Different cultures: how to accomplish integration

Issues linked to innovation and social and cultural change are an integral part of the Autogrill mission. Well before the onset of global migration flows, the Group’s philosophy was centered on the promotion of change, by supporting transformation and anticipating new scenarios.

The cultural diversity of our employees is an asset and an important growth lever and reflects the progressive changing scenarios that involve customers, products, services and consumption models. Only with the support of the employees with different cultural backgrounds will the Group have the strength to face the challenges posed by emerging markets. For this reason the activities relating to the acceptance, introduction and integration of newly-hired people are a key focus in the Group’s commitment to orientation. The challenge of cultural diversity lies in the promotion of an attitude that respects differences and guarantees equal opportunity. This is a challenge already being won in many European countries, through the attainment of important targets.

31% of the workforce in North America and Australasia (Food & Beverage) is in the 21-30 age bracket31% of the workforce in North America and Australasia (Food & Beverage) is in the 21-30 age bracket32% of the workforce in Travel Retail is in the 31-40 age bracket

What’s going on in Food & Beverage?

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In Spain, Autogrill defined the “Plan de Igualdad” [Equality Plan], a policy promoting equal opportunity for all employees. In addition, the Group has also implemented a set of targeted activities, including the exemption of Muslim employees from the performance of their duties during the Ramadan period, and foreign employees are given the possibility of taking a one month vacation, without interruptions, to enable them to visit their country of origin.

In Belgium, employees are given the possibility of not going to work for one month (without salary) in addition to the holiday month, in order to spend more time with their families. Also in Belgium, courses to learn Flemish during working hours are organized: the teacher works together with the employee and meanwhile helps him/her in learning the language during the accomplishment of the duties.

HMSHost prepared ad hoc kits to illustrate health and pension plans and systems in different languages, confirming the already consolidated orientation in the United States towards a policy of non-discrimination. In Italy a multi-language version of the guide for newly hired foreigners is available. This is a welcome message and a concrete integration tool.

What’s going on in Travel Retail?

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Particular attention is devoted to the creation of a “diverse workforce” (i.e. a team composed of members who speak different languages, etc.) with the ultimate objective of increasing the value provided to Group customers.

WDF has defined a series of policies targeting diversity.

At Aldeasa, where more than 46 different nationalities are represented, attention to diversity and equal opportunity is a must. An equal opportunity plan has been drafted, aimed at preventing any form of discrimination (salary- based, career-oriented, etc.) between men and women. These initiatives have been designed in compliance with the currently applicable laws and in agreement with worker representatives.