Diversity awareness and management

  • Pirelli is also committed to promoting maximum awareness of the positive and dynamic differences that exist between genders

In the multicultural context that has always characterised the Group, individuals offer an enormous wealth of kaleidoscopic diversity, which has to be managed to be transformed into a competitive advantage.

The commitment made by Pirelli to the development of diversity and equal opportunity is stated in all Group sustainability documents, and specifically the Ethical Code approved by the Board of Directors, the Group “Social Responsibility for Occupational Health, Safety and Rights and the Environment” Policy and in the “Equal Opportunities Statement” signed by the Chairman. These documents have been distributed to all employees in their local language and published on the institutional website www.pirelli.com / About Pirelli / Sustainability.

International scope is a defining characteristic of the Group: we operate in over 160 countries on five continents, and 88% of its employees work outside Italy. Awareness of the cultural differences that create our identity underlies the Group’s reliance on managers having local origins: 88% of senior managers work in their country of origin. In order to develop the innovative and managerial potential inherent in multiculturalism and in different professional contexts, the company promotes the growth of its managers through international intercompany transfers (see the following paragraph). It is no accident that 58% of the senior managers on active duty in 2010 have had at least one intercompany assignment in another country during their professional career. Moreover, at the end of 2010 15% of all managers on foreign assignment were women.

Pirelli is also committed to promoting maximum awareness of the positive and dynamic differences that exist between genders in a complex organisation like Pirelli, while giving due consideration to the fact that it is necessarily impacted by the different cultures existing in the different countries. In 2011, an ad hoc working team will seek to “interpret” the gender differences existing in the Group, in its industrial sector and in the changing global context, in order to define actions to further develop and to create a new management model that will be also applied to all other types of diversity.

Following below is a breakdown of employees by gender in the three-year period 2008/2009/2010, expressed as the percentage of women against the total number of employees in each job category.

Percentage of female workers by category
year % Executives % Cadres % White Collar Employees % Blue Collar Employees
2010 8% 18% 31% 4%
2009 9% 18% 32% 4%
2008 10% 18% 31% 5%

These figures exclude the employees of operations that were discontinued in 2010, i.e. Prelios S.p.A. – formerly Pirelli Real Estate - and Pirelli Broadband Solutions S.p.A.

The percentage of women against the total executive population does not show a significant change from the previous year. A positive aspect is the substantially unchanged proportion of women in the cadre category, which is the spring board for promotion to executive positions.

Pirelli dedicates great attention to equal remuneration, by monitoring its evolution in view of improvement, transparent reporting and to comprehend the reasons underlying differences. At least in regard to the differences illustrated below, they are mainly tied to the professional background and career of individuals, and also reflect the impact (especially in Latin America) of staff turnover, which can significantly alter the deltas reported in the previous year.
Consequently, a comparison among different countries aimed at producing a consolidated data makes no sense, being the latter undermined by strictly local differences that reflect practices and pay scales that cannot be compared with each other or added one to the other, as well a population mix that can vary significantly by age and professional seniority. While emphasising that the situations described here represent a snapshot of 3/4 of the total work force covered by wage and salary policy (blue collar employees are normally covered by national collective bargaining agreements), note that at the end of 2010:

  • in Italy, the pay difference between the average salary for men and the average salary for women amounts to about 7% on average in favour of men without differences between white collar staff and cadres; in 2009 the difference between the average salary for men and the average salary for women was about 4% on average in favour of men in the cadre category, while the difference was 2% in favour of men in the white collar staff category.
  • In Latin America, the trend measured in Italy is extended for the population of white collar staff, with a discrepancy of 15% in favour of men, while amongst cadres the difference falls to 13%; in 2009 the difference was 2% in favour of men amongst cadres, while there was no difference in the white collar staff category.

Furthermore, at the end of 2010:

  • In China the difference falls to 4% in favour of men, both for cadres and for white collar staff;
  • In Turkey, while the men on the white collar staff have a 4% advantage, women instead have a 3% advantage in the cadre category;
  • The same trend surveyed in Turkey is also found in Germany, where the difference in favour of men in the white collar staff category (8%) is reversed, albeit only in the amount of a 2% advantage for women in the cadre category;
  • in the Executive category – where women represent 8% of this population – when the position of men and women carries the same weight, the pay difference falls to a maximum of 3%, in favour of men. In 2009 the difference was 8% in favour of men.

