Without diversity. We limit ourselves. Inclusion is the opportunity.
Having a diverse workforce powers our ability to innovate, develop wide-ranging expertise and create impactful networks. And when our people operate in an inclusive and open corporate culture, we deliver cutting-edge ideas, products and services to our clients.
The diversity of our workforce, including the different skills, mindsets, knowledge and experience of our employees, gives us a better understanding of our clients' expectations and cultural backgrounds, and of regional markets. Credit Suisse today employs people from 180 different countries.
Moving forward together
Diversity and Inclusion at Credit Suisse takes a unique view. Naturally we are connected to our Human Resources function, united in our dedication to serving all of our employees. Our Diversity and Inclusion mandate is also embedded in our newly formed Sustainability, Research and Investments function. Diversity and Inclusion and social responsibility are also closely linked to focus on disenfranchised communities, bringing new insights and driving collaborative solutions in the pursuit of equitable access and opportunity.
At Credit Suisse, building a culture of inclusion, partnership and a deep sense of belonging for all our colleagues remains a priority. We believe that identities should not be definable by one word, but instead are multidimensional. They are made up of internal dimensions like age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, and sexual orientation, as well as external dimensions such as religion, style, work experience, education, marital and parental status. And even organizational dimensions like location and department are a part of them. All of these factors contribute to how we see ourselves, and to how others see us. At Credit Suisse, we are committed to a culture in which everyone can develop freely and optimally, regardless of their background.
Courageous conversations. An inclusive future.
The most difficult conversations are often the most important. We are firmly convinced that, especially in these times, it is crucial to foster a culture of open dialogue. However, speaking openly with each other is more than simply expressing one's own views. Open dialogue means listening to others who have a different background, different views and different perspectives. At Credit Suisse, we encourage our employees to take the time to talk to their colleagues about issues that may not always be pleasant to address. We want to foster an environment that allows room for innovation and progress. Across the bank we are challenging ourselves to engage in these conversations, to drive change, and to strengthen our inclusive culture. Together, we want to ensure that every employee can be proud to work for our company.
Awards and Partnerships
As part of Credit Suisse's continuing commitment to gender equality, we are proud to be included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for 2020.
In addition, we demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion through signing charters and promoting an inclusive and non-discriminatory workplace. Through our efforts, Credit Suisse has garnered awards from numerous organizations, including the below examples.
Support Programs and Mentoring
Promoting equal opportunities for women remains a key topic at Credit Suisse. Recognizing the positive impact of gender diversity on the performance of teams and the business as a whole, we want to ensure appropriate female representation in management positions. We run special programs to foster the development of female professionals within and outside the organization. In February 2019, the Board of Directors approved the appointment of two more women to the Group Executive Board. These changes reflect the quality of the talent available at Credit Suisse and the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the bank’s leaders. In 2019, women accounted for 37% of our total workforce and 22% of our senior leadership (Directors and Managing Directors). We want to further increase the proportion of women in specialist and management positions within the bank. Furthermore we run programs to attract talented female professionals to our company.
In 2019, Credit Suisse welcomed its sixth cohort of Real Returns as part of our award-winning program for experienced professionals who are returning to work after an extended career break. Launched in the US and UK in 2014, the program has since expanded across the globe. It currently runs in Switzerland, India and the US, where our original New York offering has been extended to Raleigh, North Carolina. Real Returns gives the participating professionals the opportunity to return to the workplace through a tailored program of challenging project work, training, mentoring and new networking opportunities. The program runs for approximately 12 weeks. Since Real Returns was launched, a total of 360 professionals have taken part in 22 classes. Over 60% of participants subsequently obtained a permanent position at Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse runs the program in partnership with a number of organizations, including i-Relaunch, Women Returners and the University of St. Gallen.
Women in Finance Charter
Credit Suisse first signed the Women in Finance Charter in June 2016. Together with over 330 other financial services organisations in the UK, we have pledged to support the progression of women into senior roles across the UK Legal Entities.
The Executive Committees of the UK Legal Entities, and the leadership teams of each respective Executive Committee member, will aim for a minimum of 35% female representation by 2020. As of August 2019, we exceed this target on an aggregate with over three-quarters of committees achieving this already. Therefore we believe we are on track for our overall target for 2020.
Our commitment to the Charter builds on existing Credit Suisse initiatives designed to improve gender equality across our organisation. These initiatives include an annual strategic review of gender across all divisions and functions; using technology to reduce potential unconscious bias in our recruitment process; our high-profile Real Returns hiring program; Parental Transition Coaching for employees departing for, or returning from, parental leave; enabling flexible working; and encouraging networking, personal and professional development through our active EMEA Women's Network and award-winning Women Connect initiative.
Global Employee Networks
Credit Suisse supports multiple internal employee networks worldwide that serve as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience, thus fostering mutual understanding and helping to strengthen our corporate culture.
These networks – which are run by employees on a voluntary basis – are dedicated to women, families, lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals (LGBT), people with disabilities, US veterans, the older and younger generation, and employees from various ethnic backgrounds. In 2018, these networks organized more than 370 events worldwide.
Celebrating LGBT Pride
During June and July we were recognizing and celebrating LGBT Pride with our employees and local communities. As many of our colleagues around the world joined in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebrations, Antoinette Poschung, Global Head of Human Resources spoke with Adrian Köstli, International Wealth Management and LGBT & Ally Network committee member. The two talked about the importance of employees feeling comfortable to bring their whole identity to work. They also discussed the role of LGBT allies and how we are creating an ever more diverse and inclusive workplace at Credit Suisse.
The Credit Suisse Hong Kong LGBT Open Network was awarded LGBT+ Network 2019 winner. In addition, we achieved the Gold Standard once again in the Community Business LGBT+ Inclusion Index, ranking 8th for our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Watch the video to learn more: