June this year marked the return of the Job Shadowing – Women in Finance program, which introduces female students from selected universities and schools to our female staff here at Natixis. This is a fantastic opportunity for these students to find out about the jobs, daily lives and career paths of their “sponsors”. This year, 27 of our staff volunteered to introduce students to their businesses covering trade, finance, risk or portfolio management, and data.
This is a much anticipated experience for these young women studying at business school, university, engineering school or in international programs, but it is also an important event for our teams across the world. Recruiting junior staff and increasing women’s representation in our business lines are among our key diversity and inclusion pledges out to 2024: 40% women in all our leadership groups at least, 50% juniors among our new hires, 25% international profiles in our leadership bodies.
The 2021 edition of Women in Finance involved around forty students and 27 sponsors, with the networking and mentorship sessions for this June edition taking place exclusively online. This format provided an opportunity for enhanced international representation as the program was able to include sponsors from New York, Algiers, Porto, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, who introduced students to their office buildings by video link and answered their range of questions live.
This year’s students also enjoyed access to career workshops to support them in drafting a CV and learning how to conduct interviews. They particularly welcomed advice from their sponsors, as well as the different discussions on the variety of career choices, interactions with potential host countries, work-life balance, and the role of women at Natixis.
Our participants’ enthusiasm reflects their continued confidence in the Women in Finance program, which successfully supports the inclusion of young women in our business lines on the back of cooperation and widespread commitment.
Conference for women in finance
These initiatives devoted to promoting women’s representation in the finance industry also included various meetings and theme-based workshops, such as the conference led by Patrick Scharnitzky, an expert in social psychology and diversity, on the theme of “Gender diversity to support all”. He believes that while biological or birth-assigned sex differs from gender – or the identity affirmed independently of birth-assigned sex – our society has been built on the opposition between male and female genders for centuries. This opposition goes hand-in-hand with the construction of stereotypes perpetuated by all participants in society i.e. culture, media and our living environment, whether in the family, during studies or in the workplace.
One event leads to another
In light of the success of this event, a second session has already been planned for October 2021 to welcome new students, meet new profiles and further support women’s presence in our business lines!
This program marks a commitment from Natixis and involves us all: it is crucial that we continue to support diversity, gender diversity and equality in our all decisions and actions day-to-day.
“Gender diversity to support all”, a conference by Patrick Scharnitzky
Sexism is a frequent form of discrimination in the workplace. According to our expert “gender diversity only makes sense if we are different”, so it is not a matter of eliminating our differences but rather ensuring freedom of choice and reducing gender conditioning based on birth-assigned sex.
“It is crucial to move away from a punitive approach in the workplace as fear does not change behavior”. Equal treatment for all regardless of their gender therefore requires gradual change:
- closing the wage gap and eliminating the glass ceiling
- punishment for micro-aggressions and verbal and/or physical violence
- review in the management model and the predominantly masculine codes
- implementation of a cross-company diversity and inclusion approach.