“Today, differences in terms of gender, just like ability and disability, are not seen as social failings but as opportunities to start thinking differently”
The key to this journey is listening and trusting, because we were only able to face the challenges imposed by the recent health crisis by understanding the needs of our people, which has changed the way we work and ushered in a new way of working, where well-being becomes a facilitating factor of inclusive leadership.
Harmonizing work and personal life
Our idea of well-being goes well beyond the private sphere and extends to the professional dimension as well and, in general, to people’s lives. Work-life balance and inclusion are not just a matter of organization, but also one of concrete services and opportunities offered. Agile working, with the possibility to work remotely, was already established back in 2016 and is a pivotal element of what we offer. It is an excellent example of flexibility that allows for work-life balance, but also upholds one of our key values which is trusting people who instead of working at specific times in the day can work with a view to the future and long-term projects in mind.
Italy was the pilot country that tested this way of working. In 2018, it was extended to over 14,000 people in other countries and today, thanks in part to the digital acceleration due to the pandemic, it has been adopted by more than 37,000 people worldwide. A new model was established with the union agreement signed on March 21, 2022, which brought major improvements and benefits to all of our daily lives. Critical topics within this new working arrangement are flexibility, empowerment, digital unplugging and therefore work-life balance. Based on this model, which takes into account the new needs of the individual-worker, a monthly ceiling of remote working days out of the total number of working days has gradually been defined. Furthermore, it is possible to request additional remote working days in specific situations related to people with disabilities, disabled family members or cohabitants, individuals who are pregnant, parents with children up to 3 years of age, and other exceptional or temporary situations.
Our goal of work-life balance has produced a series of actions and best practices thanks to which, for the first time in 2016, our Group ranked 25th on the Thomson Reuters Index, which reviews 5,000 international companies and selects the top 100 globally.
In 2022, we gained a position at the top of the Refinitiv Diversity and Inclusion Index (formerly Thomson Reuters) in the “Electric Utilities & IPPs” industry category ranking 30th among the top 100 in the index compiled by Refinitiv, a global financial data provider. This index evaluates the performance in terms of diversity and inclusion of more than 11,000 companies based on publicly available information.
In the 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions of the “Gender Equality Global Report & Ranking,” which Equileap publishes every year to monitor the implementation of gender equality practices in the corporate world, our Group was recognized as the best utility company globally, the best Italian company, and earned eighth place in the overall TOP 100. In 2022, for the third consecutive year, the Group was included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which features 418 leading companies headquartered in 45 countries which are assessed and selected from among nearly 11,700 publicly traded companies evaluated on the basis of the breadth of disclosure and the achievements of their gender inclusion initiatives.
Our commitment was also recognized by LIFEED, the company that invented Life Based Learning, a company training method that promotes soft skills. They awarded our Group the Caring Company 2022® award, which is given to companies that place importance on work-life balance and promote the diversity of each individual, thus contributing to community growth and a cultural change needed by the country.
"For our Group, welfare has always been a form of inclusive and innovative well-being, because it starts with actively listening to the needs of people and contributing to the creation of a pervasive culture of well-being."
Francesca Valente, Head of People and Organization Italy
Attention and care for people
Well-being is about prioritizing healthy habits related to diet, physical activity and rest, as well as managing and controlling stress and how we interact with other people. Certain behaviors can reduce the risk of disease, help us to protect our mental health, give us more energy and enable us to work better. Which is why our Group has developed a series of services aimed at physical and mental well-being that can be utilized by all colleagues, they include psychological support, nutrition counseling and online classes for mindfulness, yoga, pilates and postural gymnastics.
The Well-Being 360 program was created to bring awareness to our people about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle geared toward physical well-being. Themes relating to health, nutrition, physical and postural activity are addressed in various online tutorials. We also have an exclusive, free, anonymous and confidential counseling service with a nutritionist that is extended to family members as well, and the opportunity to join a network made up of 4,000 gyms located throughout the country, taking advantage of special membership offers.
It is a priority for our Group to support people during their most difficult times, both in their private as well as their working lives, and to offer them all the necessary tools to be able to cope with difficulties in the best way possible to overcome them. With this in mind, as a concrete response, we began a free, anonymous and confidential psychological listening and support service for our people and their families that provides consultation with psychologists and psychotherapists specialized in the management of various problems, available every hour of every day, all year. Our commitment to people’s mental and physical well-being was recognized and rewarded at the 2022 CEO for Life Lundbeck Awards.
