Article by Director Ana Paula Serra in the "Gender Balance Index 2019": "Promoting a culture of social responsibility"
At the Banco de Portugal, we follow a set of core values promoting the full development and professional growth of our staff.
We believe we must set an example in how we conduct ourselves. That is why we seek to ensure inclusiveness and equal opportunities for staff, regardless of gender, age, cultural background or disability. We value diversity and have several measures in place to promote well-being through the continuous development of our staff and upholding work-life balance.
The Banco de Portugal promotes flexible working arrangements, including the option to work remotely three days per month. We strongly support staff taking parental leave. In addition to the rules laid down by Portuguese law governing maternity leave (five months with 80% pay plus a time allowance of two hours per day up to two years), staff members can take three to five days on top of holidays (according to staff members’ years of service). There are various child subsidies to support school studies, including a birth subsidy for every new child. The Banco de Portugal supports sports and leisure activities for staff, retired staff and their families. Among several initiatives, the central bank offers holiday camps for children during the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. In 2018, more than 660 children attended these camps.
Sharing best practice in Europe
In 2015, the Banco de Portugal joined the iGen Forum, a project launched by Portugal’s Commission for Equality in Labour and Employment. Members commit to reinforcing and demonstrating a culture of social responsibility, incorporating the principles of equality between women and men into their strategies and management models. This includes a Community of Practice devoted to sharing the best examples of actions taken to achieve gender equality. Private and state-run organisations must present an annual plan that takes into account gender equality.
Members of iGen participate as guest speakers in a dedicated session that is mandatory to newcomers and which is included in our yearly induction programme.
This session is used to raise awareness of and discuss several real-life examples of gender-related issues that staff members may have to address in the office.
The Banco de Portugal participates in a Eurosystem task force created to discuss, share and reflect on diversity issues. All national central banks in the euro area are invited to present certain initiatives within this group, promoting the topic internally, and offering networking and knowledge- sharing opportunities.
At the end of 2018, 867 of the 1,755 positions at the Banco de Portugal were held by women. Of new hires between 2016-18, 53% were women. The share of women in top and middle management roles in 2018 was 30% and 51%, respectively. This compares to 22% and 34% in 2008. The central bank appointed its the first female member of the board of directors in 1979. In 2008, another woman got a seat on the board. Since 2017, women have held two of the six board posts: myself and Vice-Governor Elisa Ferreira.