Two speakers at illimitHER's first event, the illimitHER Marathon, on September 15.
A few months ago, during the first Italian lockdown, two brilliant women, Isabella Falautano and Francesca d’Amico, began looking around for role models in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Both women work for the high-tech banking group illimity, Isabella as the Chief Communication Officer and Francesca as a Communication Manager, and wanted to see who was representing them at the country’s decision-making tables.
Unfortunately, they quickly realized that these tables were full of middle-aged men and weren’t diverse in terms of gender, generation, background, or culture.
This realization caused Isabella and Francesca to build a new project that could bring together organizations that build inclusive communities as well as create new leaders who can embed the values of diversity into the Italian business ecosystem. This laid the foundation for illimitHER, a Diversity & Inclusion Program within illimity designed to bring out the potential of young women. The project was born to go beyond stereotypes and barriers through the creation of an ecosystem that puts together several realities to spread things like STEM culture or female leadership skills.
“We are aware of the fact that as a company, we are a change agent for society and communities,” said Isabella. “Therefore, we must experiment and do everything possible to make an impact in the direction of inclusion and diversity. To make it possible, we are working with organizations that adopt a generous spirit, common purpose and authentic values.”
In the creation of illimitHER, Isabella and Francesca built a network that could bring long-term impact to not just women in Italy, but to the entire Italian business world. Here are five exciting gender-equality organizations that have joined this collaborative ecosystem:
SheTech has the goal of bridging the gender gap and supporting women in the world of technology and entrepreneurship through networking events, training, and new professional opportunities. The non-profit is committed to empowering women in the workforce and increasing meritocracy and inclusion in tech.
Valore D was founded in 2009 by twelve managers from twelve highly-respected companies: AstraZeneca, Enel, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, IKEA, Intesa Sanpaolo, Luxottica, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Standard & Poor’s, UniCredit, and Vodafone.
Today, the association has over 200 member companies in Italy with more than 2 million employees. These numbers illustrate Valore D’s tireless commitment to promoting gender balance and an inclusive culture in organisations and across the country. The association believes that these factors, when grounded, produces a mix of innovation and competition that leads to growth.
Young Women Network (YWN)
Young Women Network is an Italian association dedicated to networking, mentoring, and empowering young women. They organize events and workshops to enable young women to meet, share ideas, and discuss corporate experiences.
GirlsRestart is a free digital space for discussion and exchange dedicated to women who believe in the power of connection. Launched in 2020, it is active with many initiatives, such as, “The Suspended Advice,” a system that allows women to ask for any kind of business mentorship from senior leaders and entrepreneurs.
Led by Roberta Cocco and Laura Galimberti, #STEMintheCity is an initiative of the Municipality of Milan which aims to spread the technical-scientific culture between new generations, create new training and professional opportunities, and break gender stereotypes that divert girls from STEM paths.
Meanwhile, the illimitHER team is also engaged with learning and training organizations locally and can count more than 15 partners so far, including innovative companies such as:
Fintech District is an open ecosystem that seeds, fosters, and drives innovation within the Italian fintech community, serving as its flagship brand in Italy and abroad. It nurtures sustainable growth within ecosystem participants, both individually and in close collaboration.
Plug and Play
Plug and Play is an innovation platform that globally counts more than 10,000 startups and 300 large enterprises such as Carrefour, Coca Cola, Samsung, and Mercedes that brings together to create synergies and valuable partnerships.
The Org is a professional community where transparent companies can show off their team to the world. Join your company here to add yourself to the org chart!