To mark International Women’s Day, we take stock of our most important achievements regarding gender equality and inclusion
At UniCredit, we are fully committed to promoting and enhancing women talent, as well as a broader culture of inclusion, not only towards our own people through global development programmes, but also by supporting women in business and all activities that offer services to families.
This is because a more inclusive and equal society that values women's skills and expertise can generate more growth and prosperity for all.
International Women's Day (8th March) is an excellent opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved so far.
This year, the main theme is "Women in leadership: achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world". As part of our efforts to continuously celebrate the true purpose of this day, we are sharing some of the most significant stories depicting our women's successes and how we help them thrive, along four main lines of action.
Gender equality is a key focus for us
In 2018, our Group proudly joined the Women in Finance Charter committed to reaching a target of 20% of women in senior management by 2022. Last year, we reinforced this goal, and set a new objective of reaching 30% by 2023.
In order to achieve this, we launched a dedicated career development programme specifically aimed at increasing women leadership throughout the Group.
Many talented executives joined the initiative and we will keep working to strengthen our leadership pipeline, in line with what we have already achieved with our CEOs in CEE.
Support our female leadership
Leadership skills can be improved, and this is why our Group created the Fast-Track Programme, an accelerated development path sustaining our most promising executives and talents (both women and men), aimed at offering them opportunities for professional growth.
We are so proud when our executives are recognised for their achievements, and over the last few months there have been many accomplishments to celebrate! For instance, Forbes Italia included Claudia Vassena, Head of buddybank, among Italy's 100 most successful women in 2020.
Similarly, Boston Consulting Group and Manager Magazine's annual study listed Finja Kütz, Group Transformation Officer, among the 100 most influential women in Germany.
Roberta Marracino, Head of Group ESG Strategy & Impact Banking, was recognized as one of the Businessperson of the year by Fortune Italia in 2020 in the Finance category.
As a pan-European bank, we also pay close attention to international benchmarking.
Such focus allows us to set ambitious targets, learn from global best practices and achieve excellent results!
As a matter of fact, UniCredit has been included for the second time in the Bloomberg 2021 Gender-Equality Index (GEI).
Whilst we are satisfied with our current successes, we also keep looking to the future.
This is one of the key tasks of our Millennial Board, a group of employees under 30 from all over Europe who work to bring innovative solutions and the point of view of the new generations to the attention of our Top Management.
As of today, we are pleased to say that such exceptional team sees a strong female presence and it also reflects the different realities and cultures within UniCredit.
Work together, as One Team, to sustain our people
Enhancing women talent means promoting a professional environment where everyone feels comfortable and can give their best, UniCredit strives to ensure that all our colleagues can have a healthy work-life balance, and this is even more important when it comes to working parents.
From this perspective, workplace flexibility is one of the key pillars of the Welfare programme we are developing in collaboration with our Family Board.
The attention to such matters is among the reasons why our Group has been recognised as a Top Employer in Europe in 2020 and this year, and we could not be prouder of such award!
Furthermore, we are committed to fostering inclusion at work also through other activities and actions.
Finally, since 2017, all UniCredit's top managers are evaluated with KPIs related to gender balance and gender diversity initiatives.
Stand by female entrepreneurs
Often, a loan can make the difference between an unfulfilled dream and a successful business.
Four years ago, in Italy, UniCredit launched Social Impact Banking, to finance entrepreneurs, companies and organisations willing to positively impact our communities. Since then, we have extended such initiatives to a further 10 countries, supporting over 4,000 families and working women thanks to nearly €200 million in loans.
In particular, our Group backs businesswomen by offering microcredit and specific support for the development of their entrepreneurial idea, as well as the digital tools they need to start their activities.
Riccarda Zezza and her company Lifeed represent an excellent example of how UniCredit has a meaningful impact on women entrepreneurs.
In 2012, after giving birth to her second child, Riccarda went back to work and discovered she no longer had a managerial role. To many people's surprise, she realised the skills and knowledge acquired during maternity were highly prized on the market.
The following year, with UniCredit's support, Riccarda developed and launched a course called "Maternity as a Master", which is still included in our learning platform.
In 2021, women have increasing opportunities to build their own businesses also thanks to new technologies and digital tools. Nowadays, one in every four innovative businesses supported by UniCredit is run by women leaders. Our Group keeps sustaining them through enriching initiatives, such as our "Start Lab" and our "Bootcamp Tel Aviv", which gave 20 women entrepreneurs the opportunity to analyse the dynamics that have taken Israel to the top of the world rankings in terms of number of innovative companies per capita.
At UniCredit, we will all continue to do everything we can to build an inclusive workplace, where gender equality is a value-add that strengthens our organisation's performance. Such efforts are in line with our commitment to always Do the right thing, and the stories shared demonstrate that we can truly be #PartOfTheSolution. Let's all keep playing our role while developing a positive working environment, and remember that... Our value matters, inclusion matters!