Employer Global Diversity & Inclusion

Global Diversity & Inclusion

A diverse workforce promotes a wide-ranging expertise and a broad network of contacts as well as an inclusive and open corporate culture that helps us to deliver high-quality products and services to our clients and to work together effectively across the bank. Credit Suisse today employs people from 169 different nations.

Approach and Strategy

To deliver high-quality products and services to our clients and to work together effectively across the bank, we require employees with different mindsets and wide-ranging experience. The diversity of our workforce provides us with a better understanding of client needs, cultural aspects and regional markets. We believe that it also opens up a broader range of business opportunities for our company.

As a responsible employer, we promote equal opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, civil and marital status, pregnancy, disability, or any other qualities protected under local law. Credit Suisse also promotes a safe and healthy working environment without discrimination, harassment, or reprisals.

An Integral Part of Our Corporate Strategy

Our internal experts work closely with our businesses across all regions to ensure that our diversity and inclusion strategy is firmly embedded within our corporate culture. They advise managers on the planning and implementation of the necessary internal structures and measures to ensure that we can offer an inclusive working environment that is free from discrimination and can also take the specific needs of our clients into account in our product and service offering. Local Diversity Councils are responsible for ensuring that we implement appropriate measures.

Support Programs and Mentoring

Promoting equal opportunities for women remains a key issue at Credit Suisse. In 2015, women accounted for 35% of our total workforce and 18% 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 and we run programs to attract talented female professionals to our company.

Real Returns is an initiative launched in 2014 and extended to Switzerland in 2015 that gives talented and experienced professionals who have taken an extended career break the opportunity to transition back into the workplace through a structured paid program. Real Returns enables participants to leverage their professional skills and networking capabilities through a program that combines challenging project work, training, mentoring and networking opportunities. The program runs for approximately 12 weeks. Given the strong demand, it is expected to be further expanded to include the Asia Pacific (APAC) division in 2016. A total of 96 professionals (women and men) participated in this three-month program in 2015, and 53% of them subsequently obtained a permanent position. Moreover, 85% of participants in Switzerland have secured permanent employment at Credit Suisse.

Our efforts to promote women within our company include a variety of mentoring offerings and training programs designed specifically for women. Here are just a few of our current mentoring offerings:

  • Switzerland: A total of 100 women began a one-year cross-divisional mentoring program. In addition, 25 female directors participated in the one-year Regional Mentoring Advisory group. 58 employees from across the organization joined the 2nd cycle of the Reverse Mentoring Program.
  • Americas: Launch of a program where senior leaders acted as mentors to selected high potential diverse talent.

Women in Finance Charter

In June 2016 Credit Suisse signed the Women in Finance Charter joining 71 other financial services organizations in the UK, a pledge 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.

Our commitment to the Charter builds on existing Credit Suisse initiatives designed to improve gender equality across our organisation. These initiatives include our award-winning Mentoring Advisory Group (MAG) talent development program; our high-profile Real Returns hiring program; Parental Transition Coaching for employees departing for, or returning from, parental leave; enabling agile and flexible working; and encouraging networking, personal and professional development through our active women's networks.

Global Employee Networks

Credit Suisse supports multiple internal employee networks worldwide that serve as a platform for the exchange of know-ledge 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 2015, these networks organized more than 500 events worldwide. We also held a 50+ theme week in Zurich that focused on the potential of older employees and the opportunities available to them in order to take account of the impacts of demographic change both now and in the future.

The goals of the Networks for Women are to raise awareness for the many challenges faced by working women and to support women in achieving their career potential. The Networks for Women provides specific training, information events, and opportunities for an active dialog with Senior Management.

"Some see barriers. We see possibilities."

These networks promote an inclusive culture in the workplace in which lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people (LGBT) have equal development and career opportunities. The Networks represent the interests of LGBT employees and organize many internal and external events. Network events regularly present prominent speakers such as members of the US congress, actors, and well-known experts on topics facing the LGBT community in the workplace.

The Multicultural Networks make sure that employees of our global company are aware of their differences as well as of their similarities and that they make the most out of the opportunities created by the existing diversity. During internal events on selected topics and joint participation in external events, employees can discuss their respective cultures and countries of origin, learn from each other, and build a sustainable network for future collaboration.

The Networks for Families in the US, the EMEA region, and Switzerland strive to increase awareness of the importance of family topics during employees' every life stage. The Networks for Families also wish to promote a corporate culture of successful reconciliation of family and career. The Networks organize information events on family-related topics, from raising children to senior care.

The Disability Interest Forums (DIF) promote the exchange of knowledge and experience with regard to persons with disabilities. The forums also strive to raise awareness for health-related issues, in order to enable employees to achieve their full potential on a long-term basis. This is done through internal information events and collaboration with external partners. The forums facilitate information sharing on this topic and work to raise awareness in professional and personal environments on the subject.

The Junior Professionals Forums in Singapore and Tokyo as well as the Next Generation Network in Switzerland offer young professionals from all areas at the bank an opportunity to get to know each other and learn from managers. They organize podium discussions on the topic of internal mobility and host events that target trainees and recent graduates. They also encourage young people to participate in charitable projects supported by Credit Suisse.

The Work/Life Integration Forums in Hong Kong and Singapore offer employees the opportunity to share experience about better ways to balance their professional and personal lives. Events also raise awareness about health and well-being to promote productivity in the workplace.

Network 50+ creates awareness for the potential and the concerns of experienced employees at an advanced stage in their professional careers. In Switzerland, the Reverse Mentoring Program was successfully implemented in collaboration with the Network 50+ and the Next Generation Network. In this program, experienced employees act as mentees and collaborate with Next Generation employees, who act as mentors. This promotes generational exchange and creates the basis for innovation.

The Veterans' Network in the US aims to further personal and leadership skills learned in the military through mentoring within Credit Suisse to promote specific values like teamwork and equal opportunity. The network also supports veterans' issues.

Awards and Partnerships

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as the promotion of a tolerant and non-discriminatory workplace, has garnered awards from numerous organizations.

Current examples are:

  • Recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers
  • Achieved the maximum score in the Corporate Equality Index published annually by the Human Rights Campaign that assesses the performance of 500 companies in recognizing the LGBT rights of employees, consumers and investors
  • Hong Kong LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index - Silver Standard 2015

Partnerships: Fostering a Dialogue, Learning from Others

As a partner for a variety of organizations, we promote an open dialogue on the topics of diversity and inclusion. The partnerships present us with an opportunity to exchange opinions and experiences and they help us to further develop our approach.

In previous years, we lent our support to a number of associations and events:

  • National Urban League and Catalyst, which aim to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women
  • The Asia Society, which organized the Diversity Leadership Conference in New York
  • Advisory Board Member of Opportunity Now, a UK-based organization promoting best practice in workplace gender equality
  • The World Economic Forum in Davos, at which we hosted an event for female managers
  • Women's Business Conference in Switzerland
  • Recognized as one of the top 100 employers for women in the US (Working Women Magazine)