Diversity is an important issue in terms of both ethical requirements and performance. The Group has made it a priority to promote women and international profiles to positions of responsibility and senior management roles at the Bank. To ensure it achieves this objective, the Group has established a Diversity Board and Strategic Talent pools. In 2017, 40% of those selected were women and 43% were international (non-French).
Societe Generale is committed to tackling discrimination and increasing diversity in terms of age, socio-economic background and disability. A number of initiatives have been implemented on a local basis, depending on the challenges and regulations of the different countries.
Among Group employees, 138 nationalities are represented, and 57% of staff are international. Within the Management Committee, 12 nationalities are represented and 25% of members are nationals of countries other than France.
The Group’s diversity policy is designed to limit bias and build an inclusive culture, in particular through:
- Measures aimed at preventing discrimination in the recruitment process
- The signing, in 2016, of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a joint project of the UN Global Compact with other agencies on workplace gender equality
- The signing, in 2016, of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network Charter on promoting and including persons with disabilities in the workplace
In 2017, Societe Generale was the top-listed French bank on the gender equality rankings compiled by Equileap, an NGO, and was ranked 14th internationally .
The Group is also undertaking a number of other initiatives to achieve gender equality:
- Development opportunities (Women in Leadership course (WILL) for female strategic talent, inter-company initiatives such as the JUMP forum and EVE programmes)
- Awareness-raising, training and mentoring programmes; internal networks (mixed and women-only) with more than 2,400 members worldwide
- The signing, in 2015, of the Societe Generale collective agreement on gender equality in France
- Parental support (financial support, teleworking, a charter listing 15 work-life balance commitments and the provision of dedicated services such as information on the different types of childcare, help to find crèche places, talks on the different aspects of parenting, specific measures around maternity leave)
Age diversity and intergenerational cooperation
Within the Group’s workforce:
- 23% are under the age of 30
- 26% are over 45
- The average age is 37.8
Societe Generale seeks to enhance cooperation between the different generations through reverse mentoring programmes and the intergenerational think tank WhyLab, made up of members from generation Y, which offers discussion workshops around the adaptation of Group projects to young people.
In relation to regulations in France aimed at keeping older people in employment, the Group’s subsidiaries have put in place specific agreements and/or action plans for both young and older people. As a result:
- 1,822 young people have been recruited since 2016
- older people approaching the end of their careers are receiving support in terms of: training, health, prevention, time management and skills transfer (e.g. a part-time option on 70% of salary).
Inclusion of people with disabilities
In 2016, the signing of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network Charter by Frédéric Oudéa gave Societe Generale access to a network providing a forum and good practice information on the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Internationally, recruitment, awareness-raising, inclusion and support programmes have been set up to promote the employment of people with disabilities.
In France, Societe Generale is an official partner of the Disabilities, Employment and Responsible Purchasing trade exhibition in Paris and of European Disability Employment Week. It is also continuing its inclusion programmes (HandiFormaBanques work-study programme, Agences & Inclusion programme, student grants, Biomecam Innovation & Handicap university chair with Paris Tech).
In addition to the work of the Societe Generale Foundation, Societe Generale SA was one of the first companies to sign up to the “Entreprises & Quartiers” charter introduced by the Ministry for City affairs in 2013. This commitment has been reflected in the implementation of inclusion programmes and the funding of inclusion and subsidized contracts within 16 local associations. In 2016, Societe Generale co-founded the Public Interest Grouping of the “Grande École du Numérique”, , a public accreditation body enabling people from different backgrounds (unemployed young people, people in work who want to advance their careers etc.) to develop digital and IT skills.
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice.