Including skills

Published on Monday, 28 June 2021

Inclusion, recognizing that every person is unique, promoting the skills and individuality of each individual. These were the questions at the heart of “Skills Inclusion”: the event organized in collaboration with the magazine DiverCity, which took place on June 17 on the occasion of the launch of the publication’s latest issue, which is dedicated to skills.

These questions are also at the core of our Group’s vision, as Maria Luisa Marino, Global Head of People Care and Diversity Management, remarked in her opening speech. “We have always paid attention to taking care of people. At our company, we believe in including every individual: sustainable innovation and value creation are only possible in an inclusive environment.” She then added that “inclusion can be tackled as an issue by spreading the culture of inclusion every day and by creating the conditions for a truly welcoming environment that gives every person the space and the possibility to express themselves: this is the key to innovation, integrating and bolstering everyone’s talents.”

The story presented by Fabio Bosatelli, Global Head of Renewables O&M Robotization who has been hearing-impaired since birth, is one of the examples of this approach. By collaborating with the Italian startup Pedius, we created an app that can convert speech into text. “We started by acknowledging the issue and we turned it into a challenge to solve to create integration,” explained Bosatelli. “We didn’t let the difficulties intimidate us and we worked in stages until we reached a good compromise that could also help other people.” Now, the Enel Energia telephone service for the free market is also accessible to hearing-impaired customers, who can interact with the contact center autonomously thanks to the activation of Pedius.

It's a solution that created value for everyone, and not only people with disabilities. And this perspective is also the defining trait of “Value for Disability,” the project launched in 2020 to ensure the full integration and the best quality of life possible for people with disabilities. Silvana Ceravolo, Global Head of Industrial Relations, Welfare & Wellbeing, talked about it during the event, highlighting how our company is “firmly committed to respecting policies that focus on people and their needs. We are working on many projects in this area, combining the human and technological potential that we have internally. The challenge that we want to overcome is cultural: becoming aware that people’s skills are what matters, not their disabilities.”

This concept also emerged from “Kind Innovability,” the interview with Ernesto Ciorra and Guido Stratta published in the latest issue of DiverCity. “We need to pay attention to the person: affection, care, interest and listening. Then everything becomes possible. But we cannot act alone: this attention, which I would even call a vocation, must be widespread,” said Guido Stratta, Head of People & Organization. Therefore inclusion also becomes an opportunity, a competitive advantage. An example? “Andrea Depalo is a disabled entrepreneur who created an electric wheelchair that takes you everywhere,” explained Ernesto Ciorra, Chief Innovability® Officer. “For his project Avanchair, Enel X developed JuiceAbility, a system that makes it possible to charge the wheelchair at our charging stations. This idea helped us win the award for the world’s most inclusive application at the 2020 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas.”

“The term Innovability®,” Ciorra went on to say, “is a happy portmanteau word that was coined by CEO Francesco Starace in April 2014 to convey the idea that sustainability is achieved through innovation, which is both a prerequisite and a tool.” And how does it reconcile with kindness? It is the essential trait of relationships that foster the creation of innovation. As Stratta put it, “kindness is the desire to experience a different relationship with other people and to let them express who they are. It means understanding that, before judging and labelling the person we are talking to, we have to consider their background. The kind person is strong and sees in others a great opportunity for professional, personal, and spiritual growth.”

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