Landsbanki introduces New Gender Equality Policy Skip to content

Landsbanki introduces New Gender Equality Policy

The policy is based on the fundamental philosophy that men and women are valued on their merits and have the same rights and opportunities to grow in the company. The policy is part of the human resources policy, according to a statement from the bank released to mbl.is.

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Landsbanki Headquarters in downtown Reykjavík. Photo by Iceland Photo Agency.

Landsbanki believes it is the bank’s duty to encourage equality within the bank and therefore positively impact the company management.

The new policy involves focusing on the key requirement for excellence in performance. A good place of work will value its employees based on personal merits, permitting everyone to have equal opportunities to climb the ladder within the bank, mbl.is reports.

The new policy was introduced on Wednesday last week at a meeting with members of staff at the Tjarnarbíó. Þórdís S. Sigurðardóttir, a lawyer for the corporate banking department, spoke in the meeting about equal gender ratio and Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson, a writer and stand-up comedian spoke briefly about equality.

“The policy is part of our management policy to run the bank in a sensible and responsible manner. Guaranteeing equality is ‘good business.’ It is our initiative to put forth an active gender equality policy, not because we have to. The revised policy is measurable.

Measures and actions have been defined in six goals designed to evaluate the success of the policy,” Steinþór Pálsson, the CEO of Landsbanki said in the meeting.

Within the policy is also a plan of action on how to achieve the policy’s goals. The six main points of the policy are as follows:

1. Landsbanki is a place of work where both men and women have equal opportunity to employment and board membership.

2. Landsbanki’s goal is to achieve an equal ratio of men and women employed by the bank. No jobs will be defined as male or female.

3. Landsbanki will pay women equal salaries to those of men and provide the same benefits.

4. Landsbanki is a place of work where employees’ right to employment and personal lives outside the place of work is respected.

5. Landsbanki will not tolerate bullying, bigotry and gender-based or sexual harassment.

6. Landsbanki will ensure both men and women have the same opportunities to grow in their jobs, education and training.

The Equal Rights committee in Landsbanki will be in charge of the general overview of rules and regulations concerning equal rights.

For the past two years, the bank has consistently worked toward balancing equality within its operations, and in 2010 Landsbanki signed a contract with the Icelandic Association of Women Entrepreneurs, The Confederation of Icelandic Employers (http://www.sa.is/english/) and the Iceland Chamber of Commerce, in which the bank promises to maintain a minimum 40-60 gender ratio in the company’s leadership.

The gender ratio has already been balanced in the executive boardroom of Landsbanki and in the management of its subsidiaries.

Landsbanki also signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles – Equality means Business, an international effort of UN Women and UN Global Compact.

In the agreement, seven frames of references are used as guidelines to empower women in the corporate environment and to increase their share in professional fields.

The agreement obligates the bank to improveme its equality policies and to show its social conscience.

In Iceland a majority of women work outside the home and a vast majority of students in the University of Iceland are female.

The example set by Landsbanki and Verkís, the engineering company recently rewarded the gold from PricewaterhouseCoopers in its appraisal of equal salaries between the genders, are a step in the right direction to achieve full equality.

JB

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