©Hervé Fabre

Diversity and equal opportunities

The Eiffage Charter of Values poses diversity and equal opportunity, without distinction on the basis of gender, age, nationality, religious belief, social background or health, as fundamental principles of life and community within the Group.


ince 2010, the year of Eiffage's first Diversity & Equal Opportunity Action Plan (PADEC), the divisions have regularly renewed and updated the objectives of the various agreements and action plans implemented to meet Group commitments and new regulatory requirements.

Group managers are trained and made aware of these issues through several modules encompassing individual leadership, team leadership and individual and professional appraisals, each attended by 604 employees in 2015.

Fighting prejudice

A number of internal communication initiatives are in place, reflecting the divisions' active commitment to diversity. They include charters, awareness pamphlets, production and screening of films, personal accounts in internal magazines, and regular events organised at national or regional level, often in partnership with community organisations, other companies or local authorities.


The "Diversity and Equal Opportunity – All Winners" campaign initiated in 2014 aimed primarily to involve all members in their teams to achieve real progress.

The diversity policy of APRR and AREA and their 2015-2018 action plan focus on four leads for improvement: integration in the Group; professional development and internal mobility; pay progression based on skills, experience and qualification criteria; and sustained employment of people with disabilities or suffering incapacity. This action plan, which integrates customer relations, suppliers and local partnerships, reinforces employee engagement efforts with the creation of a network of diversity ambassadors at the end of 2015.

Thanks to their long-term commitment, their constant strive for improvement and the tangible results seen in recent years, APRR and AREA earned the AFNOR diversity label in February 2016, currently carried by only 300 companies in France.


AlloDiscrim at APRR-AREA

APRR-AREA initiated an external dialogue scheme in 2015 so that any employee who considers themselves a victim of discrimination or unequal treatment may confidentially discuss their concerns with a specialised, independent lawyer. Employees can thus seek advice about the right questions to ask and the persons to contact. This possibility completes the internal dialogue approach provided by managers, HR correspondents and staff representatives.

Equal opportunity in employment

On 20 June 2013, Eiffage renewed its commitment by signing the Companies and Neighbourhoods Charter with the Ministry of Territorial Equality and Housing, represented by the Minister responsible for Cities, alongside thirty-nine other companies. The agreement aims to favour employment of young people from disadvantaged and other priority neighbourhoods.

As an example, by 31 December 2015, 24 people from sensitive neighbourhoods had joined Clemessy under different contracts (1 permanent contract, 7 on work-study programmes, and 16 on traineeships).

Under a specific implementing agreement of the Companies and Neighbourhoods Charter signed in September 2013 by the Group, effective performance of the labour clauses of certain projects is analysed. For instance, the project to build eight secondary schools in Seine-Saint-Denis is monitored in detail in cooperation with local authorities and CREPI (cf. chapter on Employment).


©Régis Bouchu

Gender Equality

Mechanisation and lighter materials and equipment mean that exercising our professions requires less physical strength. However, there is still progress to be made in terms of changing mentalities and integrating women into the diversity of jobs within the group.

A number of actions are being carried out in what remains a predominantly male work environment, including an increasing number of women in operational management positions, parity in education, remuneration and promotion, and the interface between employment and family responsibilities.

Numerous agreements and actions plans govern gender diversity in the divisions.

Although the percentage of women in the workforce at APRR-AREA has been stable in recent years, despite a decline in total staff numbers and a limited number of external recruitments, the goal is to impact gender distribution in jobs regarded as being open solely to one or the other sex. To foster gender diversity in jobs, APRR and AREA have renewed their gender equality agreement. Each new company agreement is now signed once for an indefinite term, with management and trade unions meeting to review the topic once every three years.

Measures taken at Eiffage Construction to increase the percentage of women in the workforce involve :

  • drawing attention to respect for provisions on wage equality between men and women;
  • respecting proportional parity per socio-professional category and per sector in the training plan, to increase women's access to training ;
  • organising meetings between 9am and 5pm whenever possible.

Clemessy SA, already a pioneer in France, signed a new gender equality agreement for the 2015-2017 period. The aim is to increase the number of women employed, and to achieve education and salary parity. The female workforce, which has previously accounted for 10% of total staff, reached 11.43% in 2015, following the hire of 29 women during the year.

Female employees of Eiffage Senegal on International Women's Day 2015 ©Eiffage Sénégal


Recruitment, changing perceptions of disability, reinforcing sustained employment, support for and integration of disabled people, career management and greater cooperation with adapted and sheltered sectors are all leads that the divisions' action plans explore to enable people with disabilities to find their place alongside the Group's teams.


Eiffage contributes to the Club Handicap & Competences

Eiffage is involved in the Club Handicap & Compétences (Disabilities and Skills club) which aims to foster professional integration and sustained employment of people with disabilities. Based on its members' practices, the club published a guide in March 2015 entitled "Co-contracting with the adapted and sheltered employment sector".


