Manpower, along with 24 other companies, was awarded the diversity label for the Brussels Region by Bernard Clerfayt, Brussels Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, at the annual awards ceremony organized by Actiris in Brussels on 12th February. This prize recognizes employers who implement concrete actions with Actiris to promote diversity and fight against discrimination within their company.
Due to the health crisis, the ceremony was held virtually, with only the on-site presence of a representative from each company receiving an award. Marc Vandeleene, PR & Commications Manager, responsible for sustainability at ManpowerGroup BeLux, participated in a Round Table and presented concrete actions implemented from the company’s diversity plan, before receiving the Award. For Manpower, this award is the result of a two-year journey embarked upon by a Diversity Team composed of staff from Manpower and representatives from Manpower’s service voucher division. The plan included over twenty actions determined on the basis of groups benefiting from the Brussels diversity policy (origin, age, disability, education and gender) and areas of intervention (recruitment and selection, personnel management, internal communication and external positioning).
“Diversity – alongside our focus on young people, training/upskilling and the climate – is one of the 4 pillars of ManpowerGroup’s sustainability strategy” explains Philippe Lacroix, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup BeLux. “We are very proud to receive this award, even more so in the circumstances we are living through today. Indeed, what began as a health crisis quickly evolved into an economic and social crisis, risking many fractures within society. With this label, we affirm that Manpower aims to be on the side of the solution by working with all stakeholders to create a job market where everyone can find their place. Supported by Actiris Inclusive, we were able to manifest this commitment through a diversity plan that promotes inclusion and fights against all forms of discrimination. “
Whilst diversity is the positive side, first non-discrimination must be guaranteed in a society and a job market that is all too often under the threat of discriminatory behaviour. The ManpowerGroup plan has made it possible to intensify training and awareness-raising actions in this area. For example, through training taken at UNIA (The Center for Equality, Against Discrimination) and a new online training course followed each year by all staff but also, by creating an educational tool aimed at temporary workers and household helpers in the service vouchers sector, to help them react if faced with discrimination. Available online or printed in pocket format for service voucher staff particularly targeted by the plan, this tool complements preventive measures to fight discrimination. (OnePager)
The plan made it possible to set up various actions to promote diversity. In particular, focus has been put on recruitment advertising to try to break down stereotypes that are still too often present in communication. Why, for example, is the service voucher sector still aimed almost exclusively at women today? Manpower has tried to address this in its communication.
A successful aspect of the plan included hiring a new colleague with a visual impairment who came to strengthen Manpower’s Flexteam. Working shift schedules and teleworking, this team of consultants meets the needs of clients outside of office hours and on weekends. It’s a job that suited Christelle perfectly, who shared her personal testimony on the Manpower blog under the title ‘Finding a job when you don’t have a disability is not easy, but with a white cane it is even more difficult’. “Christelle’s recruitment, which is not the first of its kind at Manpower, is a success and encourages us to continue along this path to build a truly inclusive culture” adds Philippe Lacroix. (testimonial Christelle).
Lack of qualifications or skills is often a barrier to inclusion and diversity. Manpower has implemented various actions to address this. For its permanent staff, its new “Future Leaders Program” aims to strengthen the managerial skills of its best talents, with no distinction. The aim is to create development opportunities for all, with the objective of strengthening diversity at all levels of management.
Manpower has also created a tool in the form of a set of cards to help its service voucher staff who do not speak national languages to communicate better with their customers and thereby improve their language skills. Composed of 77 cards in 3 languages, this set of cards, also available online, presents the most common words and phrases related to housekeeping – parts of the house, objects, furniture, equipment, products and tasks to be done – with pictures and words on the back. “Lack of language skills remains one of the main obstacles to employment. This fairly simple tool should allow our service voucher staff to develop and promote inclusion in the job market ” concludes Philippe Lacroix. (set cards service vouchers)