If there is one thing that characterizes women’s fight for equality, it’s that it’s a global, intergenerational cause. It knows no borders, beliefs, age or race. As conduits of wealth in societies, companies play a fundamental role in the pursuit of equality and in the implementation of policies and measures that guarantee the same rights for men and women.
BBVA is committed to attaining gender equality in all countries where it operates. If the bank was a pioneer in Spain in the 1960s in launching a message of inclusion and equality, today, it continues to fight for women’s cause and working to have diverse, equal team in all societies where it has a presence. With women making up 54 percent of its global workforce, the countries carry out various initiatives that are designed for both employees and society in general in order to raise awareness of this cause, which is included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda, in Sustainable Development Goal number 5.
In Argentina, in addition to practicing the Rooney Rule or educating on unconscious biases, the bank carried out protocols to raise awareness of domestic violence and the prevention of sexual harassment. These situations, which especially affect women, are also part of the prevention work the bank does in Uruguay.
For BBVA in Colombia, training courses to empower women to reach leadership positions and work-life balance programs are the main lines of work carried out by the Talent and Culture area. The push for teleworking and flexible hours are part of the strategy to ensure equal opportunities and the professional development of all employees.
In Spain, in addition to the plans for work-life balance, the bank wants leading women to serve as an example and inspiration for all female employees. That’s why talks and meetings are being held this week to allow them to share their experiences.
Labor inclusion starts with the language we use. That’s why one of the priorities in the U.S. involves more inclusive job descriptions. The bank wants to facilitate diverse groups of candidates imagining themselves in the role and encourage them to apply. The U.S. subsidiary of BBVA was recognized in 2019 as one of Diversity’s top 50, which recognizes the country’s leading companies for their work in favor of diversity. In addition, the bank has “Women in Leadership” working groups that aim to support and develop female executives in Birmingham, Houston and New York.
2020 presents significant challenges to reach equality in Mexico. Therefore, the actions BBVA will carry out over the next 12 months will be focused on inspiring and empowering women who would like to work for the bank. In order to show the next generation of recent female engineering graduates just how important the women working for the country’s largest financial group are, BBVA will organize a Women’s Day. This event will entail female directors in leadership positions sharing their experiences and professional journeys, in order to serve as role models for the young women. In addition, in response to the national strike on March 9th, BBVA in Mexico will offer all means necessary so that female employees who decide to participate can do so freely and safely, with the slogan #undíasinnosotras (a day without us).
#Mujeresteníasqueser (You had to be women) is the title of the campaign that BBVA in Peru launched last year, with the goal of supporting female soccer, and creating spaces with less prejudice and more opportunities for new generations. Furthermore, as part of the campaign for the new brand image, and with the slogan “Creating Opportunities”, the bank gives a voice to all those women who are fighting against inequality and gender violence on a daily basis.
In Turkey, Garanti BBVA will celebrate the week of March 8th by dedicating all of its communications -- both on corporate channels and in branches -- to women and stories of entrepreneurship. BBVA’s Turkish subsidiary was a pioneer in 2006 by being the first bank to define the segment of women entrepreneurs as an independent segment. In 2018, the bank also issued the first social bond designed exclusively for business women in Turkey -- the first of its kind to be issued by a private bank in an emerging market.