“At Essilor, we strive to employ and include people of all backgrounds because we strongly believe that diversity of gender, age, thoughts and characteristics is a source of richness for the company. A richness that drives innovation and provides the best environment and day–to-day experience for every employee.” says Frédéric Mathieu, Corporate Senior Vice President Human Resources, Essilor International.
Diversity: a value at the very heart of Essilor’s DNA
As a global company, operating in 70 countries, the promotion of diversity in all its forms is a fundamental part of Essilor’s DNA. Recognized as a Diversity Leader 2020 by the Financial Times. This award came as endorsement of Essilor’s continuous commitment and concrete initiatives led for nearly 15 years towards greater diversity and inclusion within the Group.
Going beyond legal requirements
Over the last decades, governments have taken actions to prevent discrimination and legally oblige economic actors to be inclusive. Whether it comes to gender, intergenerational or disability, Essilor translates legal requirements as opportunities to push more inclusive initiatives.
Counting close to 70 000 employees around the world, Essilor also uses collective intelligence to promote diversity and inclusion through the exchange of good practices.
For example, the creation of a women’s network: Women@Essilor in France, led to the replication of several other like-minded networks in the USA and Singapore. The implementation of corrective measures regarding salaries and promotions also reflects a shared ambition to crack the glass ceiling for female employees. Different corporate management programs are proposed such as the EVE Program, an intercompany women leadership seminar organised by Danone. And, in 2020, for the second consecutive year, the company obtained an excellent 94/100 score on its gender equality index – a legally required publication for companies in France…
Regarding disability, the company supports its employees so that they remain contributors to the society. As a global leader in the eyecare business, Essilor actively supports the International Disability Alliance promoting vision as a priority in school health programs.
Concrete actions to improve inclusion and well-being at work
Today, Essilor is pushing the agenda even further notably by signing a first Diversity and Inclusion Agreement in France which promotes a transversal approach.
As part of this commitment, the Group will educate 500 recruitment managers by 2023 on good hiring practices without any form of discrimination through tailored e-learning sessions.
Mentoring, which has proven effective in promoting co-development between generations, genders, areas of expertise, is well established at Essilor. This includes the reverse mentoring program that matches a senior manager with a younger employee to enhance their skills on the use of digital tools.
Among many other examples of positive measures, Essilor takes part in special awareness initiatives, notably at job fairs towards socially discriminated populations or through Duo Day, an annual European initiative inviting corporations to welcome and present their activity to a disabled person over the course of one day.
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Diversity is a key value for the Essilor group. This is why Essilor has a number of initiatives dedicated to gender diversity and empowering women to contribute at the highest levels. In support of this, Essilor sponsored the sixth edition of EVE Asia-Pacific in Singapore to inspire women and enlighten men to drive change in their organizations.