Flying our colours proudly

The Pride Parades seen with the eyes and the hearts of our amazing people who gathered and celebrated in each community where Avio Aero is present, across three countries.

Jul 2022

DIVERSITY is a given. INCLUSION is our act. EQUITY is our goal. This was the slogan embossed on the banners we proudly sported during our participation in numerous Pride Parades during Pride Month across Europe.

Pride Month is about acceptance, equity, celebrating the work of LGBTIQ+ people, education in LGBTIQ+ history and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTIQ+ community. It also calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia/discrimination was and still can be. Consequently, Pride Parades act as an important vehicle to draw attention and advocacy during this month. They are about championing diversity and celebrating our differences; we should all feel proud of who we are, no matter how we identify or who we love.

This year in particular – following the restrictions and lockdowns of Covid-19 – it is more important than ever to open up an inclusive world that welcomes everyone, and because of this Avio Aero took a leap forward with its inclusion journey. For the first time, Avio Aero became a sponsor of a Pride Parade – not just one parade, but to the three parades closest to our major Italian manufacturing sites (Torino, Napoli, and Lecce).  

The Pride parade in Bielsko Biala on last July 3rd.

Additionally, and again for the first time, Avio Aero employees from Bielsko-Biala attended the city’s Equality March in Poland. Last but by no means least, Avio Aero will also be attending Prague Pride in mid-August.

“Sponsoring Pride is a clear message of our commitment to protecting civil rights. Rights for all”, says Carlamaria Tiburtini, HRBP and Inclusion Leader. “As long as there is discrimination and impositions for those who simply wish to be who they are we cannot look the other way. In Avio Aero we have decided to be an active part and promote a culture of inclusion that is shared and participated. I am proud of the small, big steps we are taking together with all employees. Our desire is that our People feel "at home" when they come to work, protected in a safe environment, without fear of being judged and that they feel appreciated for what they do, for their daily work, for their skills and simply for their being People.”

Collectively, hundreds of colleagues attended the 4 parades, including our CEO & GM Riccardo Procacci. “It was a fantastic experience to participate in the parade with my colleagues” said Patricia Simao Sartorius, Senior Council, who attended Torino Pride on June 18th. “On top of my personal convictions it was extremely positive to see and testify that the company I work not only supports but also believe in the cause – the leadership was there and that meant a lot to me. True engagement is really important.”

The Pride parade in Torino was attended also by the Avio Aero CEO, Riccardo Procacci, and most of the senior leadership as well.

Similarly, Ornella Fiore, Lead Fixed Facilities Specialist, who attended Napoli Pride on July 2nd rejoiced that “it was a pleasure and an honour to participate in Napoli Pride, with the patronage of the company where I have been working for 30 years. Until a few years ago it would have been impossible to think of such a thing. When I arrived in the square, I felt an emotional charge full of joy and cheerfulness and, supporting legitimate rights with such an energy was wonderful.”

Elation is a common theme during these festivals. “It was TOGETHER, it was DIVERSE, it was COLOURFUL. This Pride Parade was a consolation for me, to escape into a perfect state, a world without prejudices” says Magdalena Bertaina, Senior Compliance & Regulatory Leader, who attended Salento Pride on July 16th. “It was the first time I participated in such an event and certainly not the last”.

In the workplace, organisations that will thrive are those which put I&D at the heart of their values & strategy. In fact, at Avio Aero, participation and sponsorship of Pride Parades did not fully constitute for the Pride Month(s) events!

The Pride parade 2022 in Naples, with the whole Pomigliano team and leadership.

Alongside advocacy, education and creating greater awareness of LGBTIQ+ issues prepare our colleagues to be better allies. Consequently, Czeslaw Walek, lawyer and organiser of Prague Pride, spoke to our employees on LGBTIQ+ rights in Czech Republic, and Fabrizio Tommasi, lawyer, spoke to our colleagues in Brindisi about LGBTIQ+ discriminatory policies in the workplace. Moreover, Luciano Lopopolo, National President of Arcigay Italy, presented a dedicated webinar on the history of Pride to our people at Avio Aero Brindisi.

We also welcomed Cosimo Alberti, actor, to Pomigliano d’Arco to share his testimony that underlined the importance and need to have a work environment that is truly inclusive and respectful of diversity. Lastly, Igor Suran, Executive Director, Parks - Liberi e Uguali, visited Avio Aero’s Southern Italian sites to talk about how language can strengthen the culture of inclusion, a culture in which the words we say and hear can unite us more and more. Igor explained how diversity is what we are, and inclusion is how we communicate with our language. Giving life to words gives them meaning.

But Pride Month is more than just a month. It’s a 365-days-a-year movement to help our all our colleagues feel at home at Avio Aero – to be free to be their best selves.

Jacek Przygoda, Avio Aero Polska Plant Leader, with his colleagues walking with the crowd during Bielsko Biala parade.

Daniela Pappone, Senior Sales Manager, adds “I would like to dedicate to those who do not know, the following quote. And I say to those who have never tried to put themselves in the shoes of the other but nevertheless feel entitled to judge and say what is right and what is not. I do not think it is wrong to judge, to express a thought, but before doing so, the first rule is to know and understand: ‘Don't judge wrong what you don't know, take the opportunity to understand’ Pablo Picasso used to say”.

Cover image: the Avio Aero Brindisi team at the Lecce, Salento pride.