Following the formal appointment of a Diversity and Inclusion Officer in 2020, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee has now been set up. Under the auspices of two Management Board members, the committee has set itself the task of improving the way diversity and inclusion are embedded in all areas and processes of the company and ensuring consistency with our strategy. To establish the legal foundations more firmly, training sessions were held on equal treatment law in the workplace.
The well-known focal points remain unchanged:
- Women in management – more women in management positions
- Compensation fairness – equal pay for work of equal value
- Generation management – old and young together contribute to the success of the company
- People with disabilities – integrate, promote and offer positions where they can use their strengths
- Achieving a work/life balance
- Internationality and background – using internationality and cultural diversity as a strength
- Sexual orientation – all sexual orientations and identities are respected
In April 2021, a workshop was held with all members of the Supervisory Board and the Management Board on this topic. The focus here was on gender diversity.
UNIQA sees measurability as an essential criterion for the successful implementation of any strategy. Therefore, an inclusion index was created as part of the regular employee survey. Combining certain questions, it indicates how well the company succeeds in creating a working environment in which appreciation, equal opportunities, fairness and belonging can be experienced by very diverse people at UNIQA. In 2021, this index was surveyed for the first time and now serves as an important assessment of diversity and inclusion from the employees’ point of view.
Women in management
The objective here in 2021 was to determine the status quo by means of a well-founded analysis of the current situation and to find approaches for effective measures. This was successfully implemented in the context of the indexing for the Women’s Career Index. One of the most important results was the development of recruitment guidelines. These are intended to promote diversity in all teams and at all management levels, ensure equal opportunities for all employees and guarantee an objective and transparent selection process for managers.
In addition, the UNIQA mentoring programme was launched to support talented employees in their personal and professional development. Mentoring makes it possible to share professional and strategic (experience-based) knowledge, expand your network and optimise skills. This makes it an effective measure for increasing career opportunities in the company. We see mentoring as enrichment for all participants – both mentees and mentors. In November, the first cohort was able to start as part of a pilot project.
The successful cooperation initiatives with Female Founders and Business Riots were continued in 2021. Thus, UNIQA is offering frequent and attractive opportunities for personal development.
Improving work-life balance plays a clear role in equal opportunities. In order to demonstrate our open attitude to this topic to the outside world and to receive ideas for ongoing improvements, UNIQA became a member of the “Companies for Families” network in 2021. Based on the experiences with remote work during the Covid-19 crisis, models were developed to give employees the opportunity to continue to work from home in future in a suitable manner.
One of our objectives is “equal pay for work of equal value”. This results in the obligation to fulfil all legal requirements regarding equal pay. To support fairer pay, UNIQA in Austria has collected and analysed data on equal pay and applies best practices to eliminate bias in pay decisions. An important prerequisite for establishing comparability between the different roles was the implementation of grading. This was also done in 2021. As it also provides information on the gender distribution in higher-ranking functions, it provides another important starting point for targeted measures.
The increasing shortage of skilled workers, which will intensify in the coming years due to demographic developments, was identified as a major challenge for the future. In 2022, the proportion of the working-age population in Austria will decline for the first time. Here, too, UNIQA is taking action at different points. From the newly founded generation network, which surveys the needs and expectations of different age groups, to an Austria-wide apprenticeship concept, which aims to increase the training of the company’s own skilled workers.
People with disabilities
DisAbility Performance Check, launched in the fourth quarter of 2020, was completed in 2021. This provided a detailed analysis of the situation of people with disabilities at UNIQA. Based on the results of this analysis, a strategy for the gradual expansion of inclusion was developed. The measures already implemented include reducing barriers on the website as well as a communication focus around the Day of People with Disabilities or raising targeted awareness among employees. This was the start of an ongoing process that will be continued in 2022 by establishing a network for inclusion and offering job shadowing for students with disabilities.
Recent involvement in myAbility events (myAbility Lounge in October and Disability Comfort Day in November 2021) underscore UNIQA’s commitment to people with disabilities.
Commitment against exclusion
We also reaffirmed our fundamental rejection of all forms of exclusion and discrimination in 2021 in many different ways. UNIQA celebrated International Women’s Day as well as Pride Month, during which a network for members and supporters of the LGBTQIA+ community was founded. The UNIQA Tower was used as a prominent ambassador along the Danube Canal with an impressive rainbow display. “Orange the World” as a clear statement to protest violence against women and #purplelightup to champion a barrier-free economy also made the Tower shine in the corresponding colours. Our joining the Charter of Diversity of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber is another expression of our stance.