June 1, 2021
The Societe Generale Group is upping the ante with respect to its action plan promoting gender diversity by signing a corporate charter and becoming a partner of the #JamaisSansElles (“Never Without Her”) Association. By committing to this charter, the Group is equipped with a tool to increase the visibility and representation of women throughout its organisation, which has 133,000 employees in 61 countries. Concrete action will be taken to achieve an essential objective: by 2023, positions within the Group’s management bodies must be at least 30% filled by women.
1. Individual signing of the #JamaisSansElles call for action
Each member of Societe Generale’s Management Committee is committed to signing the #JamaisSansElles call for action.
This involves an individual commitment to no longer participate in any public event, get-together or media intervention, whether face-to-face or remotely, where subjects of common interest, including societal, political, economic, scientific, or strategic topics would be discussed, commented on or judged, if it does not include a single woman among its numerous speakers. In practice, speaking engagements involving the signatories of the Charter, at events, round tables, discussion sessions, and panels open to the public or broadcast (TV, radio, internet), participation on jury panels, etc., must include at least one woman when there are three or more speakers.
This commitment applies to both events and seminars, internal and external, face-to-face or online, in France and in every country across the globe where the Societe Generale Group has a presence.
2. Actions to be taken in the event of exceptional conflicts with the Charter
When participating on round tables, expert panels, or juries, or in events where the programme consists of a series of talks, speeches, or presentations given by individual speakers, if there are 3 or more speakers (not including the moderator) and all are male, this must trigger an action on the part of Societe Generale’s representatives (see Articles 2.1 and 2.2).
For internal events and seminars whose objective or format involves only the intervention of the internal experts handling the subject at hand, if these experts are exclusively male, a comment acknowledging the absence of women must be included, with a reminder of the specific actions carried out by the Group to remedy this state of affairs over time. This could be, for instance, a reminder of the commitments made under this charter. The same action is also expected from Societe Generale representatives if participating in an event is of strategic interest for the Group and a modification of the list of speakers (see Article 2) has proven impossible.
Areas and sectors with low female representation:
Today, there are still certain areas or sectors characterised by a noticeable shortage of women. Distinct difficulties may therefore be encountered by event and meeting organisers in ensuring diversity, and even more so gender parity, at these events. This is the case, for example, of Societe Generale’s Business and Service Units, which are currently mostly male, particularly at Management levels. A transition period is needed, between now and 2023, to achieve the goal of ensuring that at least one woman participates in internal presentations and speeches. However, during this period, the choice of speakers for corresponding events should always keep in mind the goal of increasing the visibility of women.
Any invitation, intervention, or use of the image of the signatories in a context lacking gender diversity will trigger the following actions:
2.1 If the lack of gender diversity is known in advance:
i. Societe Generale will inform the organiser of the commitments it has made to #JamaisSansElles.
ii. Societe Generale will propose, where appropriate, the participation of a female employee in place of the prospective male participant.
iii. Societe Generale, along with #JamaisSansElles and all of its partners, will use their networks to propose one or more potential female speakers who are competent in the relevant field to join the event, conference, round table, interview or videoconference.
iv. If necessary, Societe Generale will decline the invitation.
2.2 If the lack of diversity is discovered at the last minute:
i. The speaker will express his surprise to the organisers and inform them that the absence of women at the event conflicts with his commitment as a signatory of the #JamaisSansElles charter.
ii. If the event must carry on, an explicit reference to the Charter will be made at the start of the event, not just for the attention of the organisers but for the public and other participants as well.
iii. The participant, in agreement with Societe Generale, remains the sole judge of the last resort attitude to be adopted with regard to his participation or the use of his image. He is responsible for doing everything he feels is appropriate to avoid exposing himself and Societe Generale to potential criticisms on social media, for example by pro-actively posting a tweet on Twitter mentioning the #JamaisSansElles commitment and being the one to flag the conflict or the particular circumstances that led to this conflict.
3. Societe Generale’s public communications
In all its communications, Societe Generale is committed to conveying an image of equality, diversity, and inclusion. Whether speaking to the Press, to influencers, or during presentations of strategic and/or economic perspectives, Societe Generale will favor gender diversity in its interventions when they call on several of its representatives.
The signatories each take on the individual responsibility to be vigilant regarding the possible use of their image by third parties, making sure they include a gender-diverse context.
Societe Generale will share its commitment to #JamaisSansElles with both internal and external audiences, when appropriate, such as through social media posts.
4. Action plan promoting gender diversity
1. Shared governance
Societe Generale considers gender diversity and inclusion within the company to be paramount issues and in December 2020 it announced its desire to ramp up the dynamics, particularly in terms of gender equality. The Board of Directors has thus validated a binding objective: by 2023, the Group’s management bodies must be at least 30% female, and this objective must be respected both for the business lines and for individual functions.
This objective will be applied in particular at two levels of the Group’s management bodies and senior management: the Strategic Committee, which includes General Management and the heads of the Business Units and the Service Units (approximately 30 managers, at the executive committee level), and the Group’s 200 principal executives, known as “key positions”.
2. Human relations
Societe Generale has undertaken to:
– systematically include the gender issue in its approach to recruiting and assignments
– support a recruitment policy that is sensitive to diversity and committed to non-discrimination
– raise awareness regarding the issue of gender equality internally
– implement an accelerated policy to close the wage gap.
3. Gender equality within the Group
In 2016, the Group signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles of the UN Global Compact, under which the signatories commit to achieving progress in promoting gender equality at work, in the economic ecosystem, and within the community. As such, the Group has committed to publishing an annual report of its most significant developments and actions (see WEP report).
|Frédéric Oudéa||Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer|
|Diony Lebot||Societe Generale Deputy Chief Executive Officer|
|Philippe Aymerich||Societe Generale Deputy Chief Executive Officer|
|William Kadouch-Chassaing||Societe Generale Deputy General Manager, Head of Finance|
|Slawomir Krupa||Societe Generale Deputy General Manager, Head of the Global Banking and Investor Solutions activities|
|Sébastien Proto||Societe Generale Deputy General Manager in charge of the Societe Generale, Crédit du Nord, Private Banking networks and their Innovation, Technology and IT division|
|Caroline Guillaumin||Societe Generale Group Head of Human Resources and Group Head of Communication|
|Philippe Perret||Société Générale CEO Assurances Insurance Asset management IOT Digital Innovation SG_Assurances|
The 52 members of Societe Generale Group Management Committee are also signatories of this charter.