Gender equality and the diversity of our teams are thus hugely important values within our company’s culture. Backing up these convictions, BNP Paribas Real Estate is driven by a HR and CSR approach, which works to combat discrimination and to promote those employees who deserve to be promoted, regardless of their background, gender or circumstances. Here we talk to Catherine Papillon, Global Head of Sustainable Development/ CSR and Anne du Manoir, Head of Human Resources.
How is your CSR policy an important factor for the company’s brand and the reputation of the BNP Paribas group?
C.P: Our CSR policy is at the heart of our company’s strategy. Alongside our business lines and the respect for environmental, economic and human criteria, we are always looking at how to perform as best we can. We do this by of course being aware of the changes that will impact how we build, manage and live in our offices and homes. Our vision of a sustainable city is one where buildings and services respect the environment, are accessible and open to their environment, as well as offering inclusivity by being conducive to living and working together.
In particular, thanks to our social policy, we have always striven to provide a wholesome, flexible and innovative workplace, by championing the well-being of our employees. We work hard to ensure our teams are well aware of the principles of sustainable development that are linked to their jobs and to enforce their CSR skills. As a major real estate player, we have been given the responsibility of contributing to civil society, by training the talents of tomorrow and reflecting on the evolution of the real estate sector, a key challenge for the future of our profession.
Our CSR policy contributes to the development of our reputation and the image of our company. I am convinced that it is a vital performance, innovation and retention asset in order to attract new talent, as well as being a way to engage with our clients differently. The policy boosts employee engagement by giving each job greater meaning. It is this which lies at the foundation of our reputation as an employer and our Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
Things are not going to change from one day to the next so it’s important to keep talking about diversity, from different points of view.
BNP Paribas Real Estate has established a policy that is very focused on inclusion and anti-discrimination. As the Head of Human Resources, how are you able to promote diversity within the company?
A.d.M: We want to create an inclusive environment which incorporates diversity and beyond that, the acceptance of differences. That’s why each year we launch new initiatives which continually build on this.
Things are not going to change from one day to the next so it’s important to keep talking about diversity, from different points of view. We’re regularly offering different types of initiatives in order to make this subject more prominent in people’s minds, such as conferences which highlight certain stereotypes and specific programmes such as Women in Leadership and mentoring. What’s more, we are conscious of these challenges when carrying out our HR processes, particularly during recruitment and onboarding. This means highlighting the diversity of different profiles and making sure we respect the three engagements made within our Code of Conduct for Recruitment: objectivity, transparency and respect.
What’s more, we are very aware that the current generation has certain expectation in terms of finding the right balance between home and work life, whereby they expect great flexibility from their employer. As a major real estate actor, this is part of our DNA as we work to create a work environment that is modern and reinforces collective efficiency. We’re convinced that a flexible environment bolsters a better work-life balance and promotes the well-being of our employees, allowing them to work better.
Our vision of a sustainable city is one where buildings and services respect the environment, are accessible and open to their environment, as well as offering inclusivity by being conducive to living and working together.
How do you think we can successfully achieve gender equality within the most senior positions? Are you aiming to increase the ratio of women within the Board of Directors and Executive Board?
A.d.M: Without the support and exemplary nature of Top Management, nothing changes. It is thanks to the men and women that believe in the competitive advantage that diversity brings and who lead by example that mindsets will change. At BNP Paribas Real Estate, the ratio of women within Top Management has increased from 18% in 2017 to 29% in 2019. I’m confident that things are going the right way, as ways of thinking and behaving are changing.
Interview published in Guide Egalité, Mixité, Diversités des entreprises à l’image de la société (the Guide for Equality and Diversity witihin the company which reflects society).