Santander Bank Polska was among a dozen or so organizations that were recognized for creating a friendly and inclusive work environment, as well as for internal diversity-promotion programmes. Diversity IN Check has been prepared by Responsible Business Forum (RBF) and is Poland’s first list of employers who are the most advanced in managing diversity and inclusion.
Warsaw, 28 May 2021
To qualify for the Diversity IN Check list, an organisation needs to score a certain number of points in a RBF-conducted survey. The survey evaluates the employer’s maturity in managing diversity and in building an inclusive organisation. The questions forming part of the survey are based on internationally recognised standards and guidelines, such as SDGs, ISO 26000, GRI Standards and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The questionnaire covers five subject areas: foundations of governance, programmes and actions, engagement building, result indicators and additional questions related to COVID-19.
"Participating in the Diversity IN Check survey was a test of our maturity in the area of diversity. For many years it has been a significant part of our strategy. Although we have been involved in many activities promoting diversity, equal opportunities, equal wages and tolerance, we think it necessary to subject them to third-party review. It is important because each such verification allows us to take a broader view of the topic, offers a different point of view and helps implement even better solutions to support the creation of an inclusive environment. For Santander Bank Polska, the model of functioning based on diversity and inclusion is natural and obvious, because we firmly believe that diversity drives creativity and promotes decision-making that benefits employees and customers. Diversity and inclusion are among the main elements of our organisational culture; they are priorities of Santander Bank Polska’s sustainable development”, said Dorota Strojkowska, member of the management board of Santander Bank Polska responsible for the Business Partnership Division.
The above recognition is a great culmination of European Diversity Month, which is also celebrated at Santander Bank Polska. On this occasion, the Bank organised numerous in-house initiatives, such as joint workshops with Poland Without Barriers Foundation, as well as webinars and educational podcasts for employees, or participation in a debate organised by the RBF concerning diversity issues in organisations.
Santander Bank Polska – a diverse and inclusive bank
Diversity and inclusion are among the strategic directions of Santander Bank Polska. They involve building of an organisational culture based on respect for diversity, as well as developing policies and mechanisms that effectively promote equal treatment and management of diversity in the workplace. Diversity is not only a theme of one-off initiatives—values such as respect for individuality, equal treatment and anti-discrimination are embedded in the Bank's strategy at the management level. They manifest themselves in the adopted policies and procedures, such as the General Code of Conduct, Respect and Dignity policy, Sustainable Development Policy, or Organisational Culture Policy of the Santander Bank Polska Group.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in many initiatives and programmes that have been implemented for many years. In 2009 Santander Bank Polska launched an innovative Barrier-Free Service programme aiming to ensure full availability of banking services to all our customers. Through the programme, we want to provide a consistent and positive customer experience to customers with special needs, regardless of the place or channel of service – at our branch, over the phone, online or at an ATM. The Różnosprawni programme has also been launched with an aim to create suitable and comfortable working conditions for people with special needs. The programme promotes awareness of the rights and needs of persons with special needs.
In 2017, Santander Bank Polska signed the Diversity Charter, an international initiative under the auspices of the European Commission. The Charter is a commitment of the signatory organisation to ban discrimination in its workplace and to promote diversity. It is also a manifestation of the company's willingness to involve all staff members and business and social partners in these activities. Organisations choosing to implement this tool contribute to social cohesion and equality.
Through numerous initiatives, cooperation with women's organisations and through partnerships in social campaigns, our Bank works to break stereotypes and to inspire women to take leadership roles. We place special focus on ensuring a balance in the number of male and female participants in development programmes, as well as in the process of succession and recruitment. #SantanderWomen is a project designed as an in-house communication platform. It serves as a venue for educational and development workshops that empower women to leadership and encourage them to take on new challenges in their careers. More recently, it started to offer a series of Santander Women podcasts devoted to topics such as diversity, inclusion and leadership. The Bank has also joined the Women Update campaign which encourages women to reskill and open up to professions in tech sectors. Together with the Santander Group, the Bank has also been implementing scholarship projects such as Santander Women, Emerging Leaders–LSE that improve women's leadership skills and support them in the labour market.