At BNP Paribas Personal Finance, we believe that a diverse workforce creates stronger teams and contributes to a positive working environment, ultimately driving business success and making BNP Paribas Personal Finance a great place to work.
As part of our commitment to improving gender diversity across the business, we signed the Women in Finance Charter initiative in 2018, with the aim of supporting the Government’s goal of creating gender balance at all levels in the financial services sector.
As part of this commitment, we established our own Women in Finance Committee in 2019, to ensure women were being encouraged to take advantage of the professional development opportunities available to them.
The key focus of this committee is to achieve a 50/50 gender split in senior management roles by 2022, and to reduce the gender pay gap. To reach this goal, various initiatives have been put in place.
Keeley Downing, head of partnership marketing at BNP Paribas Personal Finance and chair of our Women in Finance Committee, explains: “The committee’s goal is to promote gender equality and diversity, for both women and men across our business, and we’re keen to get everyone involved in our mission regardless of gender.
“By ensuring equal representation of men and women on our leadership development programmes, we hope to inspire more women to strive towards leadership roles in the future.”
The committee has received a huge amount of support across the wider business, and significantly from the senior leadership team, with our CEO Stephen Hunt emerging as a real champion of the work they’ve been doing.
Keeley says: “This support at a senior level has been really significant in improving the visibility of the committee across the wider business.”
As well as delivering leadership workshops, the committee has also worked hard to identify opportunities for development across different business areas. By encouraging female leaders already in these roles to share their own stories and experiences, the committee has been able to show other women the possibilities for future growth, inspiring them to set even higher goals for themselves.
Keeley explains: “One of the great things about working at BNP Paribas Personal Finance is that there are always development opportunities available if you want them – and our management teams are really supportive in helping team members to achieve their aspirations, regardless of gender. In addition there has been more focus on ensuring gender balance in our leadership programmes to make sure women are equally represented.”
Being part of the wider BNP Paribas Group, the committee has also benefited from insight from our French colleagues who have a well-established Women in Business group ‘PF au Feminin’, who offer new ideas for ways they have and continue to improve gender diversity in all areas.
By helping to establish attraction strategies with the recruitment and HR teams, the committee also hopes to improve the gender balance in those applying for roles at BNP Paribas Personal Finance. Creating a diverse and flexible working environment that accommodates individual needs in areas such as childcare and maternity leave is an important contributing factor when advertising new role, and this is something that is particularly appealing to many women.
Over the past year, BNP Paribas Personal Finance has seen the percentage of women in senior leadership roles increase from 32% to 35%, proving that the committee’s efforts are starting to pay off. Over time they hope to look towards creating further opportunities for progression and encourage an effective change towards gender equality.
Driving the success of the Women in Business committee will be vital as BNP Paribas Personal Finance aims to achieve its ultimate goal of gender diversity across all levels and all business areas.