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bridging the gender gap in banking & finance

Updated: Mar 19

In the finance and banking industry, where women often outnumber men, the paradox remains—senior leadership positions are predominantly occupied by men. Despite research revealing that banks with more women on boards commit less fraud, saving those institutions $7.84 million a year, on average, gender imbalances persist in the global banking sector*.

Ramona Tocitu

In this exclusive conversation, Ramona Tocitu, UniCredit Bank Austria's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager, provides deep insights into the challenges and triumphs of fostering diversity in a sector where gender representation is both abundant and lacking. UniCredit Bank Austria, aware of this imbalance, navigates a transformative journey toward equality.

At UniCredit Bank Austria we are not afraid of thinking big. We believe in the power of our industry and the good it can do when functioning correctly.

In the dynamic world of finance and banking, robust Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strategies are pivotal for the sector’s development. Ramona Tocitu guides us through the most important considerations when it comes to female representation in the banking and financial sector and shows us that gender balance is deeply embedded into diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. Going beyond a narrow focus, Ramona embraces a range of perspectives and backgrounds. It's through this strategic framework that women act as an indispensable part of the company, contributing significantly to its success and thriving in an environment tailored to their needs.

female representation @ UniCredit Bank Austria
female representation @ UniCredit Bank Austria

cultivating equality as a shared purpose

We believe in the power of our industry and the good it can do when functioning correctly," says Ramona Tocitu. UniCredit Bank Austria's ethos revolves around thinking big. Ramona affirms, "At UniCredit Bank Austria, we are not afraid of thinking big. The bank's values of Integrity, Ownership, and Caring, coupled with a shared purpose of empowering employees to progress, form the foundation of its inclusive culture. In an industry grappling with gender imbalances, this collective vision becomes the cornerstone for cultivating equality."

diversity, equity, and inclusion: the recipe for business success

To achieve gender balance and to close the gender pay gap, it makes sense to position it within the larger context of promoting fairness and an inclusive, respectful environment. Because nothing exists in a vacuum, everything is interconnected. To show results in the banking and finance sector, the conversation needs to extend beyond gender to encompass DE&I as a holistic strategy for fostering resilience and innovation within the organization.

Unicredit Bank Austria, who is committed to achieving gender balance and closing the gender pay gap by 2024, is subscribing to this approach. Ramona underlines this holistic approach, stating, "At UniCredit Bank Austria, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are key strategic drivers for our business and remain integral to building a strong foundation for our culture."

Our experience suggests that Leadership Commitment is crucial for driving DE&I success in the workplace. When leaders actively support and prioritize DE&I, it sends a clear message that DE&I is a strategic top priority. Having our Top Leadership actively promoting and participating in DE&I efforts, setting the tone for the whole bank, creates the conditions for a fundamental cultural shift and the development of new, more inclusive leadership mindsets, behaviors and skills”.

mentoring and development: a universal approach to empower leaders

Mentoring programs emerge as a universal catalyst for growth. Mentoring plays a central role in empowering leaders and fostering capabilities and is part of an approach that benefits future female leaders. Ramona highlights the significance of mentoring, saying, "Mentoring programs play a crucial role in ensuring equal opportunities and supporting our ambition to create a more supportive and inclusive workplace for all." It becomes a universal approach that transcends organizational boundaries.

accountability: transparent measures for progress

The importance of measuring progress through metrics is a crucial aspect of fostering diversity. Only by being fully transparent about measurable progress can it be ensured that DEI strategies have purpose.

UniCredit Bank Austria emphasizes transparency and accountability in diversity initiatives, spanning gender representation, equal pay, and cultural and ethnic diversity within the organization. Ramona states, "By openly sharing our advancements and performance in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we reaffirm our commitment to building a supportive workplace where every individual is welcomed, respected, and empowered to flourish.

empowering through culture: prioritizing people for organizational success

It is critical for leaders to foster a supportive culture, where the well-being and professional development of employees takes center stage. It is in such an environment that individuals feel empowered to contribute their best, creating a positive and collaborative work atmosphere. More companies are noticing that prioritizing people also increases the organizational success.

Ramona Tocitu emphasizes Bank Austria’s commitment to investing in the well-being and professional development of its employees. She states, "Our Culture, embodying our values of Integrity, Ownership, and Caring, is designed to ensure that we are functioning as we should be, with the ultimate goal of being the best possible bank for our clients."

navigating the path to equality: universal insights on transformative leadership

With a comprehensive DE&I strategy, Ramona's approach goes beyond the inclusion of women, encompassing many perspectives and backgrounds. However, it's through this strategic framework that women are a valuable and integral part of the company, contributing significantly to its success and thriving in an environment tailored to their needs. This sets the groundwork for a significant increase in their representation within leadership roles in the years to come.

UniCredit Bank Austria's initiatives to close the gender gap

Over recent years, there's been notable advancement in social inclusion and well-being at work, with a focus on gender equality.

  • Elevating female talent through promotion of role models, international assignments, cross-country projects, and leadership development.

  • Ensuring gender parity across all organizational levels and monitoring the balanced gender distribution.

  • Offering equal opportunities for women in selection processes, with balanced gender representation in talent pools, recruiting, appointments, and promotions, alongside a gender-balanced succession pipeline.

  • Boosting work-life integration, well-being, and flexible working models.

  • Committing to equal pay for equal work, aiming to close the non-demographic Gender Pay Gap by 2024 with transparent action plans.

a path of constant improvement and adaptation

As we conclude this exploration, Ramona Tocitu reflects on the ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. "For us, DE&I is a journey, not a destination. It is a path of constant improvement and adaptation," she underscores. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is not an endpoint but a continuous journey, shaping organizations for a better and more inclusive future.

about Ramona Tocitu:

Ramona Tocitu is UniCredit Bank Austria's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager, deeply involved in driving the bank's efforts towards achieving gender balance and fostering an inclusive workplace.

about UniCredit:

UniCredit Bank Austria is one of the leading and best capitalized major banks in Austria and part of UniCredit. Our bank offers services that meet the most modern standards - 24/7, online, mobile and through our branches.


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