The Group's commitment to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
The current health crisis has forced us to reinvent internships for pupils in Year 3 of middle school (equivalent to UK Year 10) in a context where it is impossible for them to be physically present in the companies accommodating them. Indeed, the situation was so complicated that the Ministry of National Education declared that work experience would be optional. Despite this challenging context, however, Societe Generale decided to offer young people in Priority (REP) and High-Priority (REP+) Education Zones the opportunity to complete their work experience placements and learn more about careers with the bank.
Promoting equal opportunities and supporting education for young people as well as their integration into the professional world is one of the focal areas of the Group’s social engagement efforts and also forms part of its philanthropy programme. Naturally, the work placements we offer to students from REP/REP+ areas form part of this commitment. Every year, thanks to the support of our employees, we offer these students work placements in our various branches. This activity is coordinated by the Societe Generale Foundation.
Online internships appeared to be the only feasible option for 2021. The challenge was to make these placements as interactive and enriching as possible with the aim of making it just like an in-person placement: meeting our employees and even visiting branches of the company, but remotely.
In partnership with MyFuture, we developed a 5-day online work experience programme. Every week, thanks to the video conference format, entire classes of middle school students have been able to learn all about the Group and its history, discover 11 different careers, “visit” our technology hub at the Dunes and increase their knowledge of our diversity policy. Presentations were given by our employees in the form of interactive discussions with young people, who were able to ask questions via a chat function. MyFuture supported us in hosting these sessions and in creating workshops that enabled students to find out more about career guidance and the world of business.
This unprecedented programme, which extended over six weeks, has enabled us to accommodate over 800 pupils from 24 collèges, or middle schools, from the Ile de France region and various areas outside the capital. The students and schools involved have given us some very positive feedback about the experience, with some teachers even mentioning that the format enabled students to discover a wider variety of careers and activities than a traditional internship would.
Support and commitment of the employees
The success of this programme would not have been possible without the support and the commitment of our employees. Over 80 employees participated in the project with the aim of sharing their stories and their careers. They are eager to continue delivering on this commitment to young people!
Depending on how the health situation develops in 2021/2022, we are hoping to once again welcome middle school pupils to our branches, but in parallel, we will also retain the option to capitalise on this remote internship experience, which has enabled so many middle school students to complete their Year 3 internships this year.
Les stages de 3e à distance - un projet pour garder le contact avec les collégiens de REP et REP+
Les stages de 3e à distance - témoignage de Yaël, une collaboratrice engagée.
Les stages de 3è à distance - Témoignage de Claire, collaboratrice engagée
Les stages de 3è à distance : Clara Van Der Hecht, Chargée de mécénat et partenariats - My Future