With International Women’s Day being celebrated globally on Friday, March 8, I would like to share a few observations of why I believe Schneider Electric is a great company that values diversity and inclusion.
Schneider has chosen to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) with a focus on mentorship, a topic that impacts everyone’s career growth and can help build a gender inclusive culture. Research shows that due to individual and collective biases, women and men perceive, cultivate, and capitalize on these relationships differently. Women are 54 percent less likely than men to have a mentor or a sponsor, and globally only 54 percent report having a senior leader who acts as a mentor.1 Employees with mentors are five times more likely to be promoted and 1.4 times more likely to stay in a company– and this is especially true for women. I’m a big believer in mentoring. I’m a mentor and I receive coaching as part of my philosophy to be a life-long learner. To this day I still benefit from the coaching and advice I was given early in my career as a mentee. Receiving feedback is a gift as it can help you improve and make adjustments in your career. This is actually one of the points I’ll stress on an IWD panel discussion I’ll be a part of on Friday.
2) Gender Pay Equity
Our commitment and journey to close the gender pay equity began in 2015 and has been one that I’ve been especially pleased to work on. Schneider has been making exceptional progress and expanding our global scope of paying women equitably. I’m proud knowing that today we have dedicated pay equity budgets for 55 countries globally to reach female employees where we have gaps. And even though we’ve met our #HeForShe commitment for gender pay equity, we’re not done yet. Training is critical and we’ve conducted extensive training for leaders and managers on the pay equity framework which will help us manage this better in the future.
3) Family Leave Policy
We launched this policy in 2017 and it provides for paid time off for life moments such as parental leave for primary and secondary parents to care for their children. I appreciate the inclusiveness of this policy because we view a primary parent as one who is a parent by natural birth, a single parent by adoption, or same-sex parent by adoption. We also provide paid care leave so an employee can be with an elder family member or a family member who is facing a health condition or illness. We also provide for paid bereavement leave.
While we have more work to do to ensure that gender equality permeates across all facets of how we operate, we can stand tall knowing the inroads we’ve made are positively impacting the lives of our employees, women and men alike.