11 April 2022

Launched by Crédit Agricole S.A. and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation in June 2018, the Solidarity Bankers sponsorship and skills volunteering programme has enabled some 30 Group employees to carry out technical assistance missions with impact enterprises and microfinance institutions in more than a dozen countries. Three questions for Bénédicte Chrétien, Group Human Resources Director at Crédit Agricole S.A.

How would you assess the Solidarity Bankers initiative for the Group’s employees and for Crédit Agricole as an employer brand?

Since 2018, this programme has enabled 39 employees to carry out 357 days of missions in 21 countries for 29 organisations. For each mission, our Solidarity Bankers are present for one to two weeks in the field or accessible remotely to bring their expertise (marketing strategy, logistics, financial reporting, fundraising support, purchasing, HR, etc.) to the operational teams.

The feedback is very positive, and both parties benefit. Beneficiary organisations greatly appreciate the technical expertise provided to secure the deployment of their project. The managers consider the commitment of their employees as a real lever for the development of their skills, especially their soft skills. Employee volunteers are proud to take part in solidarity projects initiated by the Group, to live a unique human experience and to enhance their professional experience.

Recent studies have confirmed that the commitment of employees to solidarity, whether on their own initiative or that of the company, is strongly correlated with their professional commitment. By responding to their search for meaning and social utility, these missions are a powerful driver of appeal, motivation and cohesion for our employees.

Do you think that this programme meets your employees’ demand for social commitment?

The Group has set itself the goal of being a responsible employer in a citizen enterprise. Usefulness is the hallmark of our raison d’être and education is a key aspect of our social and societal contribution, as perfectly illustrated by this programme which is a strong symbol of our commitment to society. The health crisis has amplified the expectations of civil society, which are increasingly focused on developing the human capital of our companies. Commitment to solidarity is no longer the prerogative of millennials. It is therefore legitimate and essential for the Group to support such volunteer programmes, which are a strong symbol of its social commitment.

Is inclusive finance part of the Bank’s strategic plan?

Crédit Agricole is committed to being a trusted partner to all its customers. It aspires to serve both the most modest and the most affluent households, local professionals and large international companies. Its solidity and the diversity of its expertise enable it to provide long-term support to each of its clients in their day-to-day lives and their journey through life, helping them to protect themselves against unforeseen events and to plan for the long term. Inclusive finance is therefore at the heart of Crédit Agricole’s raison d’être and is an integral part of our strategic objectives, in France and abroad.

This article was published in “Our technical assistance offer”, accessible here