Knowledge Hub

Scotiabank’s Entry to The Gender Equality Awards 2017

Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality

Tell us what your company is doing to advance the selected principle above:
We believe everyone deserves an opportunity to develop and advance in their careers. We also realize that while great progress has been made, women may still face added challenges, particularly in different parts of the world.

In 2016, we established an International Inclusion Council comprised of eight influential SVPs and VPs to keep diversity and inclusion a priority throughout the year. We hosted the first ever Power Of Inclusion panel where three LatAm Country Heads spoke candidly to over 300 employees in person and simultaneously through international webcasts, about the importance of gender equity and actions they are taking to address the cultural-gender gap.

From implementing monthly women’s breakfasts with the CEO, instituting gender equity practices in recruitment, and role modeling flexible work schedules, our senior leaders are taking tangible and visible action and calling on others to do the same. Embedding diversity and inclusion in key HR processes such as leadership readiness and succession planning, is a priority. Our development programs promote open and honest dialogue around gender barriers and unconscious biases.

Last September, International Banking launched its first ever LatAm VP Women Leadership Summit, bringing together 15 VP women for a week of workshops on leadership presence, effective coaching, and strategic planning and included over 12 hours of dedicated training. These VP women, with diverse experiences ranging from contact centres and HR to risk, finance, technology and operations, returned home as empowered Change Agents for inclusion, with tangible tools and practices to manage their own development and high performance, and that of their teams.

Underpinning these actions are the Bank’s internal “HeforShe” and “SheforShe” movements, which are committed to advancing gender inclusion through challenging gender biases, taking action and reaching others.

We are proud that in 2016 we reached the All-Bank objective of 30% VP+ women representation.

Tell us why your company is advancing the selected principle above:
A culture of inclusion is the foundation of our Scotiabank global community. We’ve recognized that we need to work together to help make gender inclusion an integral part of how we run our company and serve our customers!

LatAm is a complex market both economically and culturally – a market that still values traditional gender roles. In early 2016, we realized women in LatAm held few management roles. These female executives, though excellent role models for their colleagues, needed more opportunities in their roles, such as more diversity at the table and more exposure to influential leaders outside their home countries.

By recognizing the need to improve, we responded with a multidimensional approach to drive long lasting change. True gender equality requires an inclusive approach that recognizes the role of men and women, as partners for women’s rights.

To move the dial on gender equity in the workplace, we need to be visible in how we speak up as leaders. Scotiabank’s leaders are critical in driving change and fostering an inclusive environment; they set the tone and demonstrate inclusivity in their actions and their teams. We have leaders in the Bank and across the globe, who are advocates of gender inclusion. As Canada’s international Bank, we have an amazing opportunity to demonstrate our values of respect, integrity, passion and accountability, while amplifying the voices of women both inside and outside the organization

Women are vital to our success and we will continue to support their careers because Inclusion makes us stronger!

Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination

Tell us what your company is doing to advance the selected principle above:
Consistent with the framework established by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, governments owe a duty to protect human rights, and business has a duty to respect human rights.

At Scotiabank, respect for human rights is fundamental to the way we do business, and is part of our core values across all of our business activities and operations. Consistent with that commitment, we have developed a new global Human Rights Statement that brings together all of our existing guidelines, policies and governance documents across our footprint under a consistent umbrella. This statement has been approved by the Board and is signed by our CEO, Brian Porter.

This Statement, and our approach to fulfilling our commitment to respect human rights, is uniquely our own. In its development we have drawn upon a wide variety of resources to guide us. Those resources include, but are not limited to, consultation with relevant internal and external stakeholders and experts, and consideration of certain international instruments such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Labour Organization’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

We have policies and practices that we rely upon to fulfill our commitment to comply with applicable national law and that respect our core values. These policies and practices also serve to operationalize our commitment to respect human rights, and they reflect that commitment. Finally, they provide guidance to our workforce, customers, business partners and other external stakeholders on the extent of our responsibilities and commitments, as well as our expectations from them.

Tell us why your company is advancing the selected principle above:
Human Rights is fundamental to the way we do business. The new global Human Rights statement serves as an umbrella to all local guidelines, policies and governance documents to ensure that we demonstrate our commitment to human rights across our business activities and operations.

At Scotiabank, we rely on and value the talents, ideas, diversity and commitment of thousands of employees, business partners and other stakeholders around the world to deliver outstanding service to our customers. Central to our relationship is the principle of mutual respect which should be present in everything we do. We also value dialogue and engagement as part of this relationship.

As a financial services institution, we operate in a highly regulated environment. Compliance with those regulations is paramount. Within the context of that regulatory environment, we have put into place policies and processes to assess actions we take in connection with the delivery of financial services that offer us a better understanding of our business relationships and provide good governance. These policies and processes also help us to identify relevant risks, including material human rights risks.

We also strive to be respectful, inclusive, responsive, and exceed customer expectations wherever we operate. Through our products and services we work to remove barriers and increase access to financial services, and to provide financial education, tools and advice to help customers make knowledgeable, responsible financial decisions that help them become better off.

We have a large and diverse network of suppliers, customers, business partners and other external stakeholders, and recognize the critical roles they play to help us to fulfill our commitment to respect human rights. We also recognize that each entity in that network bears its own responsibility to undertake efforts to address human rights issues. To that end, we are committed to working with them in connection with their own efforts on this subject.

We have been dedicated to investing in our communities for over 180 years by giving generously to important community projects. Our goal has always been to help create a better life for people in the communities where we operate.

We have a large global footprint and recognize the need for meaningful environmental policies and programs to help protect the planet. We work independently and in collaboration with stakeholders on a broad range of initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impacts of our business and promoting responsible actions.