Bank of Valletta (BOV) Acting Chief People & Change Officer Ray Debattista has emphasised the role that gender equality has in establishing a “successful people-oriented strategy” within an organisation, especially one with a large workforce like BOV.
This comes after BOV was recently recertified with the Equality Mark, a certification awarded by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) as a way of recognising an organisation’s efforts to provide a healthy work environment free from discrimination.
Mr Debattista remarked that BOV is “delighted” to have been recertified with the Equality Mark, describing it as an “achievement that is tangible proof of the bank’s commitment to its employees”. The certification also acknowledges BOV’s responsibility to “provide equal access to opportunities and career development based on potential, irrespective of gender and caring responsibilities,” he added.
In its assessment, the NCPE conducted an audit of the bank’s policies and practices, recruitment strategies, equality in career and personal development opportunities, as well as family-friendly measures for employees with caring responsibilities.
BOV stated that the formal recognition confirms that its practices are “up to standard and accessible to both existing and prospective employees”, ensuring that their rights and responsibilities are “respected and safeguarded”. It added that this is further supported through the establishment of policies that focus on equal opportunities, and that “seek to ensure the proper protection against sexual harassment”, through the provision of ongoing support from family-friendly measures.
“In a large organisation like ours, with a workforce of over 2,000 people, gender equality is part of the formula for a successful people-oriented strategy,” Mr Debattista explained.
“In today’s multicultural world and as an organisation strongly committed to ESG, diversity and inclusion feature highly on our agenda. This is why we have set up a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality (DIE) Committee,” he added.
The committee features a core team that works together to promote a healthy environment, as BOV seeks to ensure that employees have “equal opportunities regardless of age, race, cultural background, skills, beliefs, and sexual orientation”.
Tania Camilleri, who heads the DIE Committee, explained: “The committee aims to drive our diversity and inclusion policies in our day-to-day actions.” Aside from Dr Camilleri, the committee also includes Joyce Tabone, Jesmar Spiteri and Nina Hansen.
In recent months, the committee has organised a number of initiatives, including a “Uniqueness Campaign”, aimed at showcasing the qualities that BOV’s people possess and a series of workshops discussing burnout and how to fight it.
Dr Camilleri added that the committee will also be sharing techniques for leaders to promote “greater understanding, compassion, and support for diversity” across the bank.
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