International Women's Day: Lafarge strives to be a more gender balanced organization

Gender equality and the development of diverse talent have been long-standing commitments for Lafarge: over the last 10 years, we have more than doubled the proportion of women in senior positions. On the occasion of International Women's Day, discover some of our initiatives to develop female talent and female empowerment in our communities.

03.08.2015
 

A company where diverse talent can thrive

Lafarge countries celebrating International Women’s Day

  • In Zimbabwe, our teams will organize a series of events: a celebration lunch for all the women in the business, an awards ceremony for exceptional women in various categories, a home-made videos session, a lunch event with the Country CEO, etc.  
  • In Moldova, Lafarge will host a joint breakfast for all the women in the Company, featuring speeches from male colleges from top and middle management have speeches: to congratulate and to point out the importance of women in our Company. 

At Lafarge, we believe that having a diverse and inclusive working environment makes our decision-making more effective, stimulates innovation and contributes to generate better business results.

 

This is why we have been working to nurture diverse talent for a long time: in the past 10 years, we have more than doubled the proportion of women in senior positions to reach the level of 19% at the end of 2014. Early 2015, we have also released a new Group Policy on Diversity & Inclusion, to reinforce our overall approach.

 

Many countries have contributed to our collective effort through localprograms

  • In Western Canada, we have put in place several initiatives, such as the inclusion of gender equality in the recruitment processes (job descriptions, interview panels, etc.), a program to train women to driving readymix trucks, or the creation of an internal "Women in Lafarge" Focus Group.
  • In India, we have launched a women's network called WAVE initiative (Women Adding Value & Excellence) @ Lafarge. The objective is to enable women to connect with each other across locations and share their experiences. This initiative has been granted the Lafarge Global Award in 2014.
  • In Brazil, training and development programs were implemented, which allowed increasing the number of women in manager roles from 14% to 21% in the last 5 years.
  • In Nigeria, our local teams organized childcare support within or near our sites.
  • In Spain, we improved to 25% women in manager jobs, with a specific focus on the industrial population.

 

At the end of 2014, the Group was granted the Gender Equality European and International Standard (GEEIS) for its capacity to stimulate and lead a gender program both centrally and through four of its sites (Head Office, Brazil, Nigeria and Spain).

 

  

Read Lafarge Diversity & Inclusion Policy (pdf, 478.96 KB)

 

Building alliances to develop female talent

To enhance the professional development and progress of the Group's women, we have signed partnerships at Group level with international organizations:

  • Professional Women's Network - PWN. In 2015, women from Lafarge in different locations will be invited to join this offline and online network for professional women of all sectors and industries. They will benefit from expanded learning & development opportunities (mentoring programs, workshops, etc.).
    > Find out more on PWN

 

  • Women's Forum - Global Meeting - 2015 Edition. After participating in the 2014 edition, we will host a breakout session on Affordable Housing in the 2015 Forum. 20 delegates from our company, women and men are to participate to gather ideas and best practices on how other companies are leveraging the contributions of women in the business.
    > Find out more on Women's Forum

 

  • Catalyst. This organization has been conducting research on gender equality in the workplace for 50 years. Through our partnership, we have access to their tools, events and study database and this will help us build more efficient Diversity & Inclusion programs at country level.
    > Find out more on Catalyst

 

In parallel, we are also exploring some partnerships opportunities with networks of women with technical roles.    

 

Female empowerment within the communities: turning women into game-changers

Developing women's skills is an important objective for Lafarge. We recognize that investing in women benefits the economic development of entire families and communities surrounding our operations.

Therefore, as part of our Sustainability Ambitions 2020 on Communities development and outreach, our plants and operating units have implemented several local female empowerment initiatives outside Lafarge all around the world. You may find the figures are low in absolute numbers, but at a local level, they can turn women into game-changers for their local communities!