Engagement Diversity

BNP Paribas Personal Finance Is Working to Promote Diversity by Fostering an Inclusive Environment for LGBT Employees

In the United Kingdom, BNP Paribas Personal Finance has launched an inclusive programme for the LGBT community. Lynda Brennan, Human Resources Director, and Michael Johnson, Learning and Development Manager for the UK, spearheaded this project and worked together to develop an open recruiting process and better working conditions. Together, they tell us more about the programme.

Sexism and LGBT rights are not easy topics to talk about. How was that received?

Lynda:  It’s true, these are still sensitive topics. We are making sure that our recruitment processes only take into account people’s skills and not their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Michael: The programme includes a training component for our managers so that when they hire people they adhere strictly to our inclusivity policy and our commitments. Managers are not allowed to do any hiring until they complete the programme. We talk to them about how they should address their future employees during interviews, what they can and can’t ask, and so on.

Once they are hired, do you provide further support to members of the LGBT community?

Lynda:  Of course, that is the second component of our policy. Some of our employees are pride allies; they can be identified by the stickers and covers on their computers or work stations. If any of our employees have issues, whether they are part of the LGBT community or not, they can come talk to these pride allies, who walk the walk when it comes to fighting for greater inclusivity.

Michael: This is also part of the training programme I mentioned. We are teaching managers to listen to everyone, not just members of the LGBT community.  In terms of salary, we also make sure everyone is treated fairly.

Who do you feel is helping to make this programme a success?

Lynda: We wouldn’t be able to do it without our employees. They are the ones who are promoting the programme with their friends and family and the LGBT community. In a competitive market like ours, the fact that people are promoting it themselves is a great selling point that helps make the programme a success. 90% of our employees would recommend our company based on the issues of diversity and inclusivity. That is a great score and we are very proud of it!

Do you think you can change people’s minds at BNP Paribas Personal Finance with this kind of initiative?

Lynda: We really hope so! We know that cultures and laws are different in different countries, so we can’t necessarily apply the same policies we have in the United Kingdom elsewhere.

Could we say that to a certain extent you are helping employees succeed at the company, no matter who they are?

Lynda: That’s right, we care and think about all our employees and future employees. Our employees also look out for one another, so we are all creating a better working experience together.