The 4 Weeks 4 Inclusion program saw hundreds of Italian companies committed to inclusion and diversity, with Avio Aero addressing the original theme of neurodivergence.
4 Weeks 4 Inclusion (#4W4I)is the largest cross-company event dedicated to the themes of inclusion and valuing diversity. The program - promoted by the leading telecommunications company TIM - offers a rich schedule of shared digital events, webinars, digital labs, and creative groups taking place over four consecutive weeks.
More than 200 companies took part in the 2021 edition, taking turns between 22 October and 22 November in a marathon that kept the torch of inclusion burning. A year ago, Avio Aero was only a spectator of the first edition, appreciating its content value and the collaboration between organizations. This time, it decided to take a more active role, offering its contribution on the theme of neurodiversity.
When it comes to talent management, our company is reflecting on how to increasingly involve employees and enhance their personal skills. This also means looking at neurodiversity, valuing people’s atypical (or rather, unique) ways of learning, thinking, and processing information.
“We’re just at the beginning of a journey, which, as usual, has at its base a concrete approach based on internal experience and partnerships with relevant organizations. Through pilot projects, we hope to identify the necessary ‘tailor-made’ steps for our company”, said Carlamaria Tiburtini, I&D Leader and Senior HR Business Partner of Avio Aero.
The contact between Avio Aero and Neuro-Sive - an innovative start-up that proposes a framework for the self-recognition of neurodiversity - came from the long-haul partnership with the University of Turin ESCP Business School. “With their support, we have created an online event dedicated to this topic, entitled ‘Neurodiverse According to Whom?’, because we believe that awareness-raising actions and training on this issue can prepare the ground for future projects”, adds Tiburtini.
The Neuro-Sive project was born when Tommaso Davi, researcher and academic consultant in the field of innovation and urban inclusion, and Valentina Ieraci, Psychotherapist and Doctor in Neuroscience, came together to give an answer to the difficulties encountered in the world of work by Tommaso with his own neurodiversity. From here, they set out to create a multidisciplinary team that helps companies photograph, design, plan, and implement an inclusive organizational framework and then measure its impact on performance in terms of innovation, value creation, and efficiency.
“One in seven people may be classed as neurodivergent, which means they have a condition within the neurobiological or mental health sphere, or both, and so they develop neurological functions that are different from most people,” says Tommaso Davi.
Neurodivergent individuals adopt atypical ways of learning, thinking, creating, and processing information: neurodiversity is sometimes, unfortunately, ‘invisible’ to the human eye
“Neurodivergent individuals adopt atypical ways of learning, thinking, creating, and processing information. Neurodiversity is sometimes, unfortunately, ‘invisible’ to the human eye. It may be present in people from birth and it’s not always easy for them to become aware that they are neurodiverse and therefore understand how to get the best support to use the potential of their condition in order to pursue their professional and personal projects. Once individuals have this awareness, they can help the organizations in which they work to understand how to include and value this type of diversity”.
“Our guiding concept is that of neuro-polychromy,” adds Valentina Ieraci, “or rather an individual’s ability to self-recognize the many nuances of their neurodiversity. Often, and increasingly, we are faced with neurodiverse people who are unaware of their condition and who, by progressively acquiring awareness of their diversity, can be included individually and as a team and thus express their hidden potential”.
We are faced with neurodiverse people who are unaware of their condition and who, by progressively acquiring awareness of their diversity, can be included individually and as a team and thus express their hidden potential
From an organizational point of view, the issue of inclusion is becoming increasingly strategic to achieve companies’ business objectives, because it has an impact on their most important asset, the one that generates the main results: people.
“A manager’s first responsibility is to put their people in the best position to be able to express their professional potential,” said Pierfederico Scarpa, Strategy, Marketing and Sales Vice President, as well as Executive Sponsor of Avio Aero’s Disability Advocacy Network community. “All the efforts that organizations make to promote diversity and inclusion should be seen from this perspective. This event was an opportunity to explore neurodivergence, a topic that is new for us, and to understand the steps we need to take to improve our approach within the company. This a hugely relevant yet little-known topic. From now on, we’ll be able to focus more work in this area”.