Shany Venon and Mounir Zahraoui (BNP Paribas): from diversity to inclusion
Mounir Zahraoui, 33, sits on the Exco of BNP Paribas Luxembourg and manages risk in 6 countries as Head of Operational Risk Management. Shany Venon recently joined the Luxembourg Management Committee as Head of Client Lines Luxembourg, Ireland & Channel Islands. Together they answer our questions about diversity and inclusion at BNP Paribas.
How do you approach diversity in your firm?
Since 2004 and the signing of the first agreement on professional equality, BNP Paribas has pursued an active policy in favour of diversity, equality and inclusion. The Group has implemented numerous initiatives to advance in the areas of gender equality, disability, multiculturalism and diversity of origin, age and intergenerational diversity, and gender and LGBTQIA+. In 2015, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé was notably the first executive of a French bank to sign the LGBT charter of L’Autre Cercle, marking the Group's commitment to fight against discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender.
In order to implement this policy, we decided to create a transverse and decentralised governance structure, which is essential in a Group with nearly 190,000 employees in 65 countries. A dedicated team and 40 Diversity Officers are responsible for these issues on a daily basis. In Autumn 2021, more than 80,000 employees expressed their very positive feelings about the Group's Diversity & Inclusion policy in a major internal survey, with a favourable opinion score of 84%.
"Diversity, equal opportunities and the quality of "living together" are an asset.”
What are the benefits of this approach?
At BNP Paribas, we believe that diversity, equal opportunities and the quality of "living together" are an asset. This is why the Group works on a daily basis with all its stakeholders to create an environment that respects everyone, based on equality, and makes the fight against discrimination a major issue.
With 171 different nationalities among its employees, BNP Paribas is very committed to sharing and respecting cultures, which are an asset for the Group's development. The diversity of the employees who make up our teams, while respecting each person's differences, brings more creativity, commitment and therefore performance to the Group every day. It is a differentiating factor.
What prospects do you see?
BNP Paribas fully integrates the issue of gender diversity and professional equality into its HR programmes (equal pay, professional promotion, training and skills development, etc.). In the IT sector, which is still very male-dominated, BNP Paribas has set an ambitious target of increasing the proportion of women in this sector from 32% to 37% by the end of 2025, thereby strengthening the Group's lead over other companies in the sector. BNP Paribas is also pursuing its efforts to increase the representation of women in its governance, with a concrete objective of 40% of women among the members of the Executive Committee by 2025.
BNP Paribas is a Group that is open to different cultures and realities and intends to contribute at its level, as an economic and social player, to the evolution of positions and mentalities within society in the countries where it operates. BNP Paribas' commitment is thus as much external as internal to our Group, which is its strength and success.