In keeping with the themes of nourishment for the mind, sharing, and reflection among colleagues, since 2019 we have been hosting a series of encounters called Face to Face with Philosophy. After the first edition, which focused on sustainability issues, a new cycle entitled Words of Thought: Care, Kindness, Activation was begun. These three words sum up our way of working and the Open Power approach to work, based on listening and sharing.
Caring for families and parents
We promote services supporting the well-being of our people in all stages of life, with a special focus on parenting, an important journey in which both parents redesign the balance between the domestic and working spheres. Through our Parental Program, we aim to enhance the parenting experience in an organizational context as well, fostering the transfer of acquired skills into the workplace. The program includes encounters with each person’s People Business Partner and managers to address both work and organizational issues and to promote parenting culture within the company and the sharing of useful tools to facilitate the integration of work and home life.
We promote a vision of shared parenting, which foresees care by both parents, consolidating our commitment to work-life balance together with policies to enhance diversity by breaking down socially predefined roles. In January 2023, we signed a union agreement which expands the parental support benefits already adopted by our Group. These new benefits include the expansion of leave for fathers, with 10 additional paid leave days beyond the mandatory leave provided by law. We also provide better conditions compared to those required by the national bargaining agreement, such as those related to maternity leave (100% pay in the first 5 mandatory months compared to 80% required by law), as well as parental leave (90% pay for the first month, 60% pay for the second and third months, 45% pay for the additional 3 months to which parents are entitled, compared to 30% required by law).
In keeping with our culture oriented towards inclusion, respect for diversity and attention to caring for children, as of July 2021, the benefit that guarantees the use of parental leave and time off was extended to the non-biological or legal parent of same-sex couples in civil unions, who still by law today cannot benefit from it. This is a groundbreaking change for our Group in Italy, and is part of the path of LGBTQI+ inclusivity we are on. In addition, for parents of children with specific learning disabilities (SLDs), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), motor disability, sensory disability or neurodiversity (intellectual, autism spectrum), a dedicated support program has been started to improve their familial and social well-being.
For expectant mothers and parents of children of up to three years old, there is also the digital platform “CHILD” available to help capitalize on an individual’s own experiences to apply to work through the “Life Based Learning” method. This methodology uses life and personal experiences as a breeding ground for the development of soft skills that are critical for effectiveness on the job such as organizational, creative and interpersonal skills.
Our care initiatives also include those who are caregivers for an elderly or other dependent adult. For these individuals, we offer a series of meetings regarding the caregiver role to offer support for the development of greater awareness and peace of mind regarding their responsibilities and how to integrate them more smoothly with their professional life. The use of personal experiences to develop soft skills is also the basis of the online Master Care course.
Welfare and Benefits
In 2020, we designed the MyBenefit portal, with the objective of allowing each colleague the ability to quickly locate all the benefits available to them.
In fact, the portal shows everything we offer to our people. The benefits are tailored based on the colleague’s profile and accompanied by their economic value, out of a desire to demonstrate an immediate “tangible” benefit.
By accessing the portal, it is possible to utilize numerous services at negotiated prices with qualified provider networks such as babysitting services, family counseling, homecare for a temporary or permanent disability, veterinary services to care for our four-legged friends, online drugstore products, home maintenance, tailoring services and laundry home delivery services.
Another important service is tied to the concrete economic benefits for our people offered by the Italian Stability Law. With MyWelfare. there is the possibility to convert parts of profitability and productivity bonuses into goods and services with great economic and tax benefits. In 2018, we received the “Welfare Award”, a recognition given to the most outstanding companies in the field of organizational well-being and those with the biggest success in increasing purchasing power of their employees. In particular, we ranked first in the “Best Participation Under 30” BIG Corporate section, by virtue of having close to 100% use of company welfare benefits by colleagues under 30 years of age.
