At Orange, we believe that gender equality is a powerful enabler for economic and social performance. Here’s a look back on our commitments and actions for workplace gender equality, whatever people’s gender identity.
A proactive policy
Gender equality has been central to our internal governance and employer policy for almost 20 years. This policy is steered by a governance body, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Committee, made up of members of the Executive committee, who meet 3 times a year
Our policy is based on five pillars
Gender diversity in all roles especially technical and digital professions
Women’s access to leadership roles
Equal pay for equal work
Combatting sexism, harassment and violence
Since March 2015, our Group has been a signatory of the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles.
On 17 June 2019, we were the first CAC40 company and telecoms operator to sign a global Group agreement on workplace gender equality, combatting discrimination and violence, work-life balance with the international federation UNI Global Union.
In France, three-year agreements on professional gender equality, combatting discrimination and violence, work-life balance have been signed with trade unions since 2004, with the latest agreement signed by Orange SA in December 2021 to cover the years 2022 to 2024. Similar agreements have also been signed by our subsidiaries, for example Orange Business, our entity dedicated to business solutions.
Women at Orange
female employees worldwide
in the Executice committee
in technical and digital roles (innovation and technology)
in leadership networks (top 1,300 managers)
By 2025, we aim to achieve
in technical and digital roles
in leadership/governing roles
in like-for-like situations
This proactive policy has resulted in us being ranked 35th out of 4,000 companies worldwide in the Equileap Gender Equality 2023 report, 5th in our business sector.
We feature in the Top 10 of the "Palmarès 2023 de la feminisation des instances dirigeantes des entreprises du SBF 120 (Société des Bourses Françaises)" and are ranked number 1 in Les Echos' "Top 20 des entreprises du CAC 40".
Since 2011, diversity and gender policy and commitments have been audited and certified at Group level in 23 entities and 20 countries, by an independent external body under the GEEIS (Gender Equality and Diversity for European & International Standard) label.
Our vision and ambitions are shared with our employees. We raise awareness of workplace gender equality among employees via an e-learning course available in 5 languages, which has already been completed by almost 58,000 employees worldwide.
Concrete actions in line with our five pillars
Boosting diversity in technical and digital roles
The lack of diversity in technical and digital professions is leading to under-representation and exclusion in certain future business sectors.
Our Hello Women program, launched in October 2020 is a concrete response to our ambition to drive greater equality in technical roles. Deployed in association with several partners in more than 20 countries, it aims to increase female representation in technical and digital jobs in four ways.
Raising awareness of technical careers among young girls and students
Hundreds of our engineers and technicians are involved in projects such as Les Intrépides de La Tech in partnership with the Simplon Foundation, which raises awareness among middle and high school girls about digital careers in France, as well as our two Hello Women Events held in Paris in December 2021 and January 2023. Similar programs are being rolled out internationally.
Identifying and recruiting more women into these professions
To develop gender diversity when recruiting for these professions, we have implemented various policies such as writing job offers without stereotypes, monitoring how many women are involved at all stages of recruitment, proposing at least one female candidate in short lists, and publishing portraits of “women in tech” role models on the Orange Jobs portal.
New partnerships have also been forged to serve this objective: in Brazil, for example, we offer, in partnership with Serratec, 5-month training courses followed by an internship, for 70 women.
Retraining more women into these highly employable sectors
Since 2019, Orange has been a signatory of the Manifesto for the retraining of women in digital professions and has set up specific retraining schemes, internally and externally. Several partnerships have been set up within the Hello Women program, for example an agreement with Sistech to help more than 200 women refugees get the training they need to apply for a technical job, or with Le Wagon in Morocco, which has trained around thirty women in Data & AI.
Retaining women in these professions at Orange
To ensure women are happy in their jobs at Orange we actively support work-life balance and help them to gain skills and develop their careers. We do this through work-life policies, actions to help combat sexism, and development programs such as our digital coaching program in partnership with CoachHub which will benefit 100 women in 8 countries by the end of 2024.
Is AI sexist?
An unequal gender balance in AI risks entrenching biases and inequalities across a worrying number of areas. That’s why in April 2020, Orange joined forces with the Arborus Endowment fund and launched the International Charter for Inclusive AI. Now signed by more than 100 organizations, the charter aims to be a reference for all companies committed to diversity and inclusion. In 2020, Orange was also the first company to be GEEIS-AI approved, a label that certifies the use and development of inclusive AI. This certification was confirmed in 2022.
What about female entrepreneurship?
We have also set up our own specific support programs for female entrepreneurs.
In 2018, we launched Women Start, a specific acceleration program dedicated to women founders or co-founders of start-ups all over the world to help them develop their business by signing a commercial partnership with an Orange business unit.
Every year we support 100 female business founders or co-founders as part of our #FemmesEntrepreneuses program in France. This support can take various forms such as the use of a business space, coaching, mentoring, networking, testing, targeted training, and workshops.
In 2020, we launched the International Women’s Prize as a main category within our Orange Social Venture Prize Africa & the Middle East (OSVP), which has taken place every year since 2011.
Another example of supporting entrepreneurial projects led by women is through Orange Ventures, our Corporate investment fund, which signed the SISTA charter in September 2020, along with the movement launched in the United States in March 2019 – #MovingForward – which fights against discrimination in investment.
Promoting women’s access to leadership roles
Encouraging women to apply for senior management positions
We follow a joint detection and selection process in addition to a proactive selection approach to potential candidates. This includes boosting skills via networking and women’s collectives.
Supporting them throughout their career
We offer women equal access to development and mentoring programs, whether mixed or dedicated, as well as long-term career support. We also invite them to join internal or inter-company networks and events. Managers and HR managers are also made aware of the importance of this issue.
In France, in compliance with the “Rixain” act of December 2021, every year we publish the percentage of women among senior leaders and our governing bodies.
Guaranteeing workplace gender equality
In accordance with Convention No. 100 of the International Labor Organization on equal remuneration for men and women for equal work, we believe pay should be based on the level of training, skills, experience, and responsibility, and not on the person’s gender.
We’re working to reduce the wage gap and achieve equal pay in like-for-like situations by 2025, through a common pay gap analysis tool and methodology deployed throughout the Group. We are also committed to guaranteeing equal pay for all new hires.
In France, in compliance with the law, every year we publish our gender equality score which aims to reflect gender pay policies.
Promoting work-life balance
We actively promote work-life balance through the use of teleworking, flexible hours, the right to disconnect as well as several support measures for employees who are parents or caregivers. Having already signed the Charter of 15 commitments to work-life balance since 2013, the Group also signed the new Corporate Parenthood Charter on 6 October 2021. Since 2020, the pandemic has also accelerated teleworking practices in all the countries where we are present, especially in Africa and the Middle East, where this practice was less widespread.
Combatting sexism, harassment and violence
We are actively involved in the prevention, detection, and resolution of any kind of sexism, harassment, or violence in the workplace. Various policies are in place in all of our operating countries. In France and Europe, an internal guide “Harassment, sexism and violence: understanding and acting” is available to employees in French and English.
The Group's commitment also concerns intra-family violence, for which we offer employees, women and men who are victims, appropriate support systems. In November 2021, we signed the Commitment Charter against domestic violence and joined forces with other committed companies via the OneInThreeWomen network in 2022.