Advancing women in the workplace: how we won the Catalyst Award 2021
17 March 2021
March 17, 2021: Barilla is the first Italian company to win the Catalyst Award for its activities to enhance women's leadership in the workplace and increase the inclusion of all employees worldwide.
“We are not here to celebrate recognition, but because we have a role to play in the society and communities in which we live and work: to create a workplace that grows thanks to diversity, equality and inclusion”.
These were the words of Claudio Colzani, CEO of the Barilla Group, addressing a virtual audience of almost 7,000 people, including hundreds of top managers of large international companies, who attended the awards event organized by Catalyst, an international non-profit organization committed to enhancing female leadership in the workplace since 1962.
Claudio Colzani – CEO Barilla Group
Recognition that came after we reached an important milestone: gender pay equality for all our employees around the world with equal qualifications and jobs.
Cinzia Bassi – Castiglione Plant Director, Italy
A PATH UNDERTAKEN IN 2013
As Colzani says: “In 2013, when we set ourselves the global ”Equal Pay for Equal Work” goal it felt like we had a mountain to climb. ‘It’ll be impossible, it’ll cost you a fortune and put your accounts at risk’, many people said. We went ahead, we tackled the problems one at a time, always keeping the final goal in mind, we involved all our employees in the challenge and, together, we reached the top”.
During 2013, our policy of enhancing and including diversity steamed ahead. Increasing inclusion became a responsibility for every individual in the Group, all motivated and involved through the Employee Resource Groups (ERG), interest groups set up and led by Barilla people to bring cultural change to the company in the areas of disability and diversity.
Donna Al-Bu-Saidi - Business Development – FOOD Services Africa & Middle East - Member of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Board
THE RESULTS ARE ARRIVING, AND OTHERS WILL FOLLOW
Today the results of the change are tangible, and we are not just talking about gender pay equality, but about an overall growth in the role of women and minorities in the company:
- from 2013 to 2020, female representation that reports directly to the CEO increased from 8% to 28%, while women in leadership positions globally increased from 33% to 38%;
- in 2013, Barilla was among the first Italian companies to have formalized flexible working all over the world;
- in 2018 it was the first in Italy to adopt the UN Standards on the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace.
There is still a long way to go and we don’t intend to stop. Over the years we have learned that gender diversity is directly connected with the company’s ability to provide value.
And the more diverse we are internally, the more we will be able to respond to the present and future needs of our consumers with products that are increasingly good and respectful of the planet, which bring joy to the tables of people all over the world.
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