Rhetoric and Realities
Edited by Regine Barth and Franziska Wolff
Chapter 12: CSR for Gender Equality: A New Approach for Dealing with Long-Standing Inequalities? Insights from Two Banks
12 CSR for gender equality: a new approach for dealing with longstanding inequalities? Insights from two banks Irmgard Schultz INTRODUCTION 12.1 This contribution presents the findings of a comparative case study on CSR activities for gender equality in two banks in Europe: Caja Madrid of Spain and Dexia Group, which is headquartered in Belgium, France and Luxembourg. The focus of the study is to elaborate the effects of the banks’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities on gender equality: do the banks’ CSR activities indeed contribute to gender equality? What were the drivers and barriers that can explain the effects? In order to obtain information about the effects of CSR activities of the two banks, an impact assessment is carried out. It shows surprising findings in the comparison of the two banks’ gender equality-related CSR activities and societal impact. Furthermore, we identify the factors within the banks and their environment which can explain these results. The empirical bases of our findings are in-depth interviews with representatives of the banks who are in charge of CSR and human resource management and with stakeholders of the banks; the interviews were carried out in late 2006. 12.2 GENDER EQUALITY IN EUROPEAN POLITICS AND BUSINESS First of all, it should be borne in mind that political activities to promote gender equality in the economic sector have a long-standing history in the European Union (EU). Already the Treaty of Rome that established the European Economic Community (EEC) defined a principle of equal 190 CSR effects on...
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