INCLUSION IS A TEAM GAME

The Sanofi Italy recipe

A cross team to promote actions and campaigns linked to diversity and inclusion “because these policies can only grow through a widespread awareness. Therefore, adopting policies essential to the business impact and not only for the culture of values”, Laura Bruno, head of human resources at Sanofi Italy, clarifies.

You have Marco, Jacopo, Giulia, Stefania – but also Christian, Valeria, Sandra and many others. At Sanofi Italy – one of the major pharmaceutical enterprises with 2400 employees and collaborators and 4 production factories – diversity is declined using the first person plural. After all, everything is born and develops beginning with the people. And over forty of these persons chose to be members of the Diversity&Inclusion team.

It is a cross community among the company capacities, an hybrid and comparative space to draw a distinction between the policies connected with the inclusive issues: initiatives, campaigns, practical experiences, custom sized services designed for an evolving population that is gaining its strength through diversity. The goal is to spread and encourage an inclusive culture, to effectively implement the diversity & inclusion strategy, while boosting awareness. After all, in the name of inclusion, together, we can face market challenges and steer with a greater awareness in the new businesses, listening and motivating people in a better way, while designing innovative duties and consolidating the company’s values and culture.

Why it is convenient to rely on inclusion

Recognize the uniqueness of each individual, accept, respect, enhance the differences: this is Sanofi’s strategic lever, as a world leading medical group with more than 110,000 collaborators in over 100 territories. «All this means that we must positively engage in the promotion of a company’s culture that can detect and overcome all the stereotypes connected to age, gender or sexual orientation, ethnic group or religion, political belief, identity and expression, and invest in the professional growth of each person avoiding to be conditioned by its specifities», says Laura Bruno, HR Head at Sanofi Italy and, together with managing director and president Hubert De Ruty, home backer of the cross community team. «This is a competitive advantage leading us to a larger diversity culture in the working environment. These policies can grow only through a greater awareness: they are essential for our business impact, not only for the culture of value», says Bruno.

This kind of commitment is clearly expressed in the stories of female and male collaborators, and finding its own centerpiece in the company’s ethical code. «We are committed to a specific strategy guided by the steadfast monitoring of the arrangement in our organization, addressing our future growth goals. It is also a way to pay attention to diversity and inclusion issues», says Andreina Grisolia, HR Business Partner and D&I Lead at Sanofi Italy. Gender, age, sexual orientation, disability: these are the four pillars on which the Sanofi home D&I system is articulated. «We allow all our collaborators to express their own potential at their best and this can only happen by overcoming all stereotypes», claims Grisolia.

First and foremost, we are talking about a cultural action. And dynamic too: «The growth mindset is the fundamental approach to challenge the fixed mindset, which tends to homogenize and prevent growth and evolution, learning and change. It is important to enrich our thought patrimony, allowing space for diverging realities, and therefore we need to let the borders open and make room for different elements that will eventually bring wealth and plus value», concludes Grisolia. The team was born one year ago with an email call. Those who felt like joining, could run and enroll in the group: the response was overwhelming. It was commitment from the bottom up, finding its own realization through the company’s top management support: «Gender equality represents a great opportunity for our society, a key to the success of our companies and the growth of the economy on a global scale. It is currently imperative for all enterprises and, all together, we must always make the transition from statements to actions», declared Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt.

The Italian inclusion identikit

The numbers make a difference. Women equal 41% of the collaborators, 36% of the top managers, 29% of members from the management committee, at Sanofi Italy. Figures change according to each field: so you find women’s mark at 56% of the support functions and 43% in the business ones, or 31% of the staff in the four Italian production factories. The “pay gap” – the difference in salary treatment according to gender – is lower than the market average, while, each year, 42,8% of the promotions can be referred to a woman collaborator – evening up the total score at 52,3% of women employed in the last 24 months. This certifies the culture of diversity: there can be no policies without a steadfast monitoring, taking snapshots of the steps taken with third bodies. This is why Sanofi was among the first 7 companies to get the Winning Women Institute certification for gender equality, a sort of “pink stamp” obtained from an innovative certification process, the exclusive survey model elaborated by the institute with a scientific committee composed of sector experts, managers, university professors. The goal of this certification is to analyze the status of equal opportunities in the business organizational frameworks. 

From words to acts: D&I policies

Specific, tangible and measurable actions for equal opportunities of growth in the company – from wage equity to life-work conciliation and maternity protection. Since 2014, smart working welcomes the individual employee’s needs, giving the opportunity to work at home for two days each week. Smart working recorded the involvement of 73% of the women and a downright extension of the Agnani, Scoppito and Origgio factories. And then there was the collective and supplementary company agreement, including the policies for maternity protection, with the preservation of benefits. In addition to this, there is a full flexibility on the working hours and without requiring stamping. From 2013, the Milan business headquarters include summer and winter campus for employees children, from 3 to 11 years of age. In summer and winter, before the school starts, children are involved in sport activities, theme labs, rehearsing the inside and outside of the offices in Milan – all this to improve mothers’ and dad’s lives during the working days. This is also a way for the company to become a larger community.

PUBLISHED IN DIVERCITY IV, SEPT 2019

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