The inclusive culture adopted by Pirelli as the basis for doing business permeates corporate life even in regard to disability. It should be pointed out that there is often an objective problem in measuring the number of disabled employees. The reason is both that in many countries where the Group operates, there are no specific laws or regulations promoting their employment, and because this information is deemed confidential in many countries protected by privacy laws. In any event, the Pirelli Equal Opportunities Policy lists disabilities among the protected diversities and is a value and operating model applicable to all affiliates. In Italy, the Pirelli Group has made and signed specific agreements with the relevant authorities to promote hiring of disabled workers by the Group.

Management of the age factor is one of Pirelli’s priorities too. As can be seen in the following tables, Group employees’ average age is young in all categories including managers, as well as homogeneous amongst both genders.

Average age at year end 2010
  Executives Cadres White Collar
Blue Collar
Grand Total*
Women 45 42 36 33 36
Men 47 44 38 35 35
Grand Total 47 43 37 35 36

* figure cover 96% of Group employees

The following table illustrates average job seniority broken down by professional category and gender: again there are no substantial differences between men and women. In all professional categories, in spite of the relatively low average age of employees, their length of service at Pirelli is proportionately high, confirming a high sense of loyalty.

Average job seniority at year end 2010
  Executives Cadres White Collar Employees Blue Collar Employees Grand Total*
Women 15 14 10 5 9
Men 17 15 12 9 9
Grand Total 17 15 11 9 9

* figure cover 96% of Group employees

In regard to promotion of equal opportunities, the following activities are now consolidated:

  • as far as possible in the recruitment process, seek to provide a high proportion of women in the range of candidates;
  • use of training to impact the cultural change connected with the promotion of diversity, using specific modules dedicated to “Diversity Management”, beginning with the courses dedicated to new hires (e.g. Pirelli's way Joining the Group);
  • take positive measures for respect of cultural diversity, such as different foods that are clearly marked in company canteens so that everyone may freely comply with their own religious dietary restrictions, multilingual bookstores in the factory, multilingual welcome kits for those joining Pirelli at a facility in a country other than their home country.

Aside from the respect of differences, what has to unite all Pirelli affiliates in the same corporate culture are its corporate values, policies and rules, which are applied worldwide, with the only difference lying in the language used to translate them.

The survey Your Opinion 2010, covering all Pirelli executives, cadres and white collar staff in different languages, including English, Arab, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Turkish, has revealed a particularly appreciable result in regard to the high level of acceptance by Pirelli employees of gender, cultural and age differences. The answers “I am absolutely in favour” – the highest ranking amongst the possible positive answers – totalled 82% in regard to respect of gender differences, 85% in regard to respect of cultural differences, and 85% in regard to respect of age differences.

Pirelli has been active for years in promoting diversity in the external context, both nationally and internationally. Its membership in the European Alliance for CSR, CSR Europe, preparation of toolkit for management of multiculturalism and gender differences with the Sodalitas Foundation (the Group has a seat on its Board), active participation in drafting the Italian Charter for Equal Opportunities and Job Equality are some of the most representative activities that have engaged the Group in sharing its good practices with other responsible companies.
Pirelli has also been engaged in promoting welfare initiatives for its employees. The Group has been historically active in supporting its own employees, with numerous measures calibrated to the needs stemming from the different socio-cultural contexts in which the affiliates operate. Widespread measures include: day care centres offering special discounts to Group employees, subsidised holidays for employee children, scholarships, healthcare benefits, prevention campaigns, company discount arrangements with various service providers (from medical exams to car rental).
As announced to the market on November 4, 2010, when the 2011-2013 Business Plan and vision to 2015 was presented, Pirelli established both the increase in diversity of management as compared with the situation at the end of 2009, and a focus on the welfare system offered/to be offered to its employees around the world among its growth and value creation targets. For this reason at the end of 2010 the results of a survey that listed all affiliates work-life balance adopted measures, were shared with operating managers, so that they would be inspired by such practices to integrate the locally already applied initiatives.