UniCredit launches its first Diversity and Inclusion Week
Raise awareness and understanding
On October 14, 2019 UniCredit launched its first Diversity and Inclusion Week.
For one week, UniCredit employees explored the topic, in line with our two values "Ethics and Respect" and our guiding principle "Do the right thing!". 75 initiatives in 15 markets include workshops, testimonials and training courses, to listen to our colleagues and their families, industry experts and non-governmental organisations.
Follow the hashtags #UniCreditDIW19 and #InclusionMatters to join UniCredit in this journey!
Age diversity inclusion
In some countries, such as the Czech Republic, a high share of the overall population is between 40 and 45 years of age. Over the next decade, many of them will face new challenges and opportunities in their professional lives (including job offers and opportunities) when they are over 50 years old.
In our Czech offices, during this first UniCredit Diversity and Inclusion week, we are hosting inspirational speeches on topics such as: age management - what it is and why it is important; how to build effective communication and cooperation among generations; how to understand different colleague generations - X, Y, baby boomers, Z; and how different generations understand leadership roles.
Furthermore, an innovative external workshop dedicated to people over 50 years old aims to attract candidates for the retail banker role, with the participation of our Czech Regional Manager. It is an opportunity to discover everything about working as a banker and prepare for an interview with our bank.
Employment inclusion for young refugees
The UniCredit Diversity and Inclusion week in Germany reflects on how, as a bank, we can contribute to inclusion in the employment market.
UniCredit started a cooperation with Joblinge in 2011, an organisation which helps young refugees aged between 15 and 24 years of age find work. In addition to a number of workshops held at our local Hypovereinsbank offices, over 200 of our German employees have been involved as mentors, sharing both their life and work experiences with the young people. This is the largest number of mentors of all Joblinge's partner companies.
In Germany, 500.000 youths have a hard time finding jobs or apprenticeship positions, even though there is a shortage of skilled workers and many vacancies remain unfilled. About 30% of the Joblinge participants have been unable to find a job for 3 to 5 years with an average age of 20 years. More than 60% are children of immigrants or refugees and 70% come from families that depend on welfare.
Joblinge focuses on outcomes, aiming for fast and sustainable job placements. The six-month program with a placement rate of 70% percent is growing rapidly. To date, more than 9,000 youths have participated, making sure that the young refugees are integrated into the labor market as early as possible, "leaving no one behind - investing in humanity".
UniCredit is committed to creating a positive working environment where everyone can excel, regardless of their sexual orientation.
The bank joined "Parks - Liberi e Uguali" in Italy at the end of 2018 and, at the beginning of 2019, signed a Global Framework Agreement with the UNI Global Union on Human Rights and Fundamental Labour Rights, including specific commitments to combatting discrimination and promoting diversity.
Inside UniCredit, there have already been many successful LGBT* employee inclusion experiences. The Diversity and Inclusion week will give visibility to these stories.
In Germany, a group of colleagues which cares about ensuring equal opportunities in the workplace regardless of sexual identity, gender identity and gender expression was founded in 2014, officially recognised in 2018.
The network is called "UniCorns" and it has around 60 members who promote the fact that employees who are more open about their sexual identity or gender identity in the workplace are more positive about and committed to their organisation than those who are secretive.
The first UniCredit Diversity and Inclusion week also offers the opportunity of reflecting on how the bank can support parenthood.
A successful experience takes place in Italy, where UniCredit was one of the first companies to join MAAM, in 2016.
MAAM is a digital path that leverages on the educational potential of parenthood to develop new soft skills which are also useful at work, building a stronger and more complex character, leading to a better work-life balance.
MAAM offers a tool to enhance professional growth, improving engagement and team inclusion, while promoting personal well-being. Around 500 UniCredit mothers have joined the platform since its launch. For the Diversity and Inclusion Week, the bank has extended the program, inviting all colleagues with children aged 0-3 years to join.
Also during this first Diversity and Inclusion week, UniCredit confirms its support for disabled workers.
To promote awareness and inclusion, UniCredit has organised "In My Shoes", a "blind-walk" event that takes place in Piazza Gae Aulenti at the bank's Milan headquarters, in cooperation with the Unione Italiana Ciechi (UIC) and Istituto Ciechi Milano (two organisations supporting blind people).
Twenty bank employees will experience blindness first-hand, walking around the highest tower of the square for thirty minutes while blindfolded, with the help of a stick, guided by volunteers from UIC. They will personally experience the challenges that a blind person faces every day, to get around.
Other disabilities were also discussed during the Italian Diversity and Inclusion Week. In one meeting, Prof. Claudio Mencacci, psychiatrist and President of the Italian Society of Neuropsychopharmacology, explains how technology and research can change our perspectives, helping the audience understand more about sleep disorders and temporary personal challenges.
Signing the Global Framework Agreement with UNI Global Union on Human Rights and Fundamental Labour Rights, UniCredit reinforce its commitments to combatting discrimination of minorities, especially when based on race issues.
This topic is particularly true in Romania, where the inclusion of Roma minorities rises an important sociological debate. The Diversity and Inclusion Week in this country has reflected on how Roma minorities are perceived in corporations.
Employees in Romania had the opportunity of discussing this topic following an inspirational speech moderated by the "coach" Valeriu Nicolae, founder of Policy Center for Roma and Minorities Romania; Advocacy Regional Director for World Vision International, Member of the Board of Trustees of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
He is himself an example of Roma who succeeded in corporations at international level, and became an activist to promote the rights and integration of Minorities.