In Marghera, on the occasion of the conference ‘The future of infrastructure and transport between innovation, sustainability and gender equality’
“Things never happen by chance, but because there is the will and ability to do them. Allow me a applause to Cav who worked to obtain the certification of gender equality, adopting adequate policies to create a more inclusive and diversified work environment, encouraging more equal participation of women. It is our duty, as an institution, to actively engage in raising community awareness, educating on gender issues and promoting a culture of mutual respect. Only through joint efforts can we hope to eliminate this form of violence and create a world where women can live without fear of physical or psychological abuse and discrimination at work.” These are the words that the vice-president of the Veneto Region, Elisa De Bertihe addressed in a message on the occasion of conference proposed by Cav, Venetian Motorway Concessions, ‘The future of infrastructure and transport between innovation, sustainability and gender equality’ that took place in Marghera.
Seven women representing as many companies and organizations active in the world of transport and infrastructure responded to the invitation of Monica Manto And Maria Rosaria Anna Campitelli, respectively president and CEO of Cav, to discuss the issues of gender equality and sustainability in front of an audience of around a hundred professionals, sector experts, entrepreneurs and employees. Women at the top of companies who can testify that the glass ceiling can be shattered.
Designed to bring out real experiences on the increasingly topical topic of gender politicsthe meeting was a comparison Paola CarronVice President of Confindustria Veneto Est with responsibility for infrastructure, Monica GrossellePresident of Ance Padova, Gabriella ManginelliManager of the New Infrastructure Works Sector of Veneto Strade, Livia SchiaviCompliance and D&I Coordinator of Bureau Veritas Italia, e Federica VedovaGeneral Secretary of Filt-Cgil Venice.
“Cav has been working for some time to implement a solid support policy for female employees” declared the president Monica Manto. “The results are visible: many of the key roles in the company, starting from the top, are led by women. The glass ceiling has therefore been overcome and we can say that every career path for women has maximum protection in Cav. Now we want to measure this commitment by having our internal policies verified by third parties and we are obtaining certification for gender equality”.
“Aware of how positive example gives support and shape to corporate culture, we want to clearly define skills and procedures that can best promote meritocracy, respect for genders and diversity and inclusion. I hope – concluded Manto – that Cav’s path, measured and certified year by year, can positively contaminate the market and work culture even outside our company”.
“In the world of infrastructure and construction, a lot of work still needs to be done, even at university level, to encourage women to enter the engineering professions which are still attended mainly by males, particularly in some specialisations” he underlines the CEO Cav Maria Rosaria Anna Campitelli. “In the company, the culture of equality begins with transparency. At Cav, transparency is not only implemented at the level of legal procedures but also in the technicality of our daily operational work starting from the operations center and all the e-roads devices and technologies that allow us to better guarantee the safety and physical state of the infrastructure. Alongside transparency, sharing, understanding and mediation, which are the key words to achieve gender equality objectives.”
“Safety too – he added Campitelli – it is important because we can interpret it as respect for the rules, but also as respect between work colleagues, whether male or female, what does it ultimately mean; knowing how to work as a team. And being a team means working on a construction site, producing at your best and making the company grow. Even today, women are forced to make an additional effort of understanding to navigate work environments. The cultural gap is still long to overcome but with perseverance and commitment we will be able to bridge this gap and perhaps for the next generations it will be possible to see the definitive results of this process”.
For Livia Schiavi, Bureau Veritas Italy, the result of 814 companies that have already certified themselves in compliance with gender equality is “a result that gives rise to hope”. “The certification – explains Schiavi – requires that organizations have a clear policy for gender equality and that a steering committee is appointed with a commitment from top management which sets constant improvement objectives over a period of at least three years. In particular, it is important to aim to fill the so-called gender pay gap, the discrepancy in pay between men and women with equal responsibilities”.
“Construction is still a predominantly male sector, yet there are exceptions, starting from the company I lead where the board of directors has 4 women and 1 man” he underlines Paola Carron of Confindustria Veneto Est. “Equality also means giving women a future perspective in which work and family are not mutually exclusive objectives. We are making progress but there is still work to be done to acquire ever greater awareness of these issues.”
“Both in Confindustria and in the company, female representation is increasing and women, despite many efforts, are making space for themselves and the compatibility between work and family is recognized as one of the most important objectives to be achieved both for women and, also, for men. Attention to gender equality – concludes Carron – goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability and in Confindustria we are also working hard with universities, Iuav in particular, to encourage an approach to business that is in balance with needs of the territory and the population that lives there”.
“We are working to insert more and more female profiles into construction companies, an area where the male component is still predominant” he confirms Monica Grosselle, first female president of Ance Padova who adds “The legislation sometimes does not help the work of entrepreneurs who want to encourage this rebalancing process but, inevitably, find themselves managing collaborators and professionals who are largely men and therefore find it difficult to respect the objectives of the legislation”.
Second Gabriella Manginelli of Veneto Strade “sustainability is an objective to be pursued in the round, starting from the life cycle of infrastructure, to the recovery of materials, to the generation of renewable energy. Gender equality objectives require a reversal of perspectives”.
The world of infrastructure and transport “has always been centered on the needs of men, starting from the priority given to cars and private vehicles favored by males, compared to public transport and walking which are often preferred by women. Thus even the safety systems of means of transport that have the male figure as a reference starting from the crash tests that use male-shaped dummies, it follows, for example, that women are statistically more subject to accidents with serious consequences despite their lower susceptibility to be involved in accidents than men” concluded Manginelli.
“The work to be done is above all cultural and can be carried out by the union representation only if the reference company is solid and does not have serious problems, for example financial stability” says Federica Vedova, Filt-Cgil Venezia who recalls how “the wage gap is still around 12% in Italy, 8% in Veneto, and is felt more in second-level bargaining. In Cav, which is an example of good practices and union relations, there is fertile ground, for some years we have been leading a path to improve the working conditions of women, with significant innovations obtained at the level of bargaining, for example regarding greater awareness of the importance of maternity and parental leave.”