Societe Generale Global Markets promotes diversity among its teams
The in-house conference, “Building together tomorrow’s world”, was held on Wednesday 4 July 2018 on the Societe Generale trading floor in Paris. This was the first conference of this scale dedicated to diversity and intended for Global Markets employees.
Since the signature of the Diversity Charter in 2004, Societe Generale has been promoting diversity and has made it a recruiting and career management priority.
In 2015, an agreement on gender equality was signed by every employee representative organization. Once again, this confirms the Group’s determination to promote gender diversity. Today, Societe Generale’s workforce is female-dominated: as of the end of 2017, women accounted for 57% of all employees. Efforts conducted to increase the percentage of women in management positions have brought this figure to 46%, consistent with the commitment made in the 2015 agreement.
Within the financial sector itself, market activities roles have long drawn from a pool of candidates mostly comprised of graduates from a small number of engineering schools. This contributed to a lack of diversity which Societe Generale strives to reduce. With this conference, the bank also sought to prompt the teams of its Global Markets Division to look at the wealth of benefits that diversity in the workplace brings through the success stories of inspiring leaders from different fields, in particular those in which women are under-represented.
Frank Drouet, Head of Global Markets, and Anne-Catherine Ropers, Head of Global Banking and Investor Solutions Human Resources, opened the conference with strong messages. Firstly, diversity is a key factor for the growth and development of the bank. Secondly, it is a performance driver that promotes innovation and creativity. Thirdly, the group must reflect the composition as well as the diversity of our society and must progress further to achieve such a level of representativeness. Lastly, the Group is brimming with talent. Accordingly, every individual must be a stakeholder in this transformation and diversity and inclusion must be promoted at every level of the organization.
With this aim in mind, Marie-Anne Barbat Layani (CEO, French Banking Federation), Caroline Flaissier (Chief Business and Communities Officer, ENGIE), Frédérique Peschaud (Head of the Gastroenterology Department, Ambroise Paré Hospital), and Guillaume-Olivier Doré (Founder and CEO, MieuxPlacer.com) came to share their experiences and their recipe for success. All are convinced that diversity in all its different facets is a basic principle on which smooth team operation, business and, more broadly, society rely.
Lastly, Brigitte Richard Hidden (Head of Research, Corporate & Investment Banking) closed the conference by emphasising how important it is for women employees to develop their own career paths and the cultural ramifications that this change represents for the Group and for all its employees: “Diversity cannot be decreed, it must be built...and the cultural aspect is crucial. This should be obvious to each and every one of us and it starts with who we are and what we experience”.
The Group is fully aware of the advantage diversity provides and wants to increase it within Global Markets. Indeed, organizations that lack diversity and inclusiveness cannot continue to perform over the long term. This conference is in keeping with measures that are essential for fostering a culture and more inclusive behaviours that support women and men alike.
In a totally globalized society, where performance is closely linked to our ability to innovate, keep an open mind and show willingness to listen, we cannot continue with a model that discourages "thinking outside the box” and grows hollower with each generation.
Chief Business & Communities Officer, ENGIE
Success means making a community work and a community that works is made up of individuals of varied backgrounds.
Founder and CEO of MieuxPlacer.com
Businesses and society itself must create the conditions for equal opportunity above and beyond gender equality.
CEO, French Banking Federation.