Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion

In compliance with the provisions of the law1, Acea hires personnel belonging to protected categories (disabled, orphans, etc.), providing them with support services, assistance and technical support tools to facilitate the performance of the tasks entrusted to them. In 2018, 231 employees (143 men and 88 women) belonged to protected categories.

The Parent Company’s Human Capital Development Department deals with inclusion and the protection of diversity, implementing initiatives aimed at enhancing the unique contribution of each employee.
The main initiatives of the year were:

  • participation in the Marisa Bellisario Foundation, which focuses on promoting female talent in the workplace. Acea sponsored the 30th Edition of the “Women at High Altitude” Award and presented the Golden Apple to a recent graduate;
  • participation in the MAAM (Maternity As A Master) project: the community focused on promoting parenting skills and increasing “generative leadership”;
  • the launch of the smart people project that introduced smart working at Acea, offering employees the opportunity to work off site for one day a week. Acea also participated in the first day of Agile Work in Rome to highlight the cultural change promoted with the introduction of smart working.

During the year, a Group procedure was also defined on “Protection, inclusion, promotion of diversity and well-being of workers” and measures were adopted regarding flexible hours and support for parenting.
These include: the extension of parental leave (for a further three months) for mothers or fathers who at the end of the period of leave envisaged by law cannot return to work for family reasons; the extension of paternity leave, with the recognition of two days of paid leave in addition to those envisaged by law, to be taken within two months of birth, adoption or foster care; the possibility of using hourly leave to accompany children to nursery school, pre-school or the first day of elementary school (see also the Industrial relations section).

Acea's smart people project

The smart people agile work project was launched based on the positive results of the E.L.E.N.A. experimental project implemented in 2017, and provided for the structural implementation of smart working.
The project’s procedures and guidelines were agreed to through a specific trade union agreement that defined:

  • the scope of activities that can be carried out when smart working, excluding activities that require one’s presence in the company, like those carried out by shift workers, half-shift workers, workers in charge of contact channels, managers with supervisory functions, etc.;
  • the procedures for smart working one day a week according to a schedule to be agreed to with the person in charge;
  • the maximum number of resources who are smart working, limited to 50% of the workers employed in the Business Unit;
  • the duration, on a semi-annual rotating basis, so as to allow the greatest possible participation by all the staff concerned;
  • monitoring of performance, with predefined KPIs including the increase in productivity and the reduction of absenteeism. 
The smart working programme was launched in October and received 466 applications for participation, of which 295 were accepted.
The progress of the project, which is still ongoing, is monitored by means of qualitative and quantitative KPIs and specific surveys addressed to smart workers and managers. The analysis of the data collected so far shows a positive perception of agile work, considered a useful tool for work-life balance that is able to increase the productivity of employees.
The innovative scope of the project has to do with the deconstruction of constraints connected to the work place and working hours, defining working methods and focusing on the objective.
Smart working also allows the values of the Leadership Model to be acted upon, allowing their expression independent of a physical setting, teamwork even with remote members and initiative in identifying new ways of working.

The issues of inclusion and protection of diversity are also monitored at the governance level. In fact, Acea has a Charter for the management of diversity and, during the year, the Committee for Ethics and Sustainability was given the responsibility of assisting the Board of Directors in matters of diversity, with the task of promoting the culture of valuing diversity and combating all forms of discrimination.
Finally, in 2018 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, organised by the UN, Acea illuminated the façade of the main building of Piazzale Ostiense with red lights, to publicly testify its solidarity with all women and its stance against any form of violence or abuse.
Acea Energia has also undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at better integrating customers with disabilities (see the section on Customers and the community in the section on Customer care).

[96] Italian law no. 68/99.