Press release

CaixaBank signs new Equality Plan to promote diversity, increase the presence of women in management roles and improve work-life balance

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CaixaBank corporate headquarters in Barcelona

• The company, one of the most internationally renowned for its equality policies, commits to achieving a proportion of 43% women in management roles in 2021.

• In addition, CaixaBank and union representatives have signed a labour agreement on digital disconnection and efficient use of work time.

• With the aim of also promoting functional diversity, CaixaBank has signed a ground-breaking agreement in the financial sector on an inclusive policy for people with disabilities.

CaixaBank, Spain’s leading retail bank, has signed a new Equality Plan with union representatives that allows the institution to continue to promote the principles of equal opportunities and diversity in work teams, increase the presence of women in management positions and strengthen measures to enhance work-life balance.

The agreement reached today updates and expands on the previous Equality Plan, signed in 2011, which contributed to positioning the company, chaired by Jordi Gual and with Gonzalo Gortázar as CEO, among the most noteworthy organisations in Europe for its commitment to diversity and transparency. CaixaBank has received recognition by featuring in the international 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, as well as receiving Certification as a Family Responsible Company by the Másfamilia Foundation.

The new Equality Plan incorporates a series of additional protocols that targets actions in areas related to equality and work-life balance.

Two new documents have also been signed: a Labour Agreement on digital disconnection and the efficient use of work time and an Inclusivity Policy for people with disabilities, which positions CaixaBank as a pioneering company in promoting equal opportunities for professionals with a recognised disability.

A new Equality Plan to improve diversity and work-life balance

One of the key objectives of CaixaBank's 2020 Equality Plan is its commitment to reach a proportion of 43% women in management positions in 2021. This percentage is currently at 41.3%.

The general principles of the Plan include disseminating the value of diversity and policies on equality and work-life balance among the workforce, as well as efficient time management and meetings and the use of a non-sexist communication model.

Furthermore, as included in the previous Equality Plan (2011), the gender perspective will be included in the processes of internal and external recruitment, to promote the participation of the less-represented gender, whilst promoting the principles of respect and equal opportunities. Recruitment managers will receive training on gender equality.

The Equality Plan incentivises employees entering management roles to take part in work-life balance measures. In this regard, management development programmes will include the gender perspective, as well as specific training on using tools to improve work time efficiency and an explicit commitment of non-discrimination due to pregnancy leave, paternity or maternity leave or time off to care for a breastfeeding baby. These same principles will also apply to the training received by the whole workforce, which will provide for maximum flexibility in facilitating work-life balance and minimising work journeys.

Meanwhile, the gradual deployment of remote work will be encouraged in central services and territorial management. Across the institution, working conditions will facilitate work-life balance.

The appendices of the Equality Plan include the protocol to prevent, handle and eliminate sexual, workplace and gender-related harassment, which is generally endorsed in the agreement reached with union representatives on the same issues in 2008. The Plan also incorporates specific work-life balance and equality protocols for domestic partnerships.

Right to digital disconnection

In parallel, CaixaBank has signed an initial Labour Agreement on digital disconnection and the efficient use of work time, reached with union representatives, which limits the use of new technologies to ensure that employees’ time is respected outside of the working day.

The measures compiled in this new Labour Agreement include limiting work communications (phone calls, emails, etc.) between 7pm and 8am the next day, as well as on weekends and public holidays. Furthermore, the agreement recognises employees' rights to not answer the phone or emails outside of working hours or when they are taking holidays.

Meanwhile, the timetable for holding meetings is being limited, so that it will not be possible to organise meetings that end after 6.30pm, and they must be organised at least 48 hours in advance. The Agreement also compiles a set of good practices to promote efficiency in meetings, such as the preferential use of video calls and other similar tools if there is a need to be present in person, or the recommendation to limit the duration to one hour at the most.

Policy for people with disabilities

The agreements reached today with union representatives are completed with the signing of an inclusive policy for people with disabilities, which recognises the importance of functional diversity when training teams, and formally establishes the objective to promote equal opportunities for those with an officially recognised disability.

The measures of this agreement include a specific assessment of each job position in which a person with a disability will be recruited to ensure that it is adapted to their needs, as well as various permits and measures so that employees under the protocol can attend to any medical need related to their disability and can use the necessary means in the work environment to carry out their work, such as sign language, braille, accessible communication methods, or even, if the disability requires it, access with support animals. CaixaBank will also implement a plan to facilitate universal accessibility to its centres, and will foster the recognition of abilities of disabled people.

Wengage, CaixaBank's commitment to equality

For CaixaBank, the commitment to equality is its main focus of activity. Since 2018, the institution has had a specific diversity programme, called Wengage. This is a cross-disciplinary project developed by people from all areas of CaixaBank, based on meritocracy and promoting equal opportunities, which works to promote and achieve gender, functional and generational diversity.

Wengage includes internal measures to foster flexibility and work-life balance, training and female mentoring plans, through which female managers will guide other professionals in developing their careers.

Externally, CaixaBank's commitment to diversity includes promoting debate and public conversation around diversity (eWoman workshops and CaixaBank Talks); organising different awards and acknowledgements for business leadership (Businesswoman Award) and academic excellence (Wonnow Stem Awards); or lines of action related to sport (sponsorship of the women's basketball team).

CaixaBank adheres to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, of the United Nations; the Voluntary Agreement with the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, 'More women, better businesses', seeking better representativeness of women in management positions; and the Diversity Charter, to promote equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory measures.

Thanks to this commitment, CaixaBank has just been recognised by the Fundación Másfamilia with the EFR Certificate (Family-Responsible Company), and it has received several awards, such as the 25th Anniversary Award of the FEDEPE (Spanish Federation of Female Managers, Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs). It also features on the EWoB Gender Diversity Index.

The institution has also just been included on the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second time. The index recognises 325 businesses around the world that are pioneers in their commitment to transparency in their reports on gender in the workplaces.

 

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