UN's Standards of Conduct for Business regarding LGBTIs in the workplace

Caroline Guillaumin Group Head of Human Resources and Group Head of Communication

By supporting the UN's Standards of Conduct for Business regarding LGBTIs in the workplace we reaffirm our commitment to fighting all forms of discrimination

The Group has just announced its support for the UN’s anti-LGBTI discrimination standards of conduct for business. What are these standards?

The UN has been calling for companies to commit to combating anti-LGBTI discrimination for a number of years. According to the UN, companies can promote diversity and a culture of respect and equality in the workplace and in dealings with their stakeholders. I am convinced that Societe Generale, which has almost 150,000 employees in some 60 countries, can play an important role in this campaign.

To help companies, the UN has set out five standards of conduct for business:
1. Respect the human rights of LGBTI workers, customers and stakeholders
2. Eliminate workplace discrimination against LGBTI employees
3. Support LGBTI employees at work
4. Prevent discrimination against LGBTI suppliers, customers and distributors, and insist that our stakeholders do the same
5. Stand up for the human rights of LGBTI people in the communities where companies do business

These standards are one of the ways in which companies can help to fight discrimination.
 

Why does Societe Generale support these standards?

Developing a responsible banking culture that is consistent with our values is very important to Societe Generale. As such, the Group’s diversity policy is designed to limit bias and build an inclusive culture with respect for human rights. Since 2004, we have been taking an active role in fighting all forms of discrimination, particularly through our Diversity Charter and the Women’s Empowerment Principles, of which we are a signatory.

In supporting the UN’s anti-LGBTI discrimination standards, we are reaffirming our commitment to our employees and to our stakeholders.

I want to stress that all employees are considered equal, without discrimination based on their religious beliefs, origins, sexual orientation or gender identity. Diversity is a key factor in business performance, and we have everything to gain, both collectively and individually, if our employees feel free and protected at work.

What specific effects does this support have?

This support sends a strong message: we do not tolerate any discriminatory behaviour or language with regard to LGBTI people. Since 2013, we have had a reporting process in place, so that anyone can report being a victim or witness to discrimination, whatever its nature. I would encourage all employees to use it, if they need to.

 

Diversity and inclusion at Societe Generale Americas

"It's easy for many in the corporate world to get caught up in diversity buzzwords. But the reality is that for today's companies to compete and succeed, it is a necessity - and it goes well beyond a feel-good marketing story" says Damian Smith, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Societe Generale Americas

Read Damian Smith's opinion piece