This week saw Diversity Day Lëtzebuerg and IDAHOT 2019 – an opportunity for celebrations and exchanges at the EIB.
Luxembourg Diversity Day (Diversity Day Lëtzebuerg) on 15 May is an occasion to emphasise the importance and benefits of diversity – particularly workplace diversity – across the country. The same goes for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May, which aims to raise awareness to combat prejudice and physical, psychological and symbolic abuse connected to sexual orientation or gender identity. This is also the case at the EIB, with events for staff members to openly discuss topics related to diversity within our institution.
Talk with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on LGBT+ integration in society and at work – IDAHOT Day
On 14 May, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel visited the EU bank for an interview with EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb and an informal discussion with staff members on LGBT+ issues, particularly those connected to the workplace. He engaged in a relaxed, frank and open exchange regarding his political actions, career and personal views. “A society can only flourish if everyone is included and respected,” he emphasised.
The EIB's goal is to use this session and other actions to promote the European and non-discrimination values it advocates and to promote an environment in which each individual is respected and feels secure. The Prime Minister's talk with EIB staff members – very much appreciated by everyone that took part – was organised by the EIB LGBT+ group to celebrate IDAHOT.
Discussion with Corinne Cahen at the COPEC SUNRISE EVENT for Diversity Day Lëtzebuerg
Corinne Cahen, Luxembourg Minister for Family Affairs and Integration and Minister for the Greater Region included the EIB on her list of official visits for Diversity Day Lëtzebuerg on 15 May, taking part in the COPEC SUNRISE EVENT entitled “Workplace diversity makes good business sense – Increasing diversity so no one is left out of the line of inclusion.” After being welcomed by Deputy Secretary General Pierre Albouze and the members of the Joint Committee on Equal Opportunities (COPEC), she spoke to EIB staff members of many different nationalities and cultures and engaged in an open discussion with the audience. She described the challenging situation of a country where half of the population are foreign nationals, as well as corporate policies to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and at home. “Diversity values everyone and is key,” she concluded.
The EIB has undertaken to promote non-discrimination and equality for all, and, more broadly, the protection of human rights.
The EIB Group has implemented a proactive policy to make internal progress and to ensure that its activities respect the principles of diversity and inclusion. In 2016, the EIB Group approved its first Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment with a view to making gender equality a part of all its activities. The Gender Action Plan covers the implementation of this strategy in the Bank's loan, blending and advisory activities.
The EIB has developed an internal diversity and inclusion strategy based on the same pillars used in its external strategy for operations: Protect (guarantee non-discrimination and equal opportunities), Impact (promote diversity) and Invest (in internal and external talent).
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.