Elles & You

Isabelle Copin-Dumet, France

“Elles & You is about gathering men and women who believe in gender equality and diversity and how it adds value to our organization. Some women came to me and said, we’d like to spend more time with our female peers. So that’s when we told ourselves that this is a good opportunity to do something about it. Not long after, in 2015, a dinner was organized with some of them and Elles & You was officially launched a few months later.” - Isabelle Copin-Dumet

The Elles & You network, established in France, was created with the sole purpose of helping women flourish within our Financial Services Office (FSO). The network’s aim is to connect colleagues throughout FSO and to engage leadership with members of their teams to discuss gender equality within the organization. The network was successfully launched as a country-wide financial services initiative at the beginning of 2016, with their three main goals being: developing the business’ discussion on gender inclusion; improving and promoting well-being in the workplace; and developing inclusive leadership.

Not long after the launch of the network, Elles & You joined forces with the wider business to expand their initiative outside of our financial services teams.  The network has also collaborated across borders, sharing best practice with other networks in Germany, Switzerland and the UK. One of the most notable initiatives run by the network was ‘Portraits Diversite’ (Diversity Portraits), a campaign which profiled diversity role models across the business and made our FSO partners more accessible. Throughout the campaign we empowered our leaders to share inclusivity tips and insights into their lives outside of the workplace.

The network has facilitated more than 50 events over the past 2 years with the aim of keeping the Diversity and Inclusiveness (D&I) agenda front of mind and showcasing different ways of learning, contributing, and connecting the communities. Events have included speed mentoring, lean-in circles, round table discussions, networking events and partner breakfasts.  The network has also connected with clients, inviting them to speak and share best practice on advancing gender equality in the workplace.

Highlighting the importance of good well-being in the workplace is one of the networks most important goals, and to achieve this, they have hosted several events to promote this initiative. These events teach employees how to manage and relieve pressure and stress from their daily roles (i.e. exercise activities and charity runs and walks). The network also offers advice and coaching, either one-on-one or in groups, to continuously support this initiative. They are seen as best in class with their lean-in circle groups which has created a sense of trust and solidarity in a fast-paced environment. These groups also allow individuals to share their concerns and provide general feedback to partners. The network has grown to over 150 members, and is in close contact with several financial services clients. Their events have engaged more than 400 people and are open to all genders, service lines and ranks.