UNIQA is convinced that the Group can enhance the level of success on a sustainable basis by encouraging a high degree of diversity. Diversity at management levels has a positive impact on the corporate culture. UNIQA defines diversity in this context as different nationalities, cultures and a mix of women and men.
This diversity also reflects the make-up of our customer base in Austria and 18 European countries and helps us to understand them better so we can offer suitable products and services. People from more than 30 different countries are employed by UNIQA at the Vienna corporate head office alone.
Over the course of 2014, the proportion of women on Management Boards and in senior executive positions throughout the Group improved by one percentage point to 19 per cent. The equivalent figure at an international level remained at 25 per cent.
We are particularly pleased to welcome Kory Sorenson, the first woman to be appointed as a shareholder representative on the Supervisory Board of UNIQA Insurance Group AG. Her presence makes the Supervisory Board more diverse. Kory Sorenson combines professional expertise with many years of experience and an international dimension. UNIQA has therefore taken a further step in the right direction but still needs to keep improving in this regard, and certainly intends to do so.
Enabling employees to achieve a work-life balance and providing them with straightforward access to services that make everyday life easier – especially for mothers – are key factors. In Austria, UNIQA has created a comprehensive range of services known as “Freiraum” (Latitude) that addresses these needs. In conjunction with an external partner (KibisCare), this range of services includes a comprehensive childcare service on “bridging days” (between a public holiday and the weekend), an advisory and agency service for childcare, private tuition and for the support and care of family members, together with a broad range of health and sports activities.
UNIQA also supports flexible working hours and offers the option of teleworking. In 2014, 21 per cent of the administrative employees in Austria made use of part-time working while 8 per cent opted for teleworking.
In terms of professional development for managers, UNIQA believes that the most promising approach is to undertake joint development activities for both women and men. Cooperation between men and women then becomes a matter of course and also works much better on a day-to-day basis. The “INSPIRE“ management development programme, which has been running since 2013, aims to put this joint development approach into practice: it brings together managers from all the markets in the UNIQA Group and a quarter of the participants are women. From a recruitment perspective however, UNIQA exercises positive discrimination, giving preference to female applicants where they have the same skills and qualifications.