WIM in viaggio con l'altra metà del cielo

Project supported by the FS Italiane Group in collaboration with Bet She Can

Rome, 29 November 2017

Girls in primary schools are the protagonists of this journey through the Italian regions to discover STEM and technical subjects and combat gender stereotypes.

WIM in viaggio con l'altra metà del cielo, the project supported by the FS Italiane Group in collaboration with Bet She Can, a foundation that brings determination and courage to girls aged 8 to 12 by helping them gain an awareness of their own potential and freedom of choice as they grow, has been launched.

Mauro Ghilardi, Human Resources and Organisation Director of FS Italiane commented that "With this project, the FS Italiane Group intends to promote a cultural change and provide girls, right from primary school age, with the tools to make conscious decisions about the type of career they want to have."

WIM in viaggio con l’altra metà del cielo is a new and important phase of Women in Motion, FS Italiane's diversity management campaign set up in collaboration with Valore D - a business association promoting diversity, female talent and leadership - for promoting the careers of women in the technical areas of the FS Italiane Group.

WIM in viaggio con l’altra metà del cielo is divided into the following phases, in which girls from primary schools will be directly involved:

  • training courses in work experience schemes at the FS Italiane Group;
  • rail themed projects by selected students from Professional Vocational Schools and their teachers, supported by staff from the technical areas in the FS Group and the Bet She Can Foundation;
  • orientation meetings;
  • visits to FS sites;
  • dedicated social network area.

The initiative involves both students from Professional Vocational Schools and girls from primary schools, alongside staff from technical areas at the FS Italiane Group.

Following the example of the older students, the primary school girls will get the chance to come into contact with technical sectors that they often don't know a lot about or that they may not choose due to a lack of role models. The students from the Professional Vocational Schools will in turn discuss the gender stereotypes that still represent a barrier to women working in technical professions.

In order to close the gender gap, FS Italiane has launched a series of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives to improve working conditions for women in the Group and encourage their presence at all levels of the organisation. For example, a policy requiring all Group companies to use recruitment processes with at least 50% of female candidates, according to a comply or explain principle. Moreover, the WIM project has seen the number of job applications from women with technical diplomas increase by 50% over only a few months.

«It is a drop in the sea», emphasised Ghilardi. «In order to really bring down gender stereotypes and guarantee the principles of equal opportunities and non-discrimination, we need to get all the players involved. For this reason, we have launched numerous initiatives and we have recently joined an important EU project along with all the representatives of the transport sector, signing up to an innovative platform for increasing female employment in the sector (currently at 22%).»