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Covid-19 & Diversity: View on a Luxembourg financial sector in times of crisis by the Luxembourg's Bankers Association

In the context of its series "Diversity & Covid-19", the Lëtzebuerg Diversity Charter conducted a short interview with Mrs Catherine Bourin and Mrs Prune Delvalle, respectively Member of the Management Board and Legal Officer at Luxembourg's Bankers' Association (ABBL). Here, we wanted to get the association's views on the management of the Luxembourg financial sector in the face of the pandemic.

What are the positive and negative impacts of the pandemic on diversity andinclusion in the Luxembourg financial sector?

The Covid-19 crisis has plunged companies in the financial sector into a situation that they could never have anticipated: placing a majority of their employees in teleworking. This was already a reality for some credit institutions, others have taken this step out of necessity. The post-crisis period will have an undeniable effect: teleworking will be the new norm.

It is widely accepted that telework is one of the ingredients for a better balance between private and professional life. For fathers and mothers alike, the experimentation with telework has opened up a new vision of work and how to combine professional and private obligations.

As an employer, what measures (existing or new) has the ABBL put in place to manage this crisis in an inclusive way?

The ABBL had already put in place an inclusive telework policy developed in 2019 and implemented since the beginning of 2020. It was therefore not difficult to generalise to almost all staff at the time of the crisis.

Diversity andequal treatment have become part of your association's values, could you share with us an example where diversity has been an asset for the ABBL?

Indeed, these are values that are dear to the ABBL and it is for this reason that our association very quickly invited its members to join initiatives promoting diversity and equal professional opportunities in the Luxembourg financial centre, in particular the Charter for Diversity in the Financial Sector. 

We also wanted these notions to appear in the ABBL's code of conduct, which is binding on all its banking members, but also in the collective agreement negotiated with our social partners in order to formally encourage the HR directors of the banking sector to integratediversity management and equal professional opportunities into the internal policy of their organisations. 

For us, diversity is above all an asset in our daily lives in that it enables us to make the most of the talents andskills of all our employees. We are therefore convinced that diversity contributes to our performance and has a positive effect on the image and therefore the attractiveness of our sector.

Published on 19 May 2020