Sara Gay, Head of Group Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UniCredit, spoke at a recent Bocconi HR lecture series about the importance of lifelong learning, the evolution of leadership and the crucial role of DE&I in both. 

2:00 min

The SDA Bocconi School of Management hosts regular talks with business representatives for their students. At the most recent HR lecture Sara Gay highlighted the crucial importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in leadership and learning as a driver of innovation and creativity.

Learning from each other and creating the right conditions to allow this to happen is at the heart of actively promoting DE&I at the workplace. 


“It has now been proven that companies with a diverse workforce can achieve better results, but inclusive behaviour and social equity are key to unlocking this path” 

Sara Gay, Head Of Equity & Inclusion

Employers must therefore create a work environment where all colleagues feel free to express their ideas without any type of discrimination. This is how innovation can emerge. “Furthermore, social equity is an important third element to ensure that we also listen to the needs of everyone and seek to address these in the right way” added Sara.

Today’s leaders must also consider that lifelong learning in the current context is intertwined with the pace of digitalisation that we are faced with not just in our professional lives, but in all aspects of everyday life. “We are constantly exposed to a multitude of new digital tools and channels, and it is important we have the inner agility to continue learning and mastering these,” Sara said.

Therefore, employers have a growing responsibility to ensure consistent upskilling also in line with changing job roles and emerging specialisations. This means that the role of leadership is evolving with a strong need for staff empowerment through a focus on employee engagement and on talent retention.

The latter two aspects require constant investment in your people to allow them to learn and feel empowered. Sara further emphasised that you can always learn from your team, especially the younger members who will be more familiar with digital innovations and emerging trends in the market. However, to create the right conditions for such learning and empowerment to occur, companies must be fully committed to DE&I.

At UniCredit, we constantly work to create an inclusive work environment to increase our creative capacity and better meet our customer needs leveraging on both our leadership and learning capabilities. This includes relevant training programmes such as on unconscious bias, support through dedicated Employee Resource Groups, continued awareness raising through internal communications and dedicated communities, as well as specific policies and Top Management KPIs on People.

Diversity and Inclusion

UniCredit is proud of its decade-long commitment to empower its highly diverse staff by creating an equal opportunities workplace where people of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds can contribute to decision making.

To find out more about DE&I at UniCredit, please see here