Towards sustainable mobility
It has been several years since we introduced the Mobility Manager role, a person responsible for putting initiatives into action to encourage colleagues to substitute private motor vehicles with more sustainable transportation options. In particular, to meet the needs of people and the specific characteristics of the areas we operate in, over the last few years we have introduced incentive projects that include: the development of mobility sharing through special rates and agreements with public and private operators; the sale of annual passes for local public transportation through a dedicated platform guaranteeing a company contribution and special payment agreements; the creation and presentation in the municipalities in areas where we are present of Home-Work Travel Plans based on existing national regulations that allow us to analyze the mobility habits of colleagues and assess their propensity to change; the use of bicycles through the Enel Bike&Free corporate bike sharing program, which is already implemented in Bologna and Florence where infrastructure conditions make the use of bicycles easy and safe.
In closing, for the benefit of all colleagues, we have created an online training course for the safe operation of bicycles and scooters, because safety is a core value for us.
Initiatives for talented young people
Quality education is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda and it is a target about which we, as a company, have made specific pledges. One such pledge is towards the youngest children, starting with those of our employees. We have organized Digital Education workshops to study interactions with social networks, videogames and smartphones to assist parents in better understanding and managing their children’s interactions with digital technology. It is in this same spirit that we promote Ada Labs, interactive laboratories on coding dedicated exclusively to our colleagues’ children between the ages of 7 and 10. Each lab session, lasting 1.5 hours, has the aim of introducing young children to IT technologies and the basics of programming, while emphasizing the creative, innovative and sustainable aspects of studying technical and scientific subjects. At the same time, the labs break down gender bias by involving children in an interactive story starring one of the “STEM muses,” crucial but often unknown female characters who have helped to create the present we live in. We have also launched the “Back to School” initiative to raise awareness among secondary school youth, in particular female students, regarding the value of a technical and scientific education, countering gender stereotypes.
Diversity and Inclusion
Our Group promotes diversity and inclusion as a concrete business asset to foster innovation and sustainability, placing great importance on creating an environment that ensures organizational well-being. This journey began in 2013 with the issuing of the Human Rights Policy, followed in 2015 by the Diversity and Inclusion Policy. The latter plays a key role in the evolution of the Group’s caring culture. Its core principles are cornerstones for the development of specific initiatives that address as a priority aspects of gender, sexual orientation, age, multiculturalism, disability and the diffusion of a culture of inclusion at all levels and in all organizational contexts.
Among the actions and initiatives developed in Italy, with regard to gender diversity, is the Policy Against Workplace Harassment that was issued in 2019. It reaffirms our commitment to creating a workplace environment in which people are treated with dignity, respect and decorum and provides preventative measures through training and awareness-raising initiatives. We also created a telephone support service and a mandatory course dedicated to reporting harassment.
In 2023, we organized a series of meetings to spread better financial awareness regarding money management and use.
Regarding sexual orientation, in 2020 we joined Parks – Free and Equal, an association that many companies are a part of, which promotes global inclusivity and that of LGBTQI+ individuals in particular. As of July 2021, we have extended parental leave benefits to include same-sex couples in civil unions, expanding and improving the existing internal policy. In addition, same-sex couples in civil unions can access leave as parents of children with serious disabilities recognized under Italian Law 104.
We believe that the contributions of people of all ages and continuous learning are a shared asset and a source of innovation and growth. To deepen the dimension of age management, we have carried out several projects with the aim of raising awareness about ageism and overcoming any preconceptions and stereotypes. With Re-Generation, the project launched in 2021, our colleagues over the age of 45 can enrich their professional backgrounds with new skills to reinvigorate their academic career and take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital tools.
Listen to the Enel Radio podcast to hear about the experiences of Valentina Lai and Ivan Vettori who embraced the opportunity offered by Re-Generation.
We believe that ethnic and cultural diversity is an extraordinary asset. We are committed to promoting and enhancing knowledge, relationships and cross-cultural contamination both inside and outside the Group. After all, among the people that work with us there are more than 80 nationalities and 24 different languages spoken on the 5 continents where we have a presence.
Lastly, regarding disability, our program Value for Disability provides for the activation of inclusive products and services for our people as well as our clients. These range from the accessibility of Enel locations and spaces, to digital accessibility, to training for personal skills development. Our goal is the creation of shared value: disabilities exist, they are part of life and therefore they are a resource to consider and value. With this in mind, as of July 2022, we created the new Assistive Solutions Team to offer a dedicated service to all colleagues in Italy with temporary or permanent disabilities who need information related to disability issues or a solution regarding accessibility either digital or related to their environment or workstation.
Listen to the Enel Radio podcast to learn more about the Assistive Solutions Team.