Diversity and Inclusion - How the European Investment Bank Attracts Diverse Talent in all European Member States

Actively building a diverse and inclusive workforce is gaining ground in today’s businesses. We caught up with Una Clifford-Bahçecik, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the European Investment Bank (EIB) to tell us more about their journey from struggling to attract a more diverse candidate pool to finding a long-term solution.

Effectively managing the differences between employees is of great value to a well-functioning organization. A culturally inclusive work climate means that every employee feels comfortable and valued regardless of gender, ethnic background, culture, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. However, running an inclusive corporate culture does not happen by itself. This requires awareness, policy and direction.

As the biggest multilateral financial institution in the world, with the EU Member States as its shareholders, the European Investment Bank is committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are among the defining factors that makes them who they are. Having a diverse and inclusive workforce contributes significantly to the success of the bank’s activities and its ability to make a positive impact globally.  Better performing colleagues, more innovative solutions and greater motivation and commitment are only some of the positive effects that can be observed in a diverse environment. Moreover, in 2018 the EU Bank’s Board of Directors endorsed its third Diversity and Inclusion strategy which serves to underpin these important objectives.

This becomes even more important when keeping in mind that the European Investment Bank (EIB) is the main financial arm of the European Union. They help to stimulate the economy, create jobs, promote equality and improve the lives of EU citizens and to support EU policies for growth and development in over 140 countries worldwide. To tackle these major tasks, the EIB needs a workforce that lives up to the standards of diversity and inclusion.

Recruitment Challenge

One of the biggest recruitment challenges the EIB was facing was to attract a more diverse candidate pool. Their key target audiences were STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) profiles for the banking sector, IT and engineering profiles and also mathematical profiles with strong quantitative skills for risk management and treasury front office roles. Furthermore, the EIB was facing challenges in recruiting professionals from all EU member countries to enable an equitable representation within the EIB workforce.


 The EIB decided to use recruitment marketing to help overcome this challenge. They sought out VONQ recruitment marketing technology to help them generate brand awareness for the EIB as an employer of choice within the critical target audiences. The main focus therefore was to activate female candidates with a focus on mathematical, technical and IT-related profiles and lead them to the EIB career page where they could find out more about what it means to work for the EU Bank. This section of the Bank’s website has been built to communicate the EIB’s mission for diversity and inclusion, provide a vision of the impact that you can make as an EIB employee and motivate women and other minority groups to apply.

 The main objective of this campaign was to leverage an awareness, consideration and conversion-driven recruitment marketing strategy to reach, nurture and attract female audiences in the 27 EU Member States.*

 Other important key objectives of the project included

  • Increasing relevant traffic on the EIB career page
  • Generating reach on channels such as social media, google and website within the selected target audiences
  • Increasing the click through rates (CTRs) on the career page.

 Una Clifford-Bahçecik, Senior diversity and inclusion officer at EIB explains, “Recruiting across a wide variety of countries for very specific roles is always a challenge! Using technology in our strategy has been a huge help for the recruitment team and has enabled us to bring the ambitions in our D&I strategy to life. It is great to see that with the use of the right tools and strategies, we are now able to bring our message about diversity and inclusion across to the right target audiences. And more importantly, we are increasingly able to attract a diverse and inclusive workforce!


 So far this year, the diversity and inclusion campaign generated 380,000 views on the diversity page. This has resulted in 11.500 people starting an application via the EIB Careers site. 66.1% of these were women. What is reflected in the results as well, is that the many of these applications originate from some of the more underrepresented countries in terms of the bank’s staff numbers.

Intensity of visitors that reached the EIB recruitment website.

Una concludes, “Working with VONQ has helped to make our recruiting efforts more efficient. We feel empowered to overcome our previous recruitment barriers. We are confident that we will continue running an effective diversity and inclusion-focused recruitment campaign in the years ahead.”


Written by Souad Mensori and Joost de Zwart.