A week to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion

October 22, 2020

From 12 to 16 October 2020, a series of events at the bank highlighted various diversity and inclusion issues, and provoked discussion of some inspiring stories.

Gender, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance, origin and religion as well as education and social/personal background are all characteristics that make each of us unique, but can also lead to discrimination. This is why it is essential to address these matters and discuss them openly.

“Diversity and Inclusion are essential topics for a large company like BNP Paribas and our Group has been very engaged for more than 15 years against all forms of discriminations. It is for the bank, and for myself about providing a safe place for everybody to feel at ease in the workplace, to be able to do their job and be who they are without fear of judgement”

Monique Vialatou, CEO of BNP Paribas in Switzerland.

The bank’s Diversity and Inclusion Week provided nearly 230 members of staff with an opportunity to meet up and discuss the issues at stake.

Workshops to encourage inclusive behaviour

Two training programmes on sexism/harassment and employee parenthood were offered to equip staff for a better life together, at the bank and at home.

This year the bank changed its “new parents” support policy, in particular by extending birth leave (maternity, adoption and second parent) to all family types. Encouraging a healthy work/life balance is also central to our commitments as a responsible employer.

Inspiring inclusive leadership

Caroline Courtin, Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion, reminded our staff of the core role that managers play in ensuring diversity and inclusion. Through discussions with and stories from some of the bank’s other managers in Switzerland, including Lionel Berthier, Head of Human Resources in Switzerland, BNP Paribas presented the various forms of support available to help managers understand this responsibility.

“[To be an inclusive manager] is really about us embodying inclusivity and being a role model through our behaviours and actions. […] Creating a respectful workplace creates and fosters productivity, makes people feel comfortable, feel free to speak and to bring new ideas and it all translate value to client, and ultimately to the bank.” Garrick Smith, Head of BNP Securities Services.

The inclusion of people with disabilities means giving them the choice of doing what they would like to do as everyone else.

Roland Sigrist, Executive Director of Cybathlon

Boosting inclusion of individuals with reduced mobility

The bank is committed to improving access for and the inclusion of individuals with reduced mobility. This commitment is reflected in BNP Paribas’s inclusion policy as well as key partnerships such as that with the Swiss Open wheelchair tennis tournament and Cybathlon, which is an international competition revolving around cutting-edge technology to support disabled individuals.

« We have to work together. We disabled people are not allowed to just sit back and expect the able-body community to make it accessible for us and include us just like that. That is something that we have to work towards together. »

Nalani Buob, Professional wheelchair tennis player

At Pride, we want employees to feel comfortable to reveal part of their private life, in a context where the barrier between professional and private life is getting thinner”

Aurélien Dubus, Sponsor of Pride network

Rallying staff around inclusion issues

Diversity week was also a chance to bring our MixCity, WeGenerations and Pride staff networks back into the spotlight. All three networks underscore the fact that matters of diversity and inclusion must be part of employees’ daily routine and lived out by each person if they are to be an integral part of our business culture.

“We see that things are progressing and that’s a good thing. However, we all agree that there are still room for improvements to reach a full equality.” Claudie Gheno, member of the MixCity board.