D&I: "Large companies as agents of change" - Paola Angeletti

The image accompanying the News on Paola Angeletti's speech at "D&I in Finance", an event promoted by ABI and dedicated to the valorisation of Diversity and Inclusion policies in finance, portrays two women, one brunette and one blonde, smiling side by side flank. One holds a pair of glasses in her hands, the other some documentation

When it comes to Diversity & Inclusion, certifications are "a very effective tool", and virtuous large companies can be a model for other companies as "agents of positive change": this was the view expressed by Paola Angeletti, COO of Intesa Sanpaolo, during her participation in the opening round table of "D&I in Finance".

More specifically, Paola Angeletti highlighted three aspects to which Intesa Sanpaolo pays particular attention, both because of past experience and looking to the future:

  • Role models: “Large companies can be agents of positive change” by acting as role models for other companies and building networks for “sharing best practices”

In this area, Intesa Sanpaolo was a forerunner in proposing an approach to work characterised by flexibility, for example with its experimentation with the short week.

  • Certifications: “Certifications are a very effective tool” because they force companies to conduct “self-analysis”, require dialogue with the outside world, thus “reducing self-referentiality”, and help to “keep management strongly focused” on these issues over time

In this area, Intesa Sanpaolo was, for example, the first bank in Italy – and among the first in Europe – to receive Gender Equality European & International Standard (GEEIS-Diversity) certification, as well as the first major Italian banking group to obtain the certification for gender equality under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

  • Artificial intelligence: “It’s important that artificial intelligence be developed and implemented in an inclusive manner,” which is why it is crucial that minorities and diverse teams are involved in the development of algorithms to "avoid the risk of algorithms being biased", thus reproducing discrimination.

In this area, Intesa Sanpaolo has adopted rules for developing its AI solutions based on four principles: Explainability, Fairness, Data Quality and Human in the Loop, to ensure that the process is always supervised by a human being.

D&I in Finance, now in its second edition, is an event promoted by the Italian Banking Association and dedicated to the enhancement of Diversity and Inclusion policies in finance to strengthen the correlation between diversity and accessibility culture and strategic and business levers.