11 May 2022

Interview with Flora Bonafini – General Manager, Fimauto

What does gender equality mean to you?
To me, gender equality means having the same opportunities. It doesn’t necessarily involve mandatory gender quotas; it simply means providing equal possibilities regardless of gender.

In your opinion, why is it important for companies to embrace gender equality?
I believe that if women are given fewer opportunities in the workforce, we may lose out on a portion of competencies and qualities that are often associated with women. By doing this, the system remains stagnant and does not grow through diverse perspectives. Additionally, embracing gender equality allows companies to choose from a much larger pool of potential managers.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges perceived or faced by workers in a company that does not yet implement concrete actions on gender equality?
The main challenges include a closed-minded corporate culture and the awareness of working in a company with a very limited vision.

How much can gender stereotypes impact a woman’s career development?
Gender stereotypes can have a significant impact. Even today, the corporate world may believe it is not biased, but it is, and it tends to make pro-women moves only for ethical or image reasons, rather than truly believing that a good manager can be either a woman or a man without prejudice. In essence, I believe that there is still a long way to go for many Italian companies. It’s a cultural issue for both men and women. Men have always seen and worked with other men who are ‘like them,’ and women often don’t feel competent enough. In the Italian work system, being a manager and a mother can seem very complex. Unfortunately, we are still bound by old preconceptions and work systems where the number of hours worked is more important than the quality of work.

What is the percentage of women in your company, and what is the percentage of women in managerial positions in your company?
The percentage of women in managerial positions in the company where I work is 50% in the top leadership level, and it’s around 20% in the first line of managers. The company where I work strongly believes in gender equality, and I am living proof of that. However, the automotive industry is still predominantly male, so I know that in other companies, the percentage of women in managerial roles is close to zero.