Our diversity: a strength to be cultivated
«For businesses like ours, the diversity of our staff – and their backgrounds and experience – are an exceptional source of creativity and dynamism.* »
Philippe Brassac, CEO of Crédit Agricole S.A.
The need to meet the challenges of a changing world and the expectations of our customers, our employees and civil society more generally mean the diversity of our workforce, and our ability to embrace it as a force for inclusivity, is a key issue for the Group and for each and every one of us.
Diversity is part and parcel of the group’s DNA, characterised by a decentralised, entrepreneurial culture built around people and unity in diversity.
Convinced that this diversity and inclusivity are real strengths and will speed up our transformation, the Group is reaffirming its desire to cultivate these values by building ambitious, concrete actions into its Human-centric Project as a stakeholder committed to society.
In this regard, the Group has defined commitments in the following priority areas:
- continuing to increase the proportion of women on our executive bodies and in our talent pools
- increasingly recruiting from an international talent base
- combating discrimination and promoting equal opportunities
- promoting opportunities for young people and access to employment
- promoting cross-functional mobility within the Group between its various business lines, entities and geographical locations, both in France and abroad
Diversity: a strategic driver of the Group’s transformation
To make our Human-centric Project a reality, we must transform our management culture to promote a greater sense of individual and collective accountability, discernment, initiative and confidence.
Diversity is an ideal point of entry to upgrade our leadership practices and speed up our management transformation, meet the challenges of the future and attract the kinds of talented people we need to achieve our 2022 Strategic Ambition.
Three years ago, our efforts in this area resulted in the definition and implementation of an ambitious diversity action plan that aims, in particular, to:
- increase the proportion of women on our executive bodies;
- continue to raise awareness among all employees;
- support the transformation of our management culture.
This proactive policy has borne fruit, with concrete results:
- The proportion of women on the top-level executive bodies of Group entities has risen from 21% to 28% in three years.
- Over the past three years, the Group has steadily risen in the Ethics and Boards ranking of the proportion of women on the executive bodies of companies included in the SBF 120 index (up from 90th place in 2015 to 61st in 2018).
- The Group has scored higher than the 75-point threshold set by the French Government in relation to the gender equality index, recognising its policy of equal opportunities and equal pay.
- Diversity networks have been strengthened: there are now 14 such networks in France and abroad.
- On 31 July 2019, the Group signed an international framework agreement proposing a common core of rights for our 75,000 employees working in all 47 countries in which the Group operates. This agreement includes, in particular, strong support for parenthood, increasing the length of paid maternity leave available to all mothers to 16 weeks.
The Group intends to continue on the policy trajectory achieved over the past three years and to further increase the proportion of women on the top-level executive bodies of Group entities, notably by setting a target of 30% by 2022.
Watch the interview with Bénédicte Chrétien, Crédit Agricole S.A. Group Human Resources Director.
A particular focus on recruiting from an international talent pool
With more than half our workforce working outside France, it had become essential to adapt some of our Group systems. For example, on 27 and 28 November 2019, the bilingual directors’ portal saw its first intake, attracting six applicants of five different nationalities: Italian, Moroccan, Polish, Ukrainian and French.
The Crédit Agricole group has opted to open up its bilingual executive career paths to all business lines and nationalities.
From now on, applicants will be able to decide whether they wish to be assessed in French or English.
The Group’s commitment to inclusion for people with disabilities
On 28 October 2019, the Crédit Agricole S.A. group and Fédération Nationale du Crédit Agricole (FNCA) signed the “Manifesto for the inclusion in economic life of people with disabilities”. This document, which sets out ten concrete commitments, once again marks the commitment of all Crédit Agricole companies to continue with actions in support of inclusion for people with disabilities.
It is aligned with the Crédit Agricole S.A. group’s disability policy, which has been in force for almost 15 years through five successive disability agreements, and which now supports 1,610 employees.
Meanwhile, since 2006, through FNCA non-profit HECA (Handicap et Emploi au Crédit Agricole – “Disability and Employment at Crédit Agricole”) and three successive industry-wide agreements, the Regional Banks and Group companies in the sector have stepped up the momentum on disability policy.
Welcoming the diversity of young people
Businesses can play a key role by giving young people opportunities to have an initial experience of the corporate world, which often forms a decisive step towards a successful working life.
It is this strong conviction that has prompted the Group to open its doors to young people from priority education areas. The Group has thus welcomes 750 secondary school students from priority education areas at Regional Banks and various Crédit Agricole S.A. entities.
This commitment equates to 5% of the national effort the President is asking private companies to make, and underscores the Group’s desire to play an active role in helping young people find their way into the working world.
Read Philippe Brassac’s column on Linkedin
Recognition for the Group’s efforts on diversity
On 20 November 2019, Crédit Agricole was recognised in the Financial Times Diversity Leaders ranking* as France’s leading financial services company on diversity issues.
At European level, the Group is in the top quarter (ranking 133rd) of a panel of 700 companies from 11 countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom). This ranking recognises the Group’s proactive policy on diversity and disability, introduced through a concrete action plan launched in 2016.
* This ranking is underpinned by a survey of 80,000 people and a panel of human resources and recruitment experts from 11 European countries.The questions targeted companies with over 250 employees, focusing on how participants perceived the promotion of diversity within their companies, together with the aspects of gender, ethnic origin, LGBTQ, age and disability.