The 8 March is International Women’s Day. All over the world, this day constitutes a powerful incentive to promote gender equality, as well as diversity and inclusion more broadly. This year, the goal of the initiative can be summed up in three words: choose to challenge.
Natixis’ teams are proud to do their bit via multiple initiatives set up in all locations, with the shared aim to constantly strive for greater equality. How? By taking inspiration from role models, by reaffirming our commitments to support the ambition of women by setting up a dialogue around social topics such as everyday sexism, and by empowering our talent to encourage individuals to pursue a vocation.
To take our commitment even further, we support UN Women through our Génération Égalité partnership. These all represent sources of shared motivation and hope to bring about change for a more egalitarian future.
Dr Kamel Hothi, ranked among the 100 most influential black Asian ethnic and minority leaders in the UK and recipient of an OBE, addressed Natixis on 4 March last year. She shared with almost 600 connected colleagues her beliefs and experience on the subject of “women and leadership: for a future of equal opportunity for all in a world impacted by Covid-19”.
Guest of honour of WINN, our diversity network, Dr Hothi has proven that rising through the ranks in the financial domain and reaching what she describes as “the equal future” is possible for everyone.
On 2 March at Porto, Sofia Marques Da Silva, researcher at the University of Porto, spoke at a virtual conference on “the inextricable link between diversity and inclusion”. Her message is clear: it is not simply a question of inclusion or integration; it is vital to create a truly welcoming environment.
We chose this symbolic date to launch the 2nd edition of our Women’s Sponsorship programme. Through this programme, the members of our senior management committee are involved in the mentoring of 15 female leaders, and in supporting them for a year in their career development.
This initiative is at the heart of our actions to support women’s ambition and increase their access to positions of responsibility.
Thanks to a proactive policy and strong commitments at the highest level of the company, we have increased the number of women on the senior management committee from zero in 2016 to 4 today, representing 36% of members.
Because finance is not an option, we are determined to continue our work in this area; this is why the senior management committee has renewed its commitments up until 2024, with a target of 40% women in all our leadership circles.
Sharing experience: competence above all else!
We invite you to discover a series of portraits of female colleagues, who beyond their differences and unique stories, have chosen not to leave their identity at the door but rather to make it a point of strength.
Such is the case of Barbara Riccardi, Regional Head for Natixis Middle East or Sophie Del Campo, from Natixis Investment Managers in Madrid, both of whom took part in the first edition of the programme and agreed to share their experiences in finance.
A true globetrotter, Barbara has visited over 50 countries and lived in seven of them, and asserts that when it comes to careers “it is soft skills that are most valuable, over and above technical skills”.
Based in Madrid for over 20 years, Sophie is Executive Managing Director for Natixis IM Iberia, US Offshore & Latam. She has a keen knowledge of Latin American markets and knows how to make the most of a mix of cultures. “I consistently try to use this understanding of cultural aspects to encourage the best from each person in my team.” she says in her story.
Both ambitious and a feminist, Kathryn Fishman, project management officer at Natixis Investment Managers in Boston, lives life to the absolute fullest. She strives above all to give purpose to her work and her life. This is why after a day at work, she chose an association that helps young girls believe in themselves.
Fight against everyday sexism: season 2
After sexual harassment and the sexist conduct/schemes in March 2020, we are maintaining our preventative approach and raising awareness with a focus this year on so-called everyday sexism.
Everyday sexism, which is often subconscious, has a serious impact on women’s careers and their self-confidence: 93% indicate that it has a negative impact on their work.
Because we believe that this is a social issue in which the company and every individual has a role to play, we invite our colleagues and managers throughout the month of March to get informed, ask questions, exchange and debate on the basis of the educational content put together with our partner Remixt.
It is also an opportunity to issue a reminder of our “Zero tolerance” policy and the measures in place to enable everyone to combat this behavior and to act or react in such situations.
*Among the Purple Leaders, the 2nd circle of leadership at Natixis