Almost a year after BBVA adopted the Rooney Rule for coverage of key roles, the results are being to show. According to figures from July 2018, 11 months after the adoption of the measure, almost 40 percent those named to key roles at the bank have been women. The rule was recently extended to recruitment processes for executives, as well. This and other measures demonstrate BBVA’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within the organization.
For a number of years, BBVA has been moving toward an agile model in response to the challenges of the digital era. Diversity in its broadest sense (gender, age, cultural, abilities) is one of the ways BBVA responds to these challenges: a diverse workforce understands and provides better service to a diverse society. A diverse workforce enriches the company as well as the products and services it offers to its customers. It has been proven that teams achieve better results when they are composed of individuals with different ways of thinking, and different ways of approaching problems and making decisions. The introduction of agile methodologies is helping BBVA in this task by creating multi-discipline teams that operate autonomously with power of execution over what they are responsible for, while fostering diversity.
One of the areas where the Talent and Culture policy has had the most impact is in removing barriers to greater diversity in positions of responsibility. The measures adopted by the organization include internal communication and awareness raising, drafting internal and outside job posting to encourage equally men and women apply, and the application of the Rooney Rule to key roles and management positions.
The Rooney Law at BBVA
Dan Rooney, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the U.S. National Football League (NFL), popularized the rule that bears his name. To help fight against the discrimination suffered by ethnic minorities, he obliged his team to interview at least one minority candidate in the selection process. The measure was extended in 2002 to the rest of the teams in the league resulting in quadrupling the number of African American coaches.
The success of the rule has extended to the business world, and BBVA is applying this measure with notable success. Since September 2017, at least half of the candidates for key roles have been women. The initial figures after adoption of this rule show an increase in the number of women selected for jobs involving high responsibility and for key posts.
Between September 2017 and July 2018, nearly 40 percent of the 33 new appointments to key roles were women, compared with 20 percent of women already in such posts. “These figures are a good indication of where promotion policies should be heading, but also show there is some way to go”, says Ricardo Forcano, head of Talent and Culture at the BBVA Group.
Figures for May 2018 show that women are in the majority in the bank’s workforce; specifically, they make up 54 percent in all employees in the regions where the bank is present. Recently the Rooney Rule was extended to all managerial positions, 23 percent of which were held by women as of May this year. The bank intends to extend this guideline to external hiring.
Since the Rooney Rule was adopted, almost 40 percent of the new appointments to key roles were women
The bank is also working on unconscious bias training for employees responsible for hiring, training and promoting people to avoid any subjective decisions that may affect the professional development of women. Another initiative is enhancing the visibility of female role models within their fields.
As a result of these changes, BBVA has been included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, which recognizes the achievements of companies in equality policies. Since 201, BBVA has also held the Badge of Equality in the Company granted by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare, granted to leading companies in the incorporation of good practices in gender equality.
BBVA is a signatory of the European Diversity Charter and the Women’s Empowerment Principles of the UN and holds the Family-Responsible Certificate awarded by the Fundación Más Familia (More Family Foundation) to companies that promote, introduce and monitor measures that favor equality of opportunities to balance professional, family and personal lives.
BBVA Compass was also recently included in the prestigious DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity index, which recognizes the 50 most diverse companies in the United States and received the highest possible rating in the Corporate Equality Index 2018. BBVA Bancomer has also been recognized by Great Place to Work as one of the best places to work in Mexico in terms of diversity and inclusion.