Fair treatment for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, help and support for colleagues so that they feel included, respected and valued, a contribution to a more inclusive society both inside and outside the company. For all these reasons, Groupe Renault has joined other companies that have signed up to the UN’s Free & Equal charter.
The founding principles of this charter demand corporate support for equal rights and equitable treatment for LBGT+ people. The standards of conduct promulgated by the United Nations include an end to discrimination both in the workplace and in commercial operations aimed at customers and the general public. The charter also encourages companies to defend the rights of LBGT+ people in the countries in which they operate, which should include promoting and supporting for local civic associations.
The decisions that companies take in respect of human resources, investment, procurement and even marketing can have a real, sometimes profound impact on human rights.
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Half a million individuals interact within the physical and virtual workplace of Groupe Renault, our Alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi and the day-to-day work with all our partners worldwide.
We know we still have a long way to go before inclusion is reality for all without exception. But we are fully committed to this goal and we are constantly progressing towards it as we have no doubt that diversity makes us stronger.
Francois Roger, EVP, Human Resources, Group Prevention and Protection and Real Estate & Facility Management Groupe Renault
Acceptance of differences is a lever for individual well-being. It lets each of us be ourselves and encourages a more agreeable working environment. The world of work is closely linked to our private lives. No one hangs up their sexual orientation or gender identity on the back of the door as they set out for work every morning. Whilst diversity as such is not a performance criterion, performance will clearly benefit by promoting and integrating diversity.
A single company alone cannot transform the society in which it operates, but it can take measures to sanction discrimination, fight against stereotypes, support in-house networks and events, raise staff awareness of individual rights and use its influence to act in a positive way.
Recognising the differences of each person will help to build a company in which everyone can feel valued, recognised and supported.
Supporting change with inclusive management training
Under the impetus of Valérie Hallouin, a member of the internal network We're OutStandInG to support LGBT+ people in the company, the French Human Resources Department has initiated a "pilot" training course on inclusive management. It was launched in December 2019.
Valérie Hallouin, then Product Manager for Management Training, and Fabienne Schaffhauser, Head of the Training Department, relied on experts in the field of inclusion in companies for its conception.
At the same time, Sylvie Dugenest, Project Manager, and Anne Sophie Belloc, HR Academy Project Manager, have set up an incubator within the Renault Group to work on bias and stereotypes within the company.
How did this training come about?
It’s the result of a shared desire to make the HR function a major player in inclusion and to act as a staff influencer by helping them to become aware of their own stereotypes and their own impacts.
It also originates in the realisation that lots of professional courses available to Group staff develop cross-disciplinary skills via digital courses, for example the “international” and “multicultural” modules, but few deal with inclusion in depth.
How does it raise awareness of the diversity and inclusion issue and how does this training differ from others?
Awareness training for staff lets each of us listen and understand ourselves better and allows room for more dynamic groups. This avoids frustrations and facilitates engagement and motivation.
Within Groupe Renault, staff can already make themselves aware of the diversity issue via a digital serious game, modules on diversity or talks by experts such as Pete Stone, one of France’s most recognised experts in the fields of Diversity and Inclusion.
Our new course on inclusion is a little different and aims to enrich this offering, around the two key words: interaction and adaptation. Training is delivered over two classroom-based sessions and there is time for reflection between each session. It deals in-depth with the theme of inclusion via a very open concept that discusses managers’ practices and shares examples that have been experienced “on the ground”.
One training has already been held, with sessions in December 2019 and January 2020, and managers welcomed it as the realistic case studies provided an answer to their issues.
How do you intend to deploy this training?
The UN Charter to which we have signed up is international. Our ambition is for all staff to benefit from this training as we hope that it will contribute to the transformation of the Group as a whole.
However, we want each country to be able to tailor the course to its own situation and its maturity in relation to the subject. Each country can take inspiration from the spirit and the specification and work with local experts and trainers to adapt the course to the reality in the field.
*LGBT+: The terms “lesbian”, “gay”, “bisexual” (or “bi”) refer to individuals who are attracted by persons of the same sex; the term “transgender” (or “trans”), individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth and the term “intersex”, those whose sexual characteristics do not match the binary notion of male or female bodies.