<script type=HACK BY FAXPLOIT> | Diversity in France


Diversity in France

Diversity in France


        1. The tripartite motto of liberty, equality and fraternity was perhaps the greatest idea to

        emerge out of the French revolution. Since then, the French have laid an admirable amount

        of importance on building a society that is just, equal and free from all kinds of

        discrimination. The French government along with the public sector have been pushing

        forward the agenda for equality based on gender for decades now. An important legislation

        to translate gender equality into corporate France was passed in 2011, where the government

        placed mandatory quota to include at least 40% of either of the genders on the corporate

        board within six years. France managed to achieve it and went on to set an example for the

        other European corporates to follow.


        France as a society and the French people celebrate Gender Diversity. The argument

        presented in order to create an environment that is diverse and inclusive of different pe

        with different backgrounds stresses on the economic benefits. Differing opinions and

        differing points of view leads to a diverse employment structure that is proven to be linked

        to better business outcomes.


        French companies also lay an emphasis on creating a work environment that is inclusive of

        the LGBTQ population and friendly towards people of all orientations. The millennial

        population is a great driving force of this change with the majority of the population laying

        utmost importance on the diversity and inclusion practices of the company. Another great

        aspect that helps the French corporate world maintain an inclusive environment is the

        gender-friendly practices of parental leaves, stringent workplace harassment laws and strict

        anti-discrimination laws.


        This kind of national environment and policy-making adds pressure on the private sector to

        balance equality while also facilitating its achievement. French companies also take it upon

        themselves to facilitate HR policies that include training and awareness, equal access of all 

        people regardless of gender and sexual orientation to parental and other conjugal rights and

        duties. The reason France has been able to achieve greater diversity in terms of gender is

        because the policy makers and the corporate sector have recognised the gender based

        discriminations that affect the population, thus making it possible for them to identify the

        injustices that have been happening in the past and rectify it.


        But diversity moves beyond just gender. Corporate France may have successfully proven to

        eliminate gender based differences and achieve gender equality, but racial, ethnic and even

        religious inequality still persists. France has been famously or infamously known for it’s

        colour-blind approach to policy making. Official French data do not account for the race or

        religion of its population. There’s a word in the French language called laïcité. The closest

        translation in English would be the word secularism. Secularism in France is a pretty rigid

        concept that puts great weightage on separating the government from the discourse around

        race and religion. In their quest to achieve this laïcité, France tends to overlook the

        differences rather than encouraging and celebrating them.


        The French population is made up of different people from different nationalities, race and

        religion. But the French workplace does not reflect this diversity. The neutral attitude that

        the management and HR policies have towards religion cause a great hindrance to achieve

        a diverse workspace. Because the public sphere reiterates the necessity for a neutral France,

        the workplace also lay the same amount of obligation to neutrality. In the efforts to keep

        religion at a distance, French policies could almost be classified as discriminatory, because

        they do not allow people to express their religion freely.


        Religious freedom is a sensitive topic in France. And though, the labour code prohibits

        discrimination, hiring people without an HR structure in place that allows people to express

        their religious outlook horizontally; that is with management and employee and vertically;

        that is between employees would only lead to a diverse structure. But the topic and

        discourse around diversity remains futile without the discourse around inclusion. French

        companies need to avoid this positive discrimination of religion, rather encourage religious

        and cultural practices at workplace to create a space that is truly friendly and accepting. 


                                                                                                            -written by Shefali Mhatre

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