Alexandre Maymat - Head of the Africa/Asia/Mediterranean Basin & Overseas region, International Banking and Financial Services
In a world which is becoming increasingly global and complex, the ability of our companies to ensure diversity among our managers’ career paths and origins is key. To promote better understanding, provide an interdisciplinary view and share our ways of doing things.
As such, promoting women within our companies is a natural reaction. In Africa, we are undeniably behind schedule, but we are moving in the right direction. The number of women in our Management Committees is increasing. Ensuring career equality between men and women helps promote a wider culture of equal opportunities, in environments characterised by high degrees of ethnic, religious and social diversity.
Flore Jachimowicz - Associate Director of Innovation
I believe that my career path has nothing to do with the fact that I am woman. The question was never raised and it was never an issue for my managers or my colleagues. I am extremely lucky to work for a very open and tolerant Group that considers diversity to be an opportunity for enrichment. Three women are currently members of the Executive Committee. There is not complete equality, but it is already a large step in the right direction. However, in terms of wage gaps, for the same position, there is still progress to be made. Nothing in my professional life has anything to do with the fact that I am a woman. I thrive as an employee, in my projects, in the challenges that I meet, within my team that has as many women as it has men. The challenges facing us are gender-neutral and affect us all. It is with plenty of humanity, by sharing, with respect and through peaceful relations that we will meet them. Discrimination has no place in the equation.
Hanane Arif - Business Development Officer
I have played a key role in developing the role of women within the bank. Currently 45% of our local Management Committee are women! This has created a more balanced corporate culture and helped retain talent by supporting career opportunities. These changes have driven my own development within the Group, from Corporate Banking to Private Banking. The role of women must be better taken into account in this business line in response to the growing share of women among our customers which recognize themselves more in female bankers. This is even more important in that an increasing number of women in the Gulf States are holding influential positions in business, politics, the community and the media. It is therefore the market itself that is feminizing our business. This trend is deep-seated, inevitable, and will have a positive impact on the sector as a whole with opportunities to be seized for each player..... or market share to lose.
Edouard-Malo Henry - Group Head of Human Resources
I am a very keen promoter of diversity, in particular gender diversity, because it is a condition of our collective success. A company that does not encourage the inclusion of each and everyone cannot perform in a sustainable way and even puts at risk it's own survival. Our HR teams (predominantly feminine) have actively contributed to increase the proportion of women at each level of the company, and I am proud of this, even if the battle is not yet won. Many strategic issues in the Group’s transformation are dealt with by talented female leaders, whether at the helm of business units or support functions. Let’s continue along this path and maintain our efforts: there is still a fairly long way to go.
Isabelle Martinon - Head of Sales in French Retail Banking
I pay great attention in my style of management to two key elements that are women are often judged on. The first: letting go. I always encourage my colleagues to relax and favour co-building by mixing profiles within the teams in an exacting and humane manner. From personal experience, I have learnt that everything that is worth doing does not systematically need to be done to perfection. The second: innovating. Women must focus more on this value and implement already tested practices more widely. We are innovative in terms of management and customer experience and we must make this known. I believe that women reason more in terms of the interest of a position and sometimes forget to express their expectations and their ambitions. Within the sales departments, for example, women have introduced a more collaborative approach to team work, which has resulted in more enriching sales careers.
Pascal Augé - Head of Global Transaction and Payment Services
Occupational equality is a major issue in the transformation of our management culture. For many years now, Societe Generale has encouraged its managers to apply this on a daily basis and promotes its implementation at the very highest level within the company. Finance, the management of cashflows and payments continues to be considered as a stereotypical masculine world. The reality is often the opposite. Within my department for example, 64% of employees are female and 55% hold middle-management positions. They represent 25% of the members of the expanded Management Committee. Although efforts must be made in terms of the representation of women within management bodies, almost two thirds of our strategic talents are currently female. This bodes well for the future.
I believe that during the major transformation stages of our models, a female point of view and approach to our main challenges is a true managerial advantage.
Without taking away from their male counterparts in terms of performance, women often offer a more long-term and composed vision of subjects. This is also true in terms of customer relations - with more personalised and trust-based support - as well as in transformation initiatives for our structures, where an often keener sense of collaborative working contributes to a better balance within our teams.
The event organised today by the United Nations encourages us all to take steps towards achieving 50-50 gender equality by 2030, to embrace women in the workplace and help them achieve their full potential. Our department is naturally fully-committed to this aim!
Perizat Shaikhina - Chief Risk Officer - Russia
In Societe Generale Russia all 3 Chief Risk Officers of Rosbank, Rusfinance, and DeltaCredit are women. In Rosbank, out of six heads of risk departments three are men, three are women - total gender equality, one can say. Our women certainly struggle with the same universal problems any women have at workplace, such as building a career while finding a right balance between work and personal life.
Generally, we can assume than men are more competitive, more assertive, more active in fighting for own interests. They target building careers, while women are less self-assured, praise involvement more than competition, and concentrated more on daily tasks rather than on strategic career path. I joined risk team in one of entities of Russia more than 13 years ago in a position of an expert, and evolved to Chief Risk Officer. The key differentiators, which helped me to succeed, are more female qualities, such as care, fostering climate of trust, listening and demonstrating emotional intelligence, capacity to anticipate conflicts and solve them fairly. We need to change our unconscious stereotypes of a standard leaders’ behavior; we need more women as role-models. We, women, do not have to act as men to be efficient leaders, we have our own strengths!
Thierry d'Argent - Co-Head of the Coverage and Investment banking
I work in a division at the very heart of customer relationship, and to best meet clients’ needs, it seems important to me that our teams reflect their diversity. This reality, that affects me on a daily basis, determines our performance.
Working with diverse teams and in close collaboration with my female co-head, I see that women are very good at developing and strengthening cooperation, which represents an indisputable asset for a successful customer relationship.
At Global Banking and Investor Solutions, we believe that it is of great importance to remain attentive to women’s aspirations and to offer them new ways to develop themselves. Promoting gender diversity is above all a mindset, which must be reflected in our daily actions. This change of attitude lies with each and every one of us, men and women. I hope behaviours will continue to evolve, that our business lines will attract more women and that balance will be achieved in all the functions of the bank.
Sylvie Préa - Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Group
In 2016, Societe Generale signed the United Nations Women Empowerment Principles (WEP). This commitment promotes equal opportunities. It also underlines our belief that a company’s sustainable performance must reflect diversity and different viewpoints. First and foremost, it drives innovation. In terms of sustainable development, gender equality is obviously not a goal in itself. It simply represents a prerequisite to meet targets aimed at reducing poverty. Gender diversity is thus an unavoidable goal and also represents part of the solution both within the company and in the world in general. From a personal point of view, in my role as a member of the Management Committee, I am committed to taking every opportunity possible on a daily basis to make these diversity targets a reality within Societe Generale. At the same time, I see myself as an ambassador on the subject for all of our stakeholders.