A year back, the General Management Committee of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions decided to launch a mentoring programme with the aim to reduce gender inequalities between men and women. Each member of the General Management Committee therefore mentored 3 women during one year.
Mentoring: an enabler for professional growth
The decision came into effect after realizing that when important senior positions needed to be filled , there were very few women candidates who applied despite a very impressive pool of female talent in the company. It was therefore quite clear to the General Management Committee that the reason behind it were the cultural and societal unconscious bias which often act as barriers and hamper the women from evolving in their careers.
Which is why Charlotte Dennery, the CEO, along with the 3 other members of the General Management Committee – Pascal Layan (Deputy CEO), Wolfgang Pinner (COO) and Delphine Roché (Director of Transformation and IT) – mentored 3 women each during one year.
Pascal, the HeForShe ambassador for BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions shared the different milestones of this programme on his LinkedIn account. He said:
In 2019, it is simply unacceptable that an individual’s career prospects be defined by their gender. This programme is a manifestation of the General Management Committee’s strong commitment to promote equal professional opportunity at BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions to ensure that each person finds their place within the company.
Only a piece of a much bigger puzzle
While the programme has been a success, it is important to remember that one initiative alone cannot help bridge years of disparity between men and women. We therefore need to support this initiative with many other concrete actions and policies in this direction.
Here’s what Charlotte Dennery had to say on the topic:
This programme won’t be able to singlehandedly fight against gender inequalities at the workplace. Before anything else, we need to create a pool of talented women who would be able to hold strategic managerial positions in the company in the years to come. It is also important for them to have role models that can inspire them. This is something, however, that needs to start at the grassroot level, in the way education is provided to young women, even in the primary schools, so that they are aware of all the possible career paths open to them, including the ones that are traditionally more masculine, like the scientific field. It is therefore a long-term endeavour..
The programme is therefore part of many other initiatives, one that will be renewed in 2020 but will be open to all the employees this time, men or women. The company has simultaneously committed itself to the cause by giving it the voice it needs and deserves, be it internally or externally, by raising awareness in the press, on social media, through internal and external events like the Global Women’s Forum.
In addition, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has put in place concrete human resources policies to:
- Ensure equal pay for equal work
- Allow employees to have a better work-life balance, through the possibility of homeworking for up to 2 days a week
- Guaranteeing a safe working environment for everyone by fighting against all forms of discrimination and harassment and fostering a culture of mutual respect among colleagues
These measures in favour of diversity are part of the overall commitment of the company which aims to create value for the economy, the society, the environment and the employees. This commitment is modelled on the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all member stated of the United Nations and refers to Goal number 5 (gender equality).