Following several years of action to raise awareness of perceptions of disability, the Disability policy implemented at APRR-AREA appears to be bearing fruit. Several indicators are up, including the employment rate of disabled workers (affected employees are daring to take the necessary steps to have their disability recognised), and the number of job description adaptations to help keep disabled people in work.


APRR's plan for 2014–2016 includes the following commitments:

  • recruit at least 5% of recognised disabled workers (APRR in fact reached and exceeded this goal in 2015 with an 8% rate of hire);
  • take on apprentices, trainees and people under professional development contracts;
    allocate at least 10% of apprenticeship tax to structures and organisations accommodating people with disabilities;
  • contribute to the professional, economic and social integration of people with disabilities by assigning tasks to sheltered work organisations;

  • employ people with disabilities within the framework of assignments.

    Another initiative rolled out by AREA with the ESAT Hors Murs organisation for employment of people with disabilities, provides workers with disabilities with jobs in the regular workplace with gradual integration and targeted support in the company.


2015: A study grant to favour integration

Eiffage Construction, in its 2014-2016 disability action plan, after identifying positions that could open up to this target group, formed partnerships with retraining centres and schools and with engineering schools, as well as a study grant for a student with disabilities. This grant enabled the integration of a student with a recognised disability on a traineeship. This recruiting helps in identifying future employees, concretely raising team awareness of all aspects of disability, and demonstrating the adaptive capabilities of the company's management practices. This pilot experience will be repeated in 2016.


At Eiffage Construction, the 2014-2016 Disability action plan is structured around four working focuses:

  • Communication and awareness: after issuing disability officers and HR Managers with kits comprising a video, posters and instructional leaflets in 2014, forums were held in 2015 in the Great East, North-West and South-West regions to raise awareness of the different forms of disability and the stakeholders involved.
  • Sustained employment: with the main aim of increasing reintegration possibilities. A study is underway on the use of skills assessments after a long-term illness or accident, and regional workshops focus on recruitment, purchasing and sustained employment.
  • Recruitment and integration of people with disabilities: priority is given to professional retraining courses to allow teams to change their approach to disability. A study grant is awarded to some disabled students doing a traineeship in the division.
  • Use of subcontractors from adapted and sheltered sectors: work skills training courses with sheltered work organisations are arranged with the purchasing department.


Tangible results for older employees

The Group recognises older workers as a population with specific characteristics and expectations, whose experience must be valued and employment maintained.


The various generational contract agreements and action plans introduced in the past two years integrated the divisions' goals: keep workers age 55 and older employed, position seniors as trainee supervisors and mentors, continue to foster their development and train them or provide systems favourable to their recruitment.

In 2014, APRR and AREA deployed their generational contract action plans defined for a three-year period (end September 2013). They essentially focus on: keeping older workers in employment, preparing younger senior workers for the second part of their career, initiating a programme to improve working conditions and prevent physical strain, and hiring and sustaining employment of workers older than 55. The companies have thus committed to keep a minimum percentage of employees over 55 years of age in the workforce - equal to the percentage on 31 December 2012. The objective was largely exceeded by the end of 2015, with APRR reaching 21% (for a 16% threshold), and AREA reaching 19% (for a 14% threshold).

In the Construction division, an action plan for the employment of older workers was deployed between 2010 and 2012 to foster their recruitment, skills development and sustained employment. Eiffage Construction pursued action in favour of older workers in 2015 by introducing generational contracts in all regions, negotiated by each subsidiary.

At Clemessy SA, 9.35% of recruitments in 2015 concerned older workers, exceeding the initial target of 5%. The company also set a goal of maintaining a number of workers over 55 representing 14% of the workforce, which it achieved in 2015 with a total percentage of 18.1%.


Generational equity

      © Olivier Dupont

When introducing the generational contract action plans, APRR-AREA management reasserted its commitment to the principle of equity between generations and to implementing: a recruitment and professional mobility policy containing no reference to age when publishing job offers, whatever the type of contract or job proposed; a fair and easily understandable remuneration policy; identical resources for employee access to continuous vocational training; and career path opportunities that encourage all employees to play an active role in their career progression, regardless of age..



Overcoming illiteracy

Insufficient mastery of basic education skills is an obstacle to social integration and career progression, as well as a risk factor in jobs where understanding instructions is a crucial requirement, particularly when it comes to safety.

In the divisions concerned by this issue, specific classes are offered to employees on a voluntary basis. In 2015, Eiffage Énergie was able to integrate this sensitive topic into its Energy Skills Prospects bridge training, by offering each trainee an assessment of their key skills (reading, writing, maths, etc.) and implementing support programmes where applicable. The assessment is conducted during interviews with an organisation specialised in illiteracy.

Divisions that are less confronted with issues of illiteracy nonetheless promote improvement of employees with basic qualifications, either through individual training opportunities or through skills development by passing professional safety certificates.


©Régis Bouchu-Actophoto