Inclusion and non-discrimination are the values that underpin various corporate projects and instruments developed to improve the company’s performance, promote female talent and contribute to the life-work balance of all Intesa Sanpaolo employees. The Bank has adopted an informed approach to the management of diversity in the business place, whether these differences relate to culture, ethnicity, age, gender or different abilities.
The diligence with which the practice of including differently-abled people is managed has gained recognition from Italy’s leading national organisations and associations: in March 2014 (confirmed also in 2015) Intesa Sanpaolo was rewarded with the "Diversity & Inclusion Award DiversitaLavoro", which is given to companies that promote policies to provide work for diversely able people, aiming at enhancing talent and skills.
Initiatives and policies aimed at reconciling the work and private lives of employees have also been introduced in some of the International Subsidiary Banks. The most relevant activities include a number of initiatives developed by VÚB Banka in the aftermath of the “Ladies Let’s talk together” dialogue and listening project for employees held in 2013.
Even though no particular criticalities emerged from the focus groups and surveys carried out, the bank put together a series of measures for the gradual elimination of the critical issues identified and, in 2014, the “New benefits for employees” initiative was launched. This initiative provides health prevention and support services for employees of over 50 years of age that have worked for the bank for more than 10 years, and the possibility of taking a day off work in order to accompany children on their first day of school.
With the signing in 2014 of the framework agreement on inclusion and equal opportunities, Intesa Sanpaolo confirmed its intention to create value, while striving for sustainability and equality, through a listening, consultation and orientation process involving the stakeholders that not only eliminates discrimination but also promotes measures to exploit diversity. In this context, the “Sexual orientation and identity diversity regulations” were issued which require the relevant Departments to define operating procedures, beginning with unions between people of the same sex, in registered partnership situations or situations regulated by legal systems recognised by the Italian system, to provide them with the benefits foreseen by company regulations or similar benefits, also offering paid casual leave to employees in same sex unions or registered partnerships. As part of an open and constructive relationship, the bank also sought to increase its dialogue with stakeholders that have specific requests or improvement proposals, also planning and launching joint actions.
Intesa Sanpaolo’s commitment to the principle of equality, which has gradually become more tangible in its various activities, is founded on the belief that respect for the personality and dignity of each employee is the basis for the development of a work environment marked by trust and loyalty, and enriched by everybody’s various experiences.
The inclusion working group
Taking a constructive approach and experimenting with new forms of collaboration, the CSR Unit promoted an inter-departmental working group designed to share needs, good practices and new solutions. Special attention was paid to disabilities, with a particular focus on visually-impaired and blind people.
As part of this dialogue and collaboration initiative, aimed at further increasing the accessibility of its documents published both externally on the website and internally on the company Intranet, a partnership was launched with Fondazione LIA (Libri Italiani Accessibili - Accessible Italian Books), which has been collaborating with the Italian Publishers’ Association and Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti (the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually-Impaired) for several years. The first documents made available in the LIA-certified format were the main corporate social responsibility documents: the Code of Ethics and the Sustainability Report. This collaboration, which is still ongoing, aims at turning the emphasis on accessibility, also through training measures, into one of the distinctive features of the Group’s business culture. Accessibility and inclusion are also the distinctive features of the Gallerie d’Italia, which already organise tours for the blind and the deaf, and whose access features contributed to them being given National Museum status as of this year.