Beyond what is "doable"

During Pride month, Avio Aero's I&D leader talks about one of her actual work experiences and how her company chose to be inclusive, giving voice to those who do not have any.

Jun 2021

There are situations that allow companies to leap forward years in terms of inclusion, simply because the situations are approached with a so-called “growth mindset”. These are situations for which, at the beginning, there seems to be a predictable, decisive, and one-way answer and that, instead, thanks to the will of those who manage them to go beyond, lead to an opposite and surprising result.

"There is no better way to celebrate Pride Month than to talk about a real-life experience, a concrete fact, that affected our employee’s community," says Carlamaria Tiburtini, Senior HR Business Partner and I&D Leader at Avio Aero. “An occasion that allowed us once again to move ahead from intentions to actions."

The experience that Tiburtini wanted to share with the Avio Aero community, as well as with the about’s readership, is “a story of parenthood” and is also an opportunity to closely consider an actual contingency, made up of feelings as well as daily, basic pragmatism. She shared it with the focus and expertise of a professional with consolidated experience in human resources, gained in multinational companies in different sectors, among others.

Illustrations in page by Margherita Fruscoloni Morello.

"A couple of colleagues had a baby and the need therefore arose for the parents to take parental leave in equal measure," says the Avio Aero I&D Leader. "As this was a matter of same sex parenting, it could only be allotted to the biological parent. Law no. 76 dated 20 May 2016 - commonly called the Cirinnà law, because of the name of the promoting senator and first signatory - has allowed the recognition of marriage leave, monthly permits under ex Law no. 104, extraordinary leave to assist partners and family members in difficulty, but not parental leave."

"From a purely management viewpoint, the response to an employee requesting parental leave would have been inherently, and unfortunately, negative. In our case, we tried to analyze the situation from the perspective of inclusion and asked ourselves whether and what Avio Aero could do to continue to ensure fair treatment for its employees. Like many other companies, we have tried to fill a gap in the law by granting the social parent 10 days of paid leave, the cost of which the company full covers. As a result of this case, now we are working together with GE colleagues around the world aimed at drafting a policy that can become part of the current management of Human Resources, because we do not want it to be perceived as a benefit but as a real organizational measure implemented as we wait for the legislators to do their part," Tiburtini explains.

In the absence of legal protection, in fact, companies may recognize or extend certain rights temporarily not covered by the same protection. If it is not formalized, the risk of it being perceived as a concession is very high when, in fact, it is an explicit form of support that makes it possible to avoid the worker being subject to indirect discrimination.

"We are very grateful to our colleagues for giving us the opportunity to discuss this issue, in fact LGBTIQ+ workers often prefer not to expose themselves by coming out, even though the choices that affect them are important. Intervening in this case has not only allowed us to recognize an inalienable right, that of parental care, but also to implement the values of inclusion and embracement of diversity that guide our company every day," concluded Carlamaria Tiburtini.