By Arra B. Francia
Senior Reporter

ENERGY management firm Schneider Electric is working on employing a more diverse population set with the help of policies that will ensure everyone has the chance to grow and improve.

Schneider Electric Senior Vice- President for Human Resources International Operations Ferran Raurich described diversity and inclusion as something that benefits both the company and the society it serves.

“We believe what we can bring together as a company is much more powerful if we have high levels of diversity than if there’s none. For us, everyone is a business benefit and at the same time a contribution to our growth,” Mr. Raurich told BusinessWorld in an interview earlier this month.

Diversity in the workplace means hiring people with different cultures, nationalities, background, religion, and gender or sexual orientation.

The company works to ensure employees have psychological safety, where they can feel safe in the workplace regardless of their religion, background, nationality, or gender.

“At the end of the day whatever you do, it has to be translated to what is happening in the work place. Inclusiveness and psychological safety is a key factor to understand how to build diversity in a work place,” Mr. Raurich explained.

In terms of addressing the gender gap, the company is trying to help talented women move up the corporate ladder.

“What we have to make sure is at the base of the pyramid I need to have this inclusive environment where I have policies and initiatives who help me to drive a talent webline which is going to represent the total diverse population,” Mr. Raurich said.

The company currently employs 2,612 people in the Philippines, more than a thousand of whom are women. The male-to-female ratio differs in every office, with one out of three offices dominated by women.

Women also hold key leadership positions such as industrial automation head, home and distribution head, country human resources director, human resources director global supply chain business, and cluster finance business partner.

Mr. Raurich noted that benefits for their employees are also higher than what is stated in the Labor Code, including leaves (vacation leave, sick leave, bereavement leave, care leave, maternity leave, sabbatical leave), work from home options, life insurance, medical coverage for employees and dependents, and retirement.

Aside from these benefits, Schneider Electric also has a yearly allocated budget to address the gender pay equity gap. It further sources candidates that ensures a “healthy representation of women even for technical positions that’s male dominated.”

“Obviously the job is still for the best candidate. In any case, where you create the difference is if I ensure that I have the right initiatives to build balance. What happens is the people growing naturally will represent all kinds of backgrounds in different elements,” Mr. Raurich said.

The company’s goal is to be a “truly global company” with hubs from all over the world welcoming all kinds of nationalities. Mr. Raurich said their global employee base is currently one third European, one third American, and one third Asian.

“We look at many different angles in order to build that diversity,” he said.