The Bank recognises the importance of diversity within a workforce. Enterprises led by women and women workers play a significant role in the economy, therefore ensuring equality of opportunity for them is indispensable, regardless of whether they want to achieve success as an employee or as an entrepreneur.
A joint study conducted by Budapest Bank and the SEED Small Enterprise Development Foundation in 2010 showed that enterprises led by women are at a disadvantage in numerous areas when compared to their male peers: among others, the economic crisis hit them harder, and they also have fewer opportunities to build a contact network.
Budapest Bank responded to this challenge through joining its parent company GE’s global program, the ‘Banking on Women’ initiative in 2009, which aims to contribute to expanding the financial consciousness and knowledge of women. The bank launched its related program, called ‘Springboard, Budapest Bank – On Finances for Women’ (Dobbantó) in 2010 for women entrepreneurs, to show a way to success by expanding the financial knowledge of women, thus contributing to the economy’s development. The bank, in cooperation with the SEED Small Enterprise Development Foundation, holds competency development trainings and club events for women entrepreneurs. In frame of the program, participants can learn about launching and developing an enterprise, its marketing, management, rising of financial resources and taxation issues, and can also build contacts.
Within the frames of ‘’Springboard, Budapest Bank – On Finances for Women’ program, seven competency development trainings (five in Budapest, one in Békéscsaba and one in Debrecen) and 7 club events took place, with the participation of some 450 female entrepreneurs. Equal opportunities are also an important part of the corporate culture. A good example of this is the bank’s Bank Operations Centre in Békéscsaba, which currently employs more than 650 people. Many of the Centre’s women workers returned to work from maternity leave, or worked while on maternity leave.
There are many colleagues who were earlier unemployed, while 40 per cent are career-starters with a diploma. The bank pays special attention to its women employees: the bank’s female executives launched the financial institution’s ‘Women for Women’ (Nők a Nőkért Hálózat) network in 2000, based on the example of parent company GE’s ‘Women’s Network’. The network, organized of volunteers, assists the professional development of women with its targeted tools – professional programs, trainings, and information exchange, contact-building – and through changing cultural attitudes, making it possible for them to achieve a professional career within the company.
The bank is a founding member of the Equal Opportunities Forum of Employers, with which its aim is to have its activities in the field of equal opportunities serve as an example to as many companies as possible.
In the case of women-led enterprises and women employees, the lack of self-confidence that is characteristic of many of them is a difficulty, as well as reconciling family-work roles; added to this in the case of women entrepreneurs is the lack of entrepreneurial skills and problems in selecting viable business ideas.
Supporting and developing the creation of an economic environment that provides equal opportunities to all, and supporting the integration of women at the workplace and on the labour market.