Parks – Liberi e Uguali  is a non-profit making organization, whose members are exclusively employers, created with the aim of helping partner companies to understand and attain maximum business opportunities deriving from the development of strategies and good practices that respect diversity.

At Parks we believe that inclusion and respect can only really make a difference when they encompass everybody.

That is why we adopted as our mission a precise and prevalent focus on that area of Diversity Management which is culturally most demanding, that is to say the part related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBT Workers in Italy

Estimated total workforce in Italy
Stimated proportion of LGBT workers (WHO data)
Estimated number of LGBT workers in Italy

According to cautious estimates by the WHO, people belonging to the LGBT category make up at least 5% of the world population: that means that over a million of the twenty three million workforce in Italy are homosexual, bisexual or transsexual.
One million workers about whom we know next to nothing. Strong social stigma relating to diverse sexual orientation and gender identity means that the vast majority of LGBT workers cannot reveal their true identities in the workplace. Wearing a “mask” at work generates enormous levels of emotional stress. The fear of being “unmasked” and discriminated against can have an important bearing on work performance and the unwillingness to share personal news and information with others can often be interpreted as a lack of social skills or suitability for teamwork.

In spite of this, a growing number of companies – not only large scale or foreign ones – have started debating whether it might be more appropriate to adopt new guidelines in personnel management, enabling them to motivate and involve all employees whatever their differences, all be it with added costs.

This change of direction towards the encouragement of inclusion and the capitalization on diversity in the workplace can represent a huge opportunity and an important competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The Advantages of LGBT Diversity Management

A company that decides to move in this direction, investing time and resources, has the real prospect of gaining an advantage over its competitors both in terms of reputation and in its ability to motivate the workforce.
The real challenge facing employers is to go beyond a general policy guaranteeing equal opportunities. The final aim is to create a working environment which guarantees respect, acceptance and a real opportunity to attain one’s professional potential over and above diversity.

The workplace must become an environment where success is measured exclusively through talent, skill and the quality of working performance, and is completely unrelated to personal features like gender, disability, age, ethnical origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.

This is a cutting edge subject matter, one that is indispensable from an ethical, social and even economic point of view. We must focus on accepting all kinds of individuality because only by tapping into important and increasing human resources will we be able to overcome the crisis
Paolo Iacci, Vice President AIDP, Italian Association for Personnel Management
A creative team made up of a homogeneous group of experts notable for their creative skills is less creative than a similar group made up of people that differ in gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnic and cultural origin
Anna Maria Testa, Expert in Communication, writer, lecturer Bocconi University
The notion of merit can only be guaranteed where the playing field has been levelled for all concerned. Otherwise merit is falsely attributed.
Donatella Sciuto, Vice Chancellor Milan Politecnic, Member of the Board Bank of Italy
Those companies that have better policies in the management of diversity and inclusion are also the ones with better economic indicators
Cristina Tajani, Coordinator for Policies on Labour, Economic Development, Universities and Research, Milan City Council
Companies have a duty to setting up environments that remove obstacles and create an effective culture of inclusion. It’s not an option, it’s a duty.
Patrizia Zambianchi, Managing Director Deutsche Bank Mutui (Mortgages) SpA, Head of Credit Products

Parks - Liberi e Uguali was founded in April 2010 and has the following founding partners: Citi, Consoft, Eli Lilly, Ikea, Johnson&Johnson, Linklaters, Telecom Italia.