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A&O Italy, an event on diversity to celebrate International Women’s Day

Francesca Vecchioni, founder and president of non-profit organisation Diversity, facilitated a debate on inclusion and the different challenges for women during their careers.

On International Women’s Day A&O Italy organised an internal event on gender equality at its Milan headquarter. The meeting is part of a series of A&O Italy events dedicated to diversity. Guest speaker Francesca Vecchioni, founder and president of Diversity, a non-profit organization committed to spread the culture of inclusion, facilitated the discussion on deeply felt issues such as work-life balance, career challenges, female leadership and what we can do every day to break the glass ceiling.

Francesca Vecchioni commented: “It was a pleasure to take part in this meeting. A law firm like A&O recognises that talking about D&I has become a priority. To grow and develop people, retain talent, push business by really anticipating clients’ needs, innovate in a sector that too often risks being short-sighted with respect to the enormous added value that is inherent in diversity. Diversity & Inclusion is like a new Darwinism, those who don’t evolve become extinct.”

During the event, a number of A&O people spoke candidly about their experiences and the challenges they face, opening up on their expectations in terms of support from the firm. Employment senior associate Giorgia Giorgetti said, “Diversity brings added value and creates innovation, and transparency and flexibility are the key areas to work on for retaining talent”. Chiara De Luca, Corporate associate, added, “Although the legal environment is still characterised by a majority of male leadership models, women are paving their way in the field and forging new female leadership models. It is crucial to know that the firm supports women’s career paths and acknowledge the value of diversity”.

Anna Di Giovanni, Head of Operations at Allen & Overy Italy, commented: “We are proud to have organised an event like this to foster open dialogue and an exchange of experiences on the day which celebrates women around the world. We are well aware that many things still need to be done to reach gender equality but as a firm we commit every day promoting an inclusive and supportive work environment where everyone has the same opportunities”.