The development of a comprehensive diversity concept was continued consistently in 2020 and has now also been reflected within the organisation with the appointment of Ulrike Kienast-Salmhofer as Diversity & Inclusion Officer as at 1 August 2020. Three aspects were added to the priorities selected in 2019 and defined as specific objectives for upcoming years:
- 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
Another workshop was held with Board members in September 2020 on the topic of unconscious bias. A mandatory module “Unconscious Bias. Inclusive Leadership” was introduced in the newly launched #leader_ship programme for all managers as a logical next step. UNIQA recognises that self-reflective confrontation with an individual’s own unconscious prejudices is the most important prerequisite for practising diversity in everyday life.
Women in management
UNIQA has acknowledged that equal participation of women in all processes and at all levels in the company is a crucial competitive factor. The Women’s Career Index was launched in the fourth quarter of 2020 as a well-founded assessment of the current situation aimed at pursuing the objective of more women in management positions in an even more structured and effective manner going forward. This has provided UNIQA with a tool to determine its standpoint regarding the topic as well as a way to measure and manage the company’s equality objectives.
The women’s network “Women with Power – Network Now” established in November 2020 involved the introduction of an initiative to exchange experiences, at the same time supporting the professional development of women and identifying any obstacles for that. More than 70 women from all areas of UNIQA provided strong momentum at the launch event.
UNIQA also constantly provides opportunities for personal development. The successful cooperation initiatives continued for instance with Female Founders and Business Riots. Even though the measures imposed as a result of the coronavirus required some changes to be made from March 2020, three female managers were able to take part in the three-month digital leadership programme Lead F, as well as to gain valuable insights from various events.
Improving work/life balance plays a clear role in equal opportunities. Important experiences from expanding working from home options in the context of the coronavirus crisis have given this topic particular momentum. In the sense of “smart working”, a significant expansion of flexible working options is being evaluated for when the pandemic is over.
UNIQA was awarded the equalitA seal of approval for the internal promotion of women in November 2020 as a result of these initiatives, which were able to build on existing foundations. UNIQA sees this seal of approval, which is awarded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, primarily as a mandate to promote gender equality more forcefully and sustainably going forward.
The UNIQA Group has continued to deal with the issue of how it can make even more targeted use of the age diversity in the company in future, optimise the transfer of knowledge and further promote intergenerational cooperation. The “Get ready” format launched in the previous year was used in this context, and the topic of generations in 2020 was covered as part of an event.
Transfer of knowledge was defined as a priority within the scope of the demography consultation. Its objective is to provide UNIQA managers with tools that enable a structured, appreciative and comprehensive handover when people with knowledge and experience leave the organisation.
People with disabilities
Following the preliminary work completed in previous years, UNIQA began an intensive collaboration with myAbility in 2020. In addition to participating in and supporting events, such as the myAbility Lounge in February and the Disability Comfort Day in November, UNIQA also became a member of the myAbility Business Forum. The myAbility Business Forum is the largest B2B network on the topic of business and disability in the German-speaking world. Its objective is to achieve an economy accessible to all.
The fourth quarter of 2020 also saw the launch of the Dis-Ability Performance Check at UNIQA. This initiative aims to provide a well-founded assessment of the current situation as well as starting points for effective measures aimed to enhance inclusion of people with disabilities at UNIQA.
UNIQA’s fundamental stance against any form of exclusion or discrimination was underlined by numerous points. For example, the UNIQA Tower was illuminated with orange lights to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as part of the “Orange the World” campaign, and it glowed in purple on the International Day of People with Disabilities (“Purple Light Up” campaign). UNIQA was also one of the first companies in Austria to sign the #positiv arbeiten (“working positively”) declaration, an initiative by the Austrian AIDS charity, “AIDS-Hilfen Österreich”, to promote a working environment free from discrimination for people who are HIV-positive.