The value of our diversity

Published on Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Diversity isn’t managed, it’s encouraged”. Iliana Totaro speaks in an interview where, in her previous role as People Care and Diversity Manager for Enel, she describes the path she took towards developing the Diversity & Inclusion Policy and the initiatives linked to it, inspired by the knowledge that diversity in gender, age, nationality and ability is a resource, a potential for development not simply on ethical grounds but also as a way of enhancing productivity and innovation.

Our Group is enriched by different points of view and approaches. A report published by McKinsey in 2015 shows that a company’s chances of success increase by 15% if it implements initiatives encouraging gender diversity and by 35% if where there is a mixed ethnic make-up.

Enel is a large Group present in more than 30 countries on five continents, and we make great efforts to enhance diversity within the organisation. As early as 2015 we committed to a Diversity & Inclusion Policy emphasising the importance of the basic principles of non-discrimination, equal opportunities and dignity for all forms of diversity, inclusion and balance between work and private life, launching initiatives aimed at embracing specific areas of diversity like nationality, age, gender and ability, as well as ensuring equal treatment.

The gender equality measures outlined in the policy include agreements with universities to promote careers in STEM subjects among female students and a commitment to guarantee equal representation of men and women in the internal and external selection processes. One of the most important projects is the Parental Program, launched to enables new parents to balance the demands of family with their professional growth. We have implemented initiatives like smart working, a corporate daycare centre, play and education centres for children of employees and reserved parking for pregnant staff. In 2015 Enel also adopted the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles.

In the context of age differences we have launched tutoring programmes for new staff and knowledge transfer activities, with older employees passing their skills and knowledge on to younger staff. All these initiatives encourage professional assimilation. Similar programmes aim to promote geographic mobility among the Group’s divisions and companies, and we have created an in-house contact person for our 1,800 disabled colleagues, with a focal point in every country where the Group is present. Among the initiatives launched in Italy is a support service for people with restricted mobility, a sign language course and a work group to design IT systems with easy access for all.

The principles outlined in our policy fit in perfectly with our Open Power approach, which aims to promote innovative ideas from all contributors. Enel is now a diversity workshop comprising colleagues from across the world, men, women, young and older people and the differently abled.

To support our efforts to promote diversity we have also set aside a special budget and established a dedicated People Care and Diversity Management unit to oversee the policy’s practical implementation in the various countries where Enel operates.

Our growing commitment in this area has been widely recognised on a global level – in 2018 Enel was included in the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion index, which classifies the 100 leading companies around the world in the context of employee diversity respect and inclusion, and also won a place in the Top 200 of the Equileap index, which assigns global rankings to companies on the basis of their commitment to gender equality. In Italy, Enel gained recognition in the “Corporate Social and Sustainable Management” category at the LC Diversity Awards, conferred by the LC Publishing Group, which specialises in digital information promoting the values of diversity.

The Group was also named best work provider in the energy sector in the "Best Job 2018-2019" rankings compiled by the German Quality and Finance Institute, which evaluates the welfare services offer provided by over 2,500 companies in Italy.

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