Thanks to its new company agreement on professional gender-equality, BRGM, the French Geological Survey, aims to achieve real equality between women and men at work.
BRGM has signed a new three-year company agreement on professional equality between women and men with its three trade unions, for the period from 2021 to 2024.
The aim is to ensure completely egalitarian treatment of women and men at work
Equality in the workplace means ensuring that there is no discrimination within the company. BRGM's objective is thus to achieve real equality between women and men at work, by strengthening equal opportunities through the implementation of pro-active measures to resolve 7 issues:
- Equal pay for women and men;
- Enabling women's access to executive positions;
- Gender parity in the geoscientific professions and mixing of very unbalanced professions;
- Reconciling work, personal life and parenthood;
- Access to international assignments for young parents and women;
- Preventing and fighting against all forms of sexism at work;
- Building a genuine culture of equality.
As stipulated in the Act, "pro-active measures" for professional equality are temporary measures taken for the sole benefit of women in order to contribute to equal professional opportunities for employees of both genders.
An agreement built around 4 guidelines for progress
Guideline 1 - Ensure similar career development for women and men
Recruitment and internal mobility to increase the number of women geoscientists at BRGM:
- Achieve a proportion of 34% of women in geoscientific jobs (30% in 2019).
- For each vacancy, at least one female and one male candidate should be considered for the recruitment interviews.
Enabling women's access to executive positions:
- Support women likely to take up executive positions (management, expertise, etc.) by setting-up a system adapted to their career development (mentoring, successively-staged assignments, etc.) and thus encourage them to apply for a position when it becomes available.
- Encourage women to enrol in training courses for which women are clearly in the minority to increase their skills.
- Further strengthen internal mobility, particularly in the case of stepping-stone positions.
- Achieve a proportion of 35% of women managers in 3 years (31% in 2019), 35% of women deputy directors (27% in 2019) and 33% of women on the board of directors with at least 1 woman director of an operational department (15% in 2019).
- There shall not be an average gap of more than 5% between women and men at the end of the period covered by the agreement, for any job position (as defined in the list of BRGM job positions).
Guideline 2 - Establish a genuine culture of gender equality at BRGM
A shared culture:
- Raising awareness among employees to reduce gender bias based on stereotypes in decision-making.
- Aim to achieve a gender balance in jobs by achieving a proportion of 27% of women in IT jobs while recruiting at least one man in the ‘assistant’ jobs.
Support for parenting:
- Implement exit and return interviews for maternity/parental leave, with systematic feedback from the manager to the HRD.
- As of July 2021, and within the framework of the new Act, BRGM will ensure payment of the supplement to the daily social security allowances for the entire duration of the leave, while taking into account the extension of the duration of paternity/2nd parent or childcare leave.
Guideline 3 - Promote access to international projects for young parents and women
- Establish senior-junior pairs to promote the transfer of skills during international assignments, particularly with women.
- Promote international assignments by the International Division (forum, publications, testimonials), with corresponding support for young parents.
- Assess and reduce risks for female staff travelling abroad.
- Generalise the "Environmental, Social, Health and Safety Code of Conduct" (ESHS) for major international projects, to be signed by the stakeholders.
Guideline 4 - Prevent and fight against sexism in all its forms at BRGM
- Continue prevention campaigns against gender-based and sexual aggression at BRGM.
- Prolong the assignments of in-house coordinators in the fight against sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
At BRGM, the gender equality index stipulated in the Act of 5 September 2018 on freedom of choice in professional careers reached 88/100 in 2020. Thanks to this new agreement, BRGM aims to achieve a score of 98/100 by 2024.
Sustained prevention campaigns against gender-based and sexual violence at BRGM
In January 2020, BRGM signed an undertaking to combat gender-based and sexual violence at work. A number of measures have been implemented, including:
- the appointment of 4 in-house coordinators to combat sexist behaviour and sexual harassment.
- the setting-up of a reporting system including a generic email address and a psychological-support unit staffed by a pair of coordinators.
- the distribution of a flyer to all staff to raise awareness of the different types of gender-based and sexual violence and to publicise the reporting system.
- the creation of a training MOOC, within the framework of a European project, with BRGM as the pilot company.
- the setting-up of prevention sessions, particularly for new managers and new recruits.
- a lecture for BRGM staff, entitled "Stop gender-based violence at work", held on 8 March 2021 on the occasion of International Women's Rights Day. This lecture, given by Natacha Henry, a French-British essayist, historian and journalist, who is very involved in the fight against gender-based violence, brought together 225 participants, 38% of whom were men.