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Created on 06.09.2022

Committed to gender equality

Gender equality is firmly rooted in PostFinance’s strategy. We talk to Stefanie Haag, who is in charge of gender equality as a specialist, about diversity in management positions, doing away with admonishing attitudes, and specific measures.

What does PostFinance want to achieve as an employer with regard to gender equality?

So that all men, women and people with other gender identities can enjoy the same opportunities and conditions in our company and that no one is discriminated against. We want all people to have the freedom to develop their personal abilities and to make decisions without facing restrictive prejudices.

How serious is PostFinance about gender equality?

We take it so seriously that we have defined specific equality targets in our corporate responsibility strategy: by 2024, at least one third of both genders should be represented in middle and senior management. According to the Advance & HSG

Gender Intelligence Report 2021, while we achieve balanced figures in top management and across the entire workforce, we have some ground to make up in terms of the percentage of women in middle and senior management. Incidentally, uneven gender distribution is a phenomenon that can be observed in various industries and companies, and doesn’t only affect PostFinance.

Why is this issue so important for PostFinance?

Because we are convinced that gender equality is a key success factor for shaping the future and achieving our goals in a volatile environment. For example, in heterogeneous teams, there’s less risk of a one-dimensional outlook and overlooking crucial aspects. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to involve and include all genders.

As the Corporate Responsibility team, where do you apply the leverage to promote gender equality?

It’s not about calling for gender equality by waving an admonishing finger, but to introduce it as a solution to the challenges we are confronted with in the company. The question we ask ourselves here is: in which tasks can diversity provide the solution? Take, for example, the shortage of skilled workers: if we’re able to look for a suitable candidate in a diverse group when filling a vacancy, the probability of adequately filling the position becomes significantly higher. We need to sharpen our vision, look further afield – and in a diverse pool, we have more options and choices when recruiting and building a team. It’s also been demonstrated that diverse teams are more efficient.

What measures can help to ensure gender equality takes root in the company and that support is provided?

In recent months, our core task has been to raise awareness of gender equality among management and staff and to communicate on the topic within the company. To achieve this, we use and organize various events, such as the holiday week or the Equality Talks (see information box). Another key task is managing and coordinating a working group in which various employees from the line management are involved and develop specific measures to promote gender equality. One example of such a measure that could be implemented very quickly is to include crucial equality-related points in our recruiting guidelines. Advice is now given on using gender-sensitive language in job ads or on being aware of underlying prejudices in job interviews.

Patent Ochsner cult band – diversity leading to success

Diversity is also the main topic in the 13th episode of the PostFinance podcast. In this special episode, we talk to Monic Mathys and Katha Langstrumpf from Patent Ochsner about their band culture, social gender roles and backstage experiences. We also explore with Gabriela Länger, Chief Transformation Officer and member of the Executive Board at PostFinance, what the cult band Patent Ochsner and the yellow bank have in common.

What impressed you most about the podcast conversation with Patent Ochsner’s Monic Mathys and Katha Langstrumpf?

One statement that I particularly liked is that heterogeneous groups mean vibrancy which always entails some potential for conflict, which you have to learn to deal with as a group. But it’s precisely in this ability to deal with conflict that they see a valuable resource which makes it possible to establish and embrace a common culture. This is also, in my view, a great advantage of equality and inclusion, and it must be capitalized on.

With various measures for gender equality

  • To promote the balancing of family and working life, PostFinance has been offering childcare support during the summer holidays with the “holiday week” since 2016.

    Find out more about the “holiday week”

  • The series of events provides a platform for female executives at PostFinance to exchange views on relevant topics related to their careers. It allows them to learn from each other and add valuable contacts to their network.

    Find out more about the Women’s Talk

  • In addition to the Women’s Talk, the Equality Talks also offer men and women who are not (yet) in management positions the opportunity to exchange views on gender equality.

  • The aim of the project is to promote equality, because women are still under-represented in management positions in Swiss companies. Male managers, who as a group hadn’t been taken into consideration before, can now be seen as main players in shaping gender equality. The project therefore helps companies to tap into and include the potential of male managers. Measures have been derived from the analysis.

    The link will open in a new window Learn more about the University of St. Gallen’s Leaders for Equality project

  • As a measure derived from Leaders for Equality, training was offered to PostFinance and Swiss Post employees to raise awareness of underlying prejudices, whether in everyday life, in development discussions in the company or in relation to people with disabilities.

  • Part-time work and topsharing are being introduced, for example by advertising management positions with lower salaries.

  • For Pride Month 2022, various employees shared their experiences and messages on equality and inclusion in short videos.

About Stefanie Haag

Stefanie Haag

PostFinance’s Stefanie Haag is responsible for gender equality, corporate responsibility (CR) communication and raising employee awareness about sustainability. She has a master’s degree in social anthropology and sustainable development.

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