02 April 2021

To celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, UniCredit will light up the spire of its Milan headquarters in recognition of the achievements of people living with autism and those who support them.

2:00 Min

Did you know that…?

  • In Italy, every year over 4,300 infants are born with autism.

  • On average, out of every 4 people diagnosed with autism, 3 are male. 

  • Women are often not diagnosed until they are at least in their late 30s.

  • 1 child in 89 may be affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Europe. In Italy, according to the ISS, 1 child in 77 may be affected.

  • Around 1% of the Italian population is believed to be affected by autism, which in a population of 60 million inhabitants equals 600,000 people. 

  • Autism is a developmental condition that impacts on our sensory, executive functioning, emotional regulation and social interaction skills. 80% of autistic people also have depression and or anxiety.

(source: http://angsa.it/autismo/numeri/, http://www.anffas.net/it/disabilita-intellettive-e-disturbi-dello-spettro-autistico/alcuni-dati/ , Increase in the number of children affected by autism spectrum disorder (europa.eu))


On 2 April, UniCredit will light up the spire of the Piazza Gae Aulenti headquarters in Milan in blue to mark the fourteenth World Autism Awareness Day.


As a Group, we are proud to be actively involved in such an important event dedicated to raise awareness of people living with ASD . 


Every day, we strive to promote Diversity and Inclusion in our offices and branches, to ensure that everyone can truly express their values and needs freely. 


At UniCredit, we believe that we can play a key role in raising awareness around this matter, and our support has been continuous and multi-faceted over the years. We have appointed an ad hoc Disability Manager who is dedicated to the needs of our employees with disabilities and launched campaigns and initiatives to improve the quality of life of families with special needs.


For instance, we give an annual grant to colleagues with family members with disabilities, as well as short-term and extended leave to parents of children with disabilities. We have also activated a 24/7 hotline for individuals in need of emotional and psychological support and enriched our training programmes for colleagues supporting loved ones with disabilities. 


More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed new challenges for people with autism. Such as having to learn new routines, missing social contact and not having face to face access to their usual support networks. In this period of uncertainty, rest assured we will continue to guarantee the highest safety standards to protect our most vulnerable colleagues and their families in all our premises. 


We will also back voluntary associations such as the “Fondazione Sacra Famiglia Onlus”, founded in 1896, aimed at supporting and treating children, adults and elderly people suffering from complex or severe physical fragility or mental and social disabilities, including autism. Also due to the pandemic, more and more families are facing the experience of a loved one living a frailty condition, especially when suffering autism. This requires adequate services, great competence, but also humanity and warmth that Sacra Famiglia guarantees.


We want to help take the pressure off people living with a disability in the midst of a pandemic by providing the right services, and safely delivered expertise.


Today, you too can make a difference and help us to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Unicredit invites you to wear a blue garment or accessory, take a picture and post it on Yammer using the hashtag #LightItUpBlue. In this way, we can all help spread a positive message around ASD and actively promote Diversity and Inclusion!


Together, lets continue to make a difference by embracing our core values of Ethics and Respect and remaining fully committed to pursuing our “Banking that matters” philosophy!