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Diversity and inclusion are being taken increasingly seriously within organisations. They have become key issues for both management and employees. We talk to Nicole Dochen, Member of Banque de Luxembourg's Executive Committee and Head of Talents, Diversity & Collaborative Models.

Could you start by explaining what constitutes diversity within a company?

One of the synonyms of diversity is variety, and every company is made up of men and women with different and varied characteristics. A company is ultimately a reflection of society. The theme of diversity covers several aspects, including (but not limited to) gender, culture, qualifications, intergenerational relations, religion, and people with a wide range of disabilities.

By putting greater emphasis on inclusion, we turn our differences into a source of enrichment Nicole Dochen

Why is diversity important?

Because it is an asset and, like every asset, it should be looked after and valued. But first of all, we must recognise it and be open to difference.

The Bank has 1,000 employees and our workforce is made up of 22 nationalities, each of them unique and valuable. In terms of gender, the proportion is 55% men and 45% women. That said, the under-representation of women in decision-making bodies is a serious issue that we are working on and the Executive Committee is making it a component of good governance. The Committee firmly believes that a mix of ideas and viewpoints contributes positively to decision-making and, to this end, it has put in place several initiatives. Several training programmes are offered to women to support their leadership development and help them take up positions of responsibility. In addition, our HR processes have been refined to attract and retain female talent. Our managers are very aware of the need to promote equal opportunities for development and advancement – both for women and men.

Intergenerational collaboration is also an asset for the teams. A genuine climate of cooperation is important to us. Younger people and those with more experience can enrich each other: the former bring new and fresh angles while the latter appreciate passing on their wealth of experience and intricate knowledge about the way they do their job. We have a dedicated programme for young people during the first three years of their career with us and our policy of encouraging collaboration between business lines helps them connect with others, share ideas and evolve.

While diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice that a company makes. Nicole Dochen

Diversity also means a mix of profiles. Internal mobility is gaining fresh momentum and the host team benefits from a fresh input of skills. Learning from others to do even better. A new internal mobility system is being implemented in a collaborative format with a group of twenty colleagues from different backgrounds.

What do you mean by the term inclusion?

Inclusion is a choice made by a company to adopt an attitude that is open to difference without prejudice. In simple terms, it's not about recognising that the person in front of you is not of your gender, your culture or your age, does not have the same temperament as you, or thinks differently, but how exactly these differences can enrich your collaboration. This positive value needs to be identified and turned into an asset and an opportunity for the collective good of the team.

At a practical level, what can employees do to take an active part in these issues?

On Diversity Day on 12 May, workshops were held for employees to join in the discussions. Participants were able to exchange in open debates and discussions on the subject of diversity in a broad sense. These collaborative workshops provided an opportunity to brainstorm thoughts and suggestions which will help improve our actions and enable us work together to create new initiatives. For example, offering equal access to work-life balance to men as well as women opens up interesting avenues!

Finally, could you say a few words about the training you offer on this subject?

All our managers are invited to follow training on open and inclusive leadership, and identifying unconscious biases that could affect their choices in team composition. Managers play a major role in bringing greater diversity and more of a mix within the teams, which are sources of enhanced collective performance. Gender representation is set to become a reality at all levels of responsibility in all our teams. The younger generation on whom we are counting to take over would expect nothing less!

 

KEY FIGURES

1,016 employees on 01/05/2022

55% Men
45% Women

22 nationalities

13 years average career at the Bank

43 years average age

25% work part time

 

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