Awareness of the link between gender diversity and company financial performance is growing and the efforts organizations put in crafting an inclusion strategy have become a reality.*
At Societe Generale, where there is a strong focus on people, the company is committed to developing a great workplace for all its employees to succeed, regardless of gender.
Flexibility to manage life outside of work
Rebekah Pang, Managing Director in the Asia Pacific Global Markets division, shares how Societe Generale supports her to have both a successful career and a family life.
Despite having a busy job, balancing her career at the Bank with being a mother has not become a challenge. “Societe Generale has always been very good at supporting people who have families,” she says.
The Bank has recently increased its maternity leave to a minimum of 20 weeks in Asia Pacific, with the entitlement also applying to adoption or surrogacy.
Employees are also offered three weeks of paternity and partner leave, while people in certain jobs can enjoy flexible working arrangements, including working from home, a great support felt by many staff, especially those who just gave birth or have a young family.
To help women return to work after having a baby, the Bank has also created a nursing room in the office. These come in addition to the parental coaching initiative, soon to be launched by Societe Generale to support staff and their spouse (and their manager) before, during and after the pregnancy.
“Actions speak louder than words. When you institute the policies that allow for more equality, that is a step in the right direction,” she says.
Talent based career progression
In what is perceived as a traditionally male-dominated industry, Pang says she has never felt that her gender is an obstacle to her career progression, nor that she was promoted for any reasons other than merit and performance.
“Societe Generale is very supportive of employees who are looking to progress in their careers and provides them with the skills and opportunities that they need to get there, regardless of their gender”, according to Rebekah.
“You feel you are doing what you are doing because you are capable, and you have exhibited a high degree of responsibility that allows you to progress to the next level,” she continues.
The support offered to women at work is a reflection of Societe Generale’s commitment to advocating diversity and inclusion, which spans across several other areas, namely Culture, Differently abled, and LGBT+.
Supporting female employees’ career development
To help female staff excel in their career, Societe Generale has several initiatives in place, such as executive coaching for female Managing Directors, as well as programs specifically designed for the career development of women with high potential.
Training also plays a critical role in employees’ career development. In addition to the initiatives tailored for female employees, the Bank provides a wide range of training programmes: from technical skills and product knowledge, to soft skills such as communication, management and leadership.
Key initiatives supporting female employees at Societe Generale:
- Possible flexible working arrangements including working from home
- 20 weeks maternity leave; 3 weeks of paternity and partner leave (including same-sex mothers who don’t bear the child)
- Development programs and coaching for female executives
Learn more about careers at Societe Generale here.