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Santander Bank Polska joined the Diversity IN Check, the list of the most inclusive and diversity-friendly companies

Santander Bank Polska was among a dozen or so organisations recognised for creating a friendly and inclusive work environment, as well as internal programmes promoting diversity. The first list of employers in Poland who are most advanced in diversity and inclusion management was prepared by the Responsible Business Forum (FOB).

In order to qualify for the Diversity IN Check list, employers must obtain a certain number of points in a survey conducted by FOB. It consists of a diagnosis of the degree of maturity of employers in the field of diversity management and building inclusive organisations. The survey questionnaire is based on internationally recognised standards and guidelines, including the SDGs, ISO 26000, GRI Standards and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The questions in the questionnaire were divided into five thematic areas: management basics, programmes and activities, building commitment, outcome indicators and additional questions related to COVID-19.

Participating in the Diversity IN Check was a test of our maturity in the area of diversity. For many years it has been very important in our strategy and we are involved in many activities promoting diversity, equal opportunities, payroll and tolerance. However, we feel it is necessary to review the actions we take as an organisation in this area. This is important because each such verification allows us to look at the subject in an even broader way, gives us a different point of view and helps to implement even better solutions which will support the idea of creating an inclusive environment. For Santander Bank Polska, the model of functioning based on diversity and inclusiveness is natural and obvious, because we strongly believe that diversity drives creativity and influences the accuracy of decision-making for the benefit of employees and customers. Diversity and inclusiveness are some of the basic elements of organizational culture in our bank, and it is these elements that are priorities for the sustainable development of Santander Bank Polska.

says Dorota Strojkowska, Member of the Board of Santander Bank Polska responsible for the Business Partnerships Division

The award is a great culmination of celebrations of the European Diversity Month, which is also celebrated in Santander Bank Polska. On this occasion, the bank conducted numerous internal initiatives, such as joint workshops with the Poland Without Barriers Foundation, educational webinars and podcasts for employees, and participated in the debate organized by the FOB on diversity issues in organizations.

Santander Bank Polska - a diverse and inclusive bank

Diversity and inclusiveness is one of the directions of Santander Bank Polska’s strategy. It involves creating an organisational culture based on respect for diversity, developing policies and mechanisms that effectively support equal treatment and diversity management in the workplace. Diversity is not only promoted through one-off initiatives, but is manifested in the respect for individuality, equal treatment and anti-discrimination embedded in the bank’s strategies at the management level, through adopted policies and procedures, including the General Code of Conduct, the Respect and Dignity Policy, the Sustainable Development Policy and the Corporate Culture Policy of Santander Bank Polska Group.

The bank’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness is reflected in the numerous initiatives and programmes it has been running for many years. Since 2009, Santander Bank Polska has implemented an innovative Barrier-Free Service programme aimed at ensuring full accessibility to banking services for all customers. Through the programme, the bank wants to ensure a consistent and positive experience for customers with special needs, regardless of where they are served: in a branch, on the phone, via the Internet or at an ATM. Anothwr example is the Differently-Abled which creates a diverse working environment to ensure comfortable and convenient working conditions for people with special needs. The programme also raises awareness of the rights and needs of people with disabilities.

In 2017, Santander Bank Polska became a signatory of the Diversity Charter, an international initiative under the auspices of the European Commission. The Charter is the organisation’s commitment to prohibit discrimination in the workplace and to act to promote diversity. It also expresses the company’s willingness to involve all employees and business and social partners in these activities. Organisations which decide to implement this tool are working towards social cohesion and equality.

Through a range of various initiatives, cooperation with women’s organisations and partnership in social campaigns, the bank seeks to break stereotypes and inspire women to take on leadership roles. Great attention is paid in the bank to ensuring a balance in the number of women and men participating in development programmes, as well as in the succession and recruitment process. An internal communication platform called #SantanderWomen is another project that has been launched. It consists of a series of educational and development workshops aimed to strengthen women’s leadership and encourage them to take on new challenges in their careers. More recently, it has also been running a series of podcasts called „Santander Women”, which explore the themes of diversity, inclusivity and leadership. The bank has also joined the Women Update campaign, which encourages women to rebrand themselves and open up to professions in technology sectors. Together with the Santander Group, it also runs scholarship projects, such as Santander Women and Emerging Leaders, to increase women’s leadership skills and support them in the labour market.