by Paolo Beretta
‘I am a graduate student and I belong to the “protected categories”, as defined by art.1., as a disabled person. My life changed following a road accident: I suffered very serious injuries. After many initial difficulties, I decided to adapt to this new life “on wheels” and developed a great interest in issues such as innovation, sustainability and inclusion.’ This is the story of one of the hundreds of people who, through the Inclusion Job Day, wanted to write a different chapter.
A chapter that talks about how resilience, the ability to overcome serious obstacles, has not prevented you from completing your studies successfully and from presenting yourself to the job market with different abilities, made special by experience, from a point of view and from a language capable of reinventing common experiences. A narrative that would like to close with ‘Today, I work and grow with/in a company that has focused on my skills, my commitment and the ability to make a valuable contribution.’ A chapter with a happy ending, not thanks to the term ‘protected categories’ but thanks to those ‘different skills’ that make the difference. A leap in language, a reversal of your point of view based on stereotype, stigma and prejudice.
Wonder: this column (the title of which comes from Stephen Chbosky’s beautiful film from 2017) was born with the aim of telling stories through the eyes of their protagonists, and to write that chapter where we talk about the beginning of a professional path filled with values and value.
At the centre are people, and that galaxy of organisations that have chosen to be protagonists along the path of inclusion and active participation: universities, third sector organisations and companies. Companies such as A2A, Accenture, Air Liquide, Akka Italia, Allos, Almaviva, Amazon, Arval, Barbieri, Capgemini Italia, Cerved, Enel Group, Essity, EY, Fater, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, FINECOBANK SpA, Generali, Gi Group, Job Service Spa, Lavorando.com, LIDL, Mapei, Micron Semiconductor Italia, Neopharmed Gentili, NTT Data, Omron Electronics SpA, Peroni, Procter & Gamble, SuperJob, TeamSystem, Total Italia Servizi, Umana SpA, which, even in a complicated year like 2020, joined Cesop HR Consulting Company and INTERACTION FARM to add energy to the Inclusion Job Day programme. By making their proactive presence felt and participating in virtual events on www.inclusionjobday.com, which allowed them to meet hundreds of candidates with disabilities and especially with different abilities.
Also in 2021, starting from March 25 and May 6, we aim to bring many stories to a happy ending, which is also a beginning: that of a professional and personal path of affirmation, autonomy and sociality to climb those barriers which – to directly quote the 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – prevent ‘full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’. Those barriers, in Italy, are still high. A number that shows how high those barriers are is the ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics) figure for 2019, which notes that the satisfaction expressed by Italians with their lives is at 44.5%. For people with disabilities, the figure is 19.2%. Less than half. Significantly, it rises to 30.5% for graduates and 38.2% for those in employment. Cold numbers that suggest a path forward.
Fifty-four per cent of the over 1000 people with disabilities from all over Italy who have participated in the Inclusion Job Days in the last 6 months are graduates. Degrees in engineering, economics, law, computer science: degrees that suggest the presence of different skills and special motivations.