UNIQA is convinced that a high degree of diversity in the Group can enhance its success on a sustainable basis. Diversity at management levels has a positive impact on the corporate culture. UNIQA defines diversity as different nationalities, cultures and a collective of men and women. This diversity also reflects the make-up of our customers in Austria and in 18 other European countries, and helps us to understand them better in order to offer suitable products and services. People from more than 32 different countries are employed by UNIQA at the Vienna corporate head office alone.
Over the course of 2015, the proportion of women on Management Boards and in senior executive positions throughout the Group rose to 20 per cent. The equivalent figure at an international level was 29 per cent – this represents a 4 per cent increase compared with the previous year.
The fact that the shareholder representative on our Supervisory Board Kory Sorenson was selected as one of the 100 most influential women in the insurance industry by a British professional magazine is particularly encouraging.
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 promoting women. 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 even on “bridging days” (between a public holiday and the weekend), an advisory and agency service for childcare, private tuition, as well as a broad range of health and sports activities. Advice and support with caring for family members has also been offered since 2015 as part of the “Elder Care” scheme.
UNIQA also supports flexible working hours and offers the option of teleworking. In 2015, 23 per cent of the administrative employees in Austria made use of part-time working while 11 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; 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.