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From outside Switzerland: +41 58 285 85 85
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Diversity and inclusion at Baloise to mark UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity
Blog Diversity and inclusion at Baloise to mark UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity
Kim Berrendorf May 20, 2020

In order to adopt a future-oriented and sustainable approach to the management of our company, we focus on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN SDGs). As a specialised agency of the United Nations, UNESCO has designated 21 May as World Day for Cultural Diversity. We plan to take this special day as an opportunity to showcase how Baloise is incorporating diversity and inclusion into day-to-day working life in a sustainable manner.

Simply diverse – it’s in Baloise’s blood

The more diverse we are at Baloise, the more broadly we are represented – moving towards more balance across all age groups, genders and cultures. This conviction is reflected in our strategic objective of ranking among the top 10 per cent of the best employers in our industry by 2021. Our recertification as a Friendly Work Space is a recent example of how our efforts are being recognised as we work towards achieving this objective.

We take the topic of diversity very seriously: in order to promote diversity within Baloise, we have set up the Diversity Board (article available in German and French only) at our Head Office in Basel. In addition, a coordination centre analyses fields of action and coordinates the implementation of new measures. We are working on programmes to promote diversity in all of our locations in a quest to further step up, and celebrate, our commitment to diversity at Baloise.

Diversity and inclusion for greater sustainability

As one of the key factors in the success of our corporate culture, diversity is something we live by in our dealings with various resource groups: employees, customers, shareholders and partners. These groups reflect our society at large with its different generations, genders, needs, personalities, expertise, concerns, languages, points of view and orientations. We aim to integrate all of these different facets. We are convinced that this diversity makes us better as a community. However, our sustainability efforts include a firm focus not only on diversity, but also on inclusion: our actions allow us to influence UN SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality) and 10 (Reduced inequalities), in particular.

«We are delighted to have been able to make such a measurable contribution to environmental protection and inclusion. Our collaboration with AfB always runs very smoothly and we look forward to continuing this in 2020 too.»

Inclusion at Baloise and at our partners

In addition to the occupational integration workstations that Baloise offers employees with physical or mental disabilities, we provide backing to partners that also support inclusion.

The certificate that Basler Versicherungen Germany recently received from the inclusion enterprise AfB (Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderung), Europe’s largest non-profit IT enterprise, for its work in 2019 is one encouraging outcome of this cooperation to foster greater inclusion and social and ecological collaborative work. Used IT equipment like notebooks, PCs, monitors and company mobile phones are donated to AfB for data erasure, refurbishing and resale. Returning equipment to economic circulation like this can help avoid electronic waste and conserve natural resources on a sustainable basis. The donation of our equipment allowed another job to be created for a disabled person.

The IT company currently employs more than 440 employees at 19 locations across Europe, roughly 45 per cent of whom have a disability. This partnership with Baloise helps bring the inclusion enterprise a step closer to its long-term vision of creating 500 jobs for people with disabilities.
 

Diversity and environmental protection – everything is connected

All of the measures that we take in pursuit of our sustainability objectives are connected, as is evident from the holistic approach we take in the form of our value-added model. In the case of our partnership with AfB, the donation of the IT equipment not only made a contribution to inclusion, but also helped to support environmental protection.

Returning equipment to economic circulation like this can help avoid electronic waste and conserve natural resources on a sustainable basis. Baloise Insurance’s partnership with AfB will allow savings equivalent to 56,288 kg of iron, 45,850 kg of CO2 and 134,710 kWh of energy.
“The latter corresponds to the average annual electricity consumed by 56 two-person households,” explains Thomas Klein, Head of Marketing and Communications at Basler Versicherungen in Germany.

The collaboration between AfB and Baloise Insurance shows that sustainability and entrepreneurship are not mutually exclusive. Long-term cooperation with a focus on synergies helps Baloise and AfB to work together to generate mutual added value for both companies, as well as for society and the environment.

Diversity – a broad spectrum

There are many facets to diversity: from collaboration that transcends national borders, cooperation between different cultures and generations, and equality between genders.

Gender

We advocate for gender equality. We are committed to ensuring that women are represented at all levels of our company. In Switzerland, women account for 32 per cent of lower-level management. This corresponds exactly to the gender distribution throughout the company. In Luxembourg, the proportion of women in management is 28 percent.

2019 We participated in the Diversity Index developed by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, securing ninth place out of 30 participating companies.

As part of the Biversity diversity programme in Belgium, we joined forces with Women in Finance to create a positive atmosphere for women in the financial industry. To mark International Women’s Day, we also conducted a campaign in Belgium to raise awareness of the issue of part-time work, highlighting that this option is still often restricted to female employees.

Baloise is also home to the JUMP! network in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals can organise events, exchange ideas and promote diversity.

Generations

An environment in which young and old work together is one that creates added value for everyone. The courage to try out new things meets with confidence and experience – a modern mindset with masterful skills. We are using the Late Careers project to strengthen the integration of employees aged over 50 within Baloise: a survey involving more than 450 employees aged over 50, who participated voluntarily, was conducted at our Head Office in the summer of 2019. A roundtable meeting is being held end of Mai to address the results, with measures then scheduled for implementation in the autumn.

We also offer our retired employees smartphone workshops so that they can learn how to use the devices, ensuring that all generations can keep in touch with each other.

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