People are at the center of sustainable development: recognizing, including and valuing diversity allows us to discover new ideas and energy. In fact, it is precisely by bridging gaps that we find the ability, determination and vision to go even further.
This is the message that emerges from “Diversity has no equal,” a national webinar that we organized to reflect together on how the values of multiculturalism and social inclusion have contributed to both the professional and human growth of people who participate in the activities of our Group every day: our 65.000 people belonging to more than 80 nationalities and speaking 24 languages. It is a mosaic in which cultures, ethnicities, traditions and personalities intertwine, recognize, enhance and enrich each other, enabling us to strive for increasingly ambitious goals.
As we already stated during the celebration to mark the "World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”, diversity and inclusion are values that generate value. Which is why fostering and raising awareness of intercultural dialogue are part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
However, Paolo Bonifati, Head of Innovability People and Organization, emphasizes that in order to create an environment in which differences can flourish and become opportunities we need to work on our prejudices and automatic thoughts. We need to build a leadership and company vision in which cultural distances are not considered a threat but instead a source of shared richness that allows us to become ambassadors for change and progress.
When speaking about multiculturalism, we do not necessarily need to imagine far away countries and foreign cultures. Shata Diallo, Principal and Inclusion Lead at Mida, points out that it is important to remember that each of us have origins, experiences and personal characteristics that are extremely diverse and says it is even more critical to fight against ethnocentrism, the tendency to hold one’s own culture as the pinnacle of normality. Instead, we have to recognize and unpack the implicit associations we often harbor regarding nationality, religion, language and skin color as it is the only way we can eliminate our prejudices and welcome differences as an integral part of the richness of our society.
As a Group, in order to increasingly foster this process of inclusion and appreciation, we have inaugurated numerous projects over the years aimed at making our work environment more inclusive and attentive to people’s needs.
Rosanna Di Gaeta, Enel Green Power People and Organization Business Partner, shared the positive results of several initiatives that have successfully facilitated the growth of our international and intercultural reality.
Among these initiatives is WIRED – Connecting Intercultural Skills, an online training course using surveys, focus groups and interviews. The program analyzes seven thematic macro-areas and pursues three main goals. The goals are: to help people recognize the added value represented by individuality and develop their skills to enhance their approach to multiculturalism; to reduce the risk of conflicts and misunderstandings between people from different cultural backgrounds; and to provide a practical handbook full of both professional and cultural information to guide our expat colleagues and help them integrate with new customs and habits.
Another example is Powercoders, a computer programming Academy offered to vulnerable groups, such as refugees and NEETs who are currently not a part of the labor market. Through the intensive three-month course, based on the boot camp model, 25 students with 14 different nationalities, between the ages of 20 and 40, have already been able to earn a certificate and be guided in the first steps of their new career paths thanks to the opportunities provided by our network of partners and stakeholders. As a Group, we offered internships to four of these students, who now hold roles in various teams using the coding skills they developed, a demonstration that inclusion can and should become a daily practice.
We will continue to improve our work environment so that it becomes an even more diverse, rich and inclusive shared space that is faithful to our company mission which sees the energy transition as one of the key instruments for returning people to the center of a new world vision.