The 2011/09/07 at 14:07
Age, sex, origin, disability. These are criteria that are often discriminating factors for many employees. At a time when France is endeavouring to hitch up its figures in terms of equal opportunities, the mutual insurance company Macif can boast of a very positive assessment on this front. The group has a rich diversity policy featuring numerous initiatives and agreements. “This orientation is the fruit of a long-standing choice to work in favour of equal opportunities for all, whatever the age, origin, sex, or possible disabilities of individuals. Our axis of development for diversity is structured around these four criteria. All the initiatives we implement in different domains are based on a desire for non-discrimination,” explains Claude Fiot, the group’s Human Resources Manager.
The first agreement concerning disability emerged in 1999, while a fourth agreement signed with social service partners is underway today. As for age, Macif has notably backed a “seniors agreement” foreseeing a certain number of measures to favour the employment and careers of seniors in the company; this approach is all the more necessary as France is amongst the poor pupils in the EU in this domain. Since 2004, Macif has also carried out initiatives in favour of the employment of young people, especially those coming from so-called “sensitive” districts.
Male-female equality is another of the group’s causes. The “Mutu’Elles” programme launched in 2002 aims at generating and testing propositions to promote equal opportunities between men and women. “At first, we noticed that certain roles, chiefly in management, were less accessible to women than to men. Today, via several indicators that we have established, we can follow up our progress in this domain, with respect to legal obligations,” points out Claude Fiot. The creation of a framework agreement on 1 January 2007 enables all initiatives to be brought together in a spirit coherent with the promotion of diversity.
For the company, this commitment has long stemmed from its desire to stand out from the crowd. “As a mutualist company desiring to contribute to civic action, we initiated projects even before legislation imposed certain obligations. The first visually impaired employee recruitments following this policy choice date back to 1980,” illustrates Claude Fiot. Today, the group is proud of its significant progress. “In terms of male-female differences in managerial positions, we now have almost perfect equality,” he continues. The company also has an objective specifying that 95 % of seniors should benefit from keeping their jobs in the company. Here again, it is currently far ahead of this figure. “In terms of disabled workers, we have a rate of 4.04 % of employees in permanent positions out of all staff. In insurance companies, the average is generally around 2 %. These figures are very encouraging. Our policy choice is bearing fruit,” continues Claude Fiot. “There are few companies that benefit from an agreement like ours in terms of diversity, with obligations as specific as those we have set for ourselves.”
But even if results are satisfactory, the cause is never won. Macif’s objective is for diversity to be recognised within the company and for it to be a distinctive mark of its image. This is why the group committed to a labelling approach and on 11 July this year obtained the Diversité label. “The fight for diversity is an initiative that must be in line with the company’s strategy, and it is important for it to publicise this point,” believes Claude Fiot. “As well as creating economic value, the company must harbour the ambition of creating social value. This is the idea that we defend at all costs.”