Diversity at Excelia…

It’s a simple matter of education!

Social responsibility… these two words are extremely important for Excelia. The Diversity aspect of our CSR policy deals with sensitive issues that are fundamental for living together in harmony: inclusion, prevention of and the fight against discrimination, gender equality in the workplace, and equal opportunity.

Such issues merit considerable collective reflection, in order to generate valuable and effective initiatives

 

2016: Excelia becomes a member of AFMD

 

Excelia has long been committed to diversity, with its Diversity Chair that has now been in place for some four years, in addition to having a Diversity Coordinator and a Disability Coordinator responsible for helping and supporting students in need.

More about our disability initiatives

 

In 2015, Excelia had already proved its commitment to diversity by organizing the International Diversity Forum. Our membership of AFMD in 2016 strengthened our position and presence on a national level, working alongside the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue, major business groups and companies.

 

AFMD… an important acronym

The Association Française des Managers de la Diversité (French Association of Diversity Managers) is a non-profit association, founded in 2007 by managers who were looking to address diversity in the workplace as effectively as possible.

Today, this network, as a valuable forum for discussion and a laboratory of ideas, brings together more than 130 organisations including companies, institutions, local authorities, associations, major business schools and universities. They are all committed to creating a workplace that is inclusive, and that respects each and every individual.

The AFMD and its members draw on academic research and the practical experience of professionals to work on various themes relating to the transformation of management roles and the prevention of discrimination in the workplace.

The resulting publications and initiatives, which are the fruit of a joint effort necessitating sharing, excellence and audacity, are then made available to the widest possible audience.

 

More about AFMD

 

Diversity Coordinators within companies and schools wear many hats, acting as information intermediaries, network coordinators, training coordinators, department advisors, and even event organisers. They are responsible for monitoring performance indicators of initiatives that promote diversity and gender equality in the workplace.

 

As our Diversity Coordinator since 2016, Jean-Pierre Dumazert, a research-active Faculty member and Director of the HR & Management Teaching Department, is delighted that Excelia is part of this ‘movement’.

 

“Students are very keen for schools to address the issue of diversity, just like the companies that host them. This expectation has been growing over the last 10 years. Students send us messages saying how much they appreciate the initiatives undertaken, and new proposals put forward. There is so much to be gained by working with them in this process of reflection, which necessitates both education and training.”

 

Strong awareness of Gender Equality

 

“We only started to address this issue back in 2015, so relatively recently. However, we’re now making great progress, especially thanks to the collaboration with our partners… it’s impossible to move forward alone!”

With this in mind, Jean-Pierre Dumazert remembers well inviting several key players from the business world to the conference on gender equality organised by the Diversity Commission of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles in November 2019.

 

The fight against harassment

Excelia is also involved in the Stand Up programme, initiated by L’Oréal Paris in partnership with the NGO ‘Hollaback!’ and the Fondation des Femmes. The aim of this programme is to teach men and women how to confront street harassment, whether as a bystander or as a victim. Indeed, we are all part of the solution!

The Stand Up programme is based on the ‘5 Ds’: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct. Due to the current health situation, training is being offered remotely on the Stand Up platform, and feedback has been extremely positive. The fight continues… so, join us!

More about Stand Up

 

Fighting everyday sexism

Everyone has heard the jokes about blondes, or those silly little comments, even made by women about other women. “She’s pregnant again, she keeps popping them out”, “I keep forgetting, you can’t rely on her on Wednesdays”, “I try to promote women, even though the work is quite technical”... So many stereotypes that are sources of inequality, discrimination and, in some extreme cases, even violence.

Gender equality at work is very much linked to sexism because certain signs, gestures, words, and behaviours destabilise, infantilise, engender inferiority complexes, disempower, create self-censorship and limit opportunities. It probably seems so obvious to you that women are capable of doing the same things as men, unhindered by fear or barriers. However, there is still room for progress throughout society, and a need for information and training to raise awareness.

Since December 2020, Excelia has been one of the 114 major business schools and companies, such as L’Oréal, Accor Hotel Group, and Ernst & Young, that have signed up to the #StOpE.

* initiative, which aims to eliminate everyday sexism through implementing tangible actions and good practices.

 

The word ‘everyday’ when referring to sexism may come as a surprise, but unfortunately sexism is commonplace. It is insidiously present in all social groups made up of men and women and has been this way, even long before life in the workplace. Excelia is determined to address this extremely important issue.

“Our school has to be the first line of defence, the first shield before students enter the world of work, we need to ensure that we are present and vigilant to prevent any potential incidents”, emphasises Jean-Pierre Dumazert, our Diversity Coordinator.

 

“This commitment will enable us to get to the bottom of things, to understand the different forms of sexism, and to suggest ways of moving forward”, explains Jean-Pierre Dumazert, who knows that behind a certain modesty, students are very aware of the issues of discrimination, inequality and sexism, and have experiences to share.

#StOpE: Sexisme dit Ordinaire en Entreprise = so-called everyday sexism in the workplace

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