Finance Charter in 2018, leading to the development of a comprehensive action plan focused on our recruitment activities, the progression of women to – and at – senior levels and organisational culture. As at 31 August 2021 we had reached 25% female representation in our senior management population.
Under the leadership of a new Head of Diversity & Inclusion, and against the backdrop of a new landscape for working practices, we have refreshed a number of these elements and continue to embed this action plan at both Territory Management and at department level.
We remain on track to meet our target of having women occupy 30% of our senior positions by the end of 2023. We will achieve this through tailored action plans, overseen by senior leaders in each business line, with a particular focus on bolstering the talent pipeline across the organisation through succession planning and senior appointments.
In 2020 and 2021, we progressed two initiatives that support our work on gender. The first, a management programme, launched in 2020, which provides a comprehensive suite of training modules and resources to ensure managers are able to both handle day-to-day operational challenges and fully demonstrate and communicate our shared values, beliefs and ways of working.
The second is a Culture programme focused on better understanding and evolving our organisational culture. This has new defined areas of focus, including diversity, leadership behaviours and new working practices. We have launched a new employee listening platform, offering our people the opportunity to enter into dialogue with peers and senior leaders, openly or anonymously. In the aftermath of the pandemic, we are launching a new working model, designed in consultation with staff and based on greater flexibility, agility and continuous feedback.
Our development programme for mid-career women has now run successfully for three consecutive years, with the aim of helping female employees strategically manage their careers and further strengthen our pipeline of female talent. This year brought a new focus on intersectionality, acknowledging some of the unique challenges for women with diverse characteristics and backgrounds.
We continue to run programmes aimed at supporting employees at important points in their lives and which can affect career progress such as the New and Expectant Parents programme . We also offer additional services as part of our benefits and wellbeing offering, including a Menopause support service through an external provider, providing access to NHS-trained menopause practitioners.
Our action plan on gender is supported by ongoing engagement and peer support through our gender balance and Parents & Carers employee networks, working closely with four other employee networks. We also implement an annual communications and events programme, including a campaign for International Women’s Day and an annual Diversity and Inclusion Week.
This year, BNP Paribas reinforced its commitment to progress on gender equality at Group level, with the announcement of a new target of 40% women on the Executive Committee and in the top 100 group of senior managers by 2025.