Beyond stereotypes: Lifeed and Barilla

Lifeed and Barilla at 4Weeks4Inclusion talk about the importance of seeing people for all they really are: emotions, needs and life experiences bring value to both people and businesses.

“Let’s no longer think that being a mother or a father may conflict with our working lives. All of these dimensions have a natural synergy that needs to be valued. Companies need them to be able to work well together and bring the type of energy that the world needs to be able to move forward”.

That’s how Riccarda Zezza launched the event “Beyond stereotpyes: the value of life transitions for both people and businesses” organized by TIM and 4Weeks4Inclusion, the biggest cross-corporate event dedicated to inclusion. For the first time, the event has taken place in Italy with over 200 companies taking part in a training marathon that focuses on this very topic.

The recent Lifeed event was held in collaboration with Barilla, featuring Riccarda Zezza, Lifeed CEO, Giulia Lamarca, Content Creator, Psychologist and Change Maker, Valeria Icardi, Customer Team Director & D&I ERG Balance Italy Leader at Barilla and Chiara Bacilieri, Head of Data at Lifeed.

“Changing the paradigm – continued Zezza- isn’t natural and it wouldn’t be possible if there weren’t companies such as Barilla. They’ve made courageous choices to make these changes a reality”.

Barilla is one of the 80 companies that Lifeed is working with to deliver training and self-awareness programs for their employees. These journeys value the dimensions from employees’  personal lives, such as being parents, caregivers or simply going through a transition.

“We’ve found the founding principles of Lifeed journeys incredibly coherent and in line with the approach, putting people at the centre – commented Valeria Icardi, Customer Team Director & D&I ERG Balance Italy Leader at Barilla. “Diversity is key to Barilla’s growth strategy: equality, inclusion and diversity have long been an integral part of our culture, values, ethical code and business model. We consider our people to be our most precious resource.”

The Winparenting program aims to support parents and their managers as they make the transition into parenthood, through initiatives that value people and give them concrete support.

“Lifeed has had a strong impact on cultural change within the company, accompanying people as they go through transformational life phases, such as parenthood. Today, everyone in the company – especially fathers – feel more confident in speaking about their parenting experiences and family needs, without feeling that they are being stigmatized for it”– concluded Icardi.

Following the analysis of over 3,000 reflections from Barilla employees through the Lifeed Winparenting program, we can see a clear picture of their parenting experiences begin to emerge. 56% of people talk about positive energy, joy and motivation. Over the past year, Barilla parents expressed the need to manage uncertainty and have a better work-life balance. They are more effective in caring for others, leading and are more emotionally intelligent too.

“By dynamically reading this data, Barilla can see people for all they really are. They’re taking into consideration a range of softer elements that many companies don’t look at. For example, emotions correlate against wellbeing, allowing them to find the right ways to interact and connect with their people. But that’s not all: the emotions that correlate to their needs change over time. The need to manage uncertainty and fears for the future were strong in 2020, following the start of the pandemic and switch to remote working. But this came down to 59% in 2021. In 2018, the need for work-life balance was one of the things that new parents at Barilla were thinking about most. Over the years, this has decreased, and now it’s no longer an issue 2021”– commented Chiara Bacilieri Head of Data at Lifeed, when presenting key results from the project.