This week we talk to Barbara Tamburini, Head of Individuals Italy, a manager who loves the precious moments she spends with her family and believes in the importance of promoting people's talents. Her goal is to overcome the challenges of the Italian market to lead our Bank to achieve great new results. Find out about her vision and what her ideal day looks like.

2:40 min

Who are you, what did you want to be as a child and what do you do now at UniCredit?

I am a working mum, just like all working mums.

What did I want to be when I grew up? I would say what I am, in the sense that I think I have always wanted to be a mother and at the same time, although I did not have a precise idea of what I would do, I have always imagined myself "at work". Today, at UniCredit Italy, I deal with retail, products, service models, customer experience on all channels, commercial strategies, network model and communication. I am passionate about my work; I think it has enriched me as a person.

I am fascinated by the way we communicate, by the not always obvious relationship between the objectivity of numbers and the not always quantifiable strength of ideas, but above all I like to think I am at the service of my colleagues, for our customers. For me this is the deepest meaning of my work: a mix of creativity and innovation that become concretely useful.


What do you enjoy most about your job and what is the proudest moment or greatest achievement of your career?

I can’t really focus on one. There have been so many wonderful moments at work. I would say pride in my achievements, the possibility to learn continuously, the opportunity to change things...

Every day for me is almost a new beginning, I am more focused on overcoming difficulties than on the satisfaction that comes with it, although I think this is partly my fault. I was born with a fighter's spirit, which helps to achieve goals, but it is tiring. Sometimes I discover that I’m more determined than I think.


And what is the hardest part?

The most tiring thing for me is trying to be patient. Perhaps my roots show that the resourcefulness of Romagna is ill-suited to waiting, and although I understand its importance and value, I remain impatient.


What advice would you give your younger self or somebody considering this role as a career?

De Andrè sang: 'people are known to give good advice if they can no longer give a bad example'.

I don't give advice either, but I gladly share my point of view.

I believe that you can't achieve anything without fighting for what you want, believing in it to the end, standing up for what you think is right, admitting and learning from the mistakes you make. I am also convinced that generosity always "pays off" in the end, the generosity of someone who puts his or her all into the office, trying to develop talents and being ready to do their part.

How do you balance your professional and personal life?

I don't know if my professional and private life are balanced. I think the secret lies in not considering them as two different sides of the same scale. Balancing is about life as a whole, which is often not about balance but about movement, or at least that is how I experience it.

I recharge my batteries with the love of my family, hugging my children and playing with them, singing their songs, watching their films, reading them books, inventing stories and characters that amuse them enormously. I'm a very affectionate mum... in some people's opinion maybe even too much... but they are small now, so I seize the moment!


What do you like to do to relax after a hard day at the office?

When I'm not at work, I'm with my family, which for me is already perfect.

Proust said that travelling is not about having new destinations, but about having a new outlook.

My family allows me to have a new perspective and makes me feel good.


Is there anybody you personally admire or are inspired by? Why?

I have had the good fortune of working with people of great personal and professional depth and to meet others who have mostly absorbed a lot of energy. I remember most fondly the former, the colleagues and bosses who inspired me and enriched my cultural and professional background.

It is very important to have good teachers, and I believe that the head of an office who coordinates other people should make it their mission to develop the talent of their team, letting them express themselves freely. As I always say... "everyone is entitled to have a good boss!".


How would your friends describe you?

I think they would say that I am not easy to approach, that I have great energy, but that I’m a reserved person.

After the first impression, however, they would change their minds, because I am a person whom they can trust wholeheartedly, who listens and sympathises in difficult moments, who can still laugh and have fun like a child in happy moments.

Finally, they would say that I am an honest and straightforward person, able to face uncomfortable positions in any context, who gets very angry at what she perceives as an injustice... a person with whom it is sometimes not easy to deal, but it can be worth it.


What was the last book or film you loved? And why?

I recently read "WE should all be feminists", after Angela Merkel's endorsement of this issue, which is so important for the socio-economic development of the future. I found this sensitivity of hers an innovative way of spreading culture.

I believe we need to carry this message forward with energy and courage. Family, school, society, as well as art and entertainment are perfect vehicles to activate a cultural change, with particular attention to children who have the right to grow up without hatred and prejudice, even in a society that, inevitably, has many of its historical roots on patriarchal principles.

The film that struck me recently was Disney's 'Cruella'. Wonderful acting by the two co-stars and enormous entrepreneurial and managerial courage to rewrite a story - the Charge of 101 - which is now perhaps worn out, with great conviction and considerable investment. This struck me, and I think it's part of Disney's corporate culture.

If I think about it, the film and the book have a common thread that links them. In the film there are two figures who overcome the difference between black and white. The film proposes a new vision and perception of balance in many aspects, including gender, which it presents with the grace and intelligence of the two "Emma's" and Disney. Truly enlightening!