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Why diversity has to be embedded in an organisation’s culture

On International Women’s Day, Temenos Group Human Resources Director Guylaine Gaudreau explains why diversity has to be embedded in an organisation’s culture to really work.

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Guylaine Gaudreau – Group Human Resources Director

On International Women’s Day, Temenos Group Human Resources Director Guylaine Gaudreau explains why diversity has to be embedded in an organisation’s culture to really work.

I am very pleased to share my thoughts on this topic, as I believe that through our workforce, client base, geographical presence and global initiatives, diversity truly is in our DNA at Temenos.

We realized the power of diversity and seeing things differently earlier than many other companies. We’ve always believed that an open mindset keeps us abreast of our landscape; our success is built on constant innovation and evolution through the search for excellence.

How do we enable this open culture?

We welcome everyone to take part in our journey to continuously progress, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnicity or sexual preference. We like to keep an “open door” policy throughout the company and encourage collaboration at all levels – we always strive to make Temenos a place where we value everyone’s ideas and where people are treated equally.

Everyone comes from a different background and brings something different to the table; whether it comes from gender diversity, difference in generations or cultures, people will likely look at things differently. The combination of those differences is extremely powerful when keeping an open mind.

People Power – not just a catchphrase

From the moment George Koukis founded Temenos 25 years ago, he made it a priority to recognize and celebrate employees’ merits, and embed the Temenos values into our everyday activities, whether that’s through tenure recognition, performance related compensation, competences based promotion or career progression. This was continued by our Chairman, Andreas Andreades, our CEO, David Arnott, and passed on to our executive committee and ultimately to all Temenos managers.

From an early stage in the company, our leaders realised that diversity and inclusion drives more collaboration and innovation, helping to create a more fulfilling work environment. Personally, I find that by encouraging people to be authentic, to be themselves at work and feel comfortable, we help them become even more effective, and thus enable them to reach their full potential. This not only drives business success, but also works as a genuine loyalty magnet – when people are happy at work, they will want to continue being part of that organisation.

What is diversity in Temenos?

We must remember that Temenos is a customer facing company. Our clients might have a female CEO, a strong specific ethnic presence or come from various religious beliefs. In all cases, they expect to find in us a company that truly knows how to work with them from every point of view. I think above all, we as a company have proven we have a certain cognitive diversity that encompasses numerous ways of doing business tailored to our clients’ needs and that modus operandi translates to our teams as well:

Firstly, Temenos’ 4,600 employees are based around the world in 42 different countries where they work alongside people of different gender, culture, race and sexual orientation. All together, we represent 93 different nationalities and we all share Temenos’ Values: Customer Core, Inspire Better, See Different, People Power and Operate Responsibly. Temenos promotes all jobs internationally, encourages internal progression and collaboration, as well as internal transfers to different countries – we had 112 international relocations in 2017.

Secondly, we take diversity into account at all levels, including our graduate careers initiatives – last September we welcomed 21 fresh graduates into our Sales Academy training programme based in Luxembourg, bringing together young talent from all over the world with various backgrounds: 16 nationalities, 18 languages and 33% of women. They were trained together and will all be introduced to their teams in Asia, America, Europe and the Middle East by the end of the month.

Furthermore, our leadership team is an equally diverse mix. I’m a Canadian based in Geneva. We have leaders from all over the world.

Women leaders increase success rates

It has already been demonstrated over the years that inclusive organisations perform much better. However, what is even more interesting is that companies with women on their executive boards outperform those without. Nordea, Scandinavia’s largest bank and one of our clients, has just published a study of the Nordic region’s 100 biggest listed companies, which found that returns were most stable at companies with a more gender-balanced leadership .

With that in mind, I am proud to say that Temenos has four women on the management board and an impressive 32% female presence at all levels throughout the company, 7% more than the industry average . For a long time our Legal Director and myself were the only women in the Management Board, so I was very happy to see the Regional Director of North America and Chief Client Officer, two extremely strong female business leaders, joining.

We still have a long journey ahead, as the challenge to attract more women is constant with all IT companies. Nevertheless, Temenos has managed to attract more and more women over the years and we want Temenos to play an even more active role in helping women enter and remain in the technology field.

To conclude, I think the one thing that sets us apart is our culture: being known for embracing diversity and supporting equal treatment for all means that we always have an open door for talented individuals. And, thanks to the Temenos’ founding principles, we will always make sure they feel welcome.

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Guylaine Gaudreau – Group Human Resources Director