Liliana Fratini Passi, what is needed for female leadership

Skill training, overcoming cultural stereotypes, protection of the age group 30-40, networking skills. It is everywhere that action must be taken to increasingly strengthen the presence and career of women in a world of work through digital. Actions that must be taken by the government in the Chamber, by companies, by the family and by the women themselves. He tells it in a conversation with Alley Oop Liliana Fratini stepsCEO of CBI, a joint-stock consortium firm born out of an ABI spin-off, to which over 400 shareholder banks are members transnational and paid to develop digital products and services to PA, businesses and citizens.

Liliana Fratini Passi (included in 2021 by Forbes Italia among the ‘100 Winning Women’ and awarded ‘Women in Finance Italy Awards’ in the ‘Woman in FinTech of the Year’ category) paints a composite picture, starting with her experience in the field of banking and finance, where he remembers, “revolutions are taking place. On the demand side, consumers are increasingly demanding digital services; of young people today, the bank is primarily regarded as a bank for digital access. On the supply side, there are the challenges of ‘big tech’. A research of the Sole 24 Ore – remember – shows that in the coming years there will be 50% fewer jobs in the economics subjects in the banks and 30% more in the so-called core subjects. There is therefore an increasing technical professionalisation for the hires and also for the bank representatives, because under the prerequisites of the supervisory authority is also that of experts in the “fintech”“.

From here, Fratini Passi adds the ‘cultural challenge’: “If we look at the commitment and the construction of gender equality both in the use of payment instruments (especially digital) and in access to the study of scientific subjects, then we must certainly proceed Education and act from school age, from what is a financial education learned from an early age, from the time the concept of “pocket money” is introduced. We have to overcome a cultural stereotype, because we have to teach our children that money management is also an issue with which girls express Autonomy and the ability to support oneself “. There is an interesting OECD research published in 2020, which clearly talks about the phenomenon of the financial capabilities of Italian 15-year-olds, and says that they are very scarce: out of 20 countries, Italy ranks thirteenth after Slovakia. But the picture becomes rather more difficult and disturbing, precisely because of the gender differences that arise: on average, boys from OECD countries have a score of 2% higher than their peers. in Italy the gender gap reaches 15%. “ZEeven today in Italy a third of women do not have a personal current account. This gap must begin with the school; there are a number of bills that are specifically related to the teaching of economic and financial education in primary and secondary education“, he claims.

Still in education, “is critical – remembers the Fratini Passi – ensure all women are equal Access to training and tribal skills and other key competencies such as digital, technological and environmental, which are now indispensable for a successful career“. It is a choice of the woman, but still strongly influenced by the context, even family.”These ways of dealing with each other are very often linked, in addition to individual causes, to others from social and familial aspects: there is a prejudice and stereotype for women in science subjects as if they are incompatible and this perception creates a kind of psychological barrier to Women who tend to feel a little worse than men in these areas since childhoodHowever, the phenomenon is under observation. The Banking Association through ‘FEduF’ (the Foundation for Financial Education and Savings) and also the Bank of Italy are now launching various initiatives to bring girls and boys from primary school closer together bring what matters financially and systematically to education. “For example, the “Global Money Week” is just over, where public and private institutions, associations, organizations in more than 100 countries around the world have involved young people in over 200 initiatives to expand their financial culture. I would like to add that for the Italian government, the NRR is a great opportunity, in addition to the national strategy for gender equality 2021-2026, which aims to increase the European Institute’s Gender Equality Index by 5 points to 2026 they clamber. which unfortunately currently puts us in 14th place with an average score of 63.5 points out of 100, 4.4 points less than the EU average“.

In addition to the cultural aspect, there is also the one with well-being and with Conciliation of work and family times: “We need to develop social systems that allow women to devote their careers to the same energy as men, especially in the age group between 30 and 40, where they are often forced to choose between family or work: there is the mechanism by which the actions of the government must be summarized with the social actions from a private point of view. We also observed as a company – underlines Fratini Passi – how important it is not only to create jobs that are accessible to women with skills with tribal subjects. At the age of 30-40 years, if you want to start a family with children, when there are no tools to support them, the women, despite great skills and great diplomas, get stuck. Furthermore, we found that there are still very few women in leadership roles, in particular in the financial sector: 47% of the workforce is made up of women, but if we look at top management we see that not even 1% are women. So quotas are respected at the entrance, but gradually the gender gap in finances is becoming more and more evident with the years and especially with barriers that raise and exclude women when it comes to appointing managers“.

This discussion necessarily includes a reflection on the usefulness of the so-called “pink quotas”. “I believe we should all break the Gulf-Moscow law, even though I did not initially see it as a positive action, because talking about gender quotas seems to be a minority protection. However, in these 10 years there has been a cultural leap through the presence of women on the board of directors and boards of directors of stock exchange auditors listed companies and in those under public control, with a “virtual” effect even in those companies that do not receive of the obligation were. In the financial and banking sector, the Bank of Italy introduced last June (with an amendment to Circular 285 of 2013) a minimum share of 33% of the less represented gender in the administrative and control bodies.“. Therefore, a clear direction was taken.”But not the same – underlines Fratini Passi – can be said of the female leadership: For example, in top management positions we are around 17% against 33% in Norway and 25% in the UK. So we still have a long way to go, even if it is certainly a ‘role model’ that is establishing itself and it is becoming more and more normal to see women in leading positions. Many banks, for instance, are gradually adopting rules that require fair gender representation in top positions.“.

All of this has also had a positive effect on the company, states the CBI Director General: “Because it is in diversity, including gender, that the best research develops and tends towards the best goal, also mixing the gender characteristics, which are also the opposite. Women are less prone to risk than men, so, for example, there are Bank of Italy papers that show this the presence of women on the board of directors leads to less risk-oriented decisions. In addition, there are now many women who are brokers or at least investment figures but with these tendencies a little more conservative therefore a more measured risk management.“.

Finally, there is another important issue related to social and cultural change that has an impact on women’s careers: “Let’s see – see Liliana Fratini Passi – Men manage to form so-called ‘boys’ clubs’, which means they gather in circles, in football, in sports and therefore naturally network. It is clear that women also have to make efforts to do what men do: So network, go to clubs, play sports and get together. Often the work is done very well, but you run to then go and do the “other” work that is the household. We need a “family team”: We can also offer women an external education, well-being in society, but if we do not change a female culture, too, often the woman in socialization looks at her watch. It is also important – concludes – to have an “enlightened” partner, because that may mean that he is the one who sets and clings, who prepares for everyone: he is truly a family model. When I’m where I am, it’s also because I’ve invested so much of my energy in my personal and family sacrifice in so many things that would have been superfluous.‘”. A commitment that is also expressed in training and mentoring:”I think the path I have taken personally and professionally has been recognized and I believe it is essential to never stop and see and improve talents and also to listen to and compare women who like to share experiences and different points of view.“.

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