"Men and women earn the same from us" – Repubblica.it


Happiness manager with lots of certification. Chief happiness officer (Cho) is Cecilia Masserini, responsible for human resources at Biogen Italia since last September, one of the first biotechnology companies in the world that studies and develops therapies with an innovative and pioneering approach to diseases and autoimmune and rare neurological diseases. Born in Aosta in 1983, Masserini is among the top fifty managers in Cho in Italy, a course linked to the Science of Happiness and Positive Organizations, aimed at roles of HR or even CEO, which gives the right skills to develop and cultivate work environments with a good quality of life and more stress-free.Cecilia Masserini has laid the foundations of this professional direction since her university days, with a degree in Philosophy from 110 cum laude from the State University of Milan, and a thesis in Moral Philosophy on 'The Heracles of Euripides and the Sophists: the men and the relationship with the divinity '. "When I enrolled at university I didn't have a definite profession in mind, during the degree course I worked in the green sphere, with some cooperatives dedicated to environmental sustainability. But the study of human behavior has always been my passion together with the awareness work on me ".
He started with a job at Adecco as a recruiter for the industrial sector, but to make the leap to human resource management he started a master's degree in Human Resources at the Sole24 Ore Business School and obtained a three-year certification as a counselor at the Center Berne of Milan. "The master has opened up a new horizon for me. In my company I bring my particular vision of things, but on these issues in Biogen they were sensitive even before I arrived. It is in the culture of the company, in that of the managing director Giuseppe Banfi which has pursued these principles, we have tried to put this line more and more systematically, with continuous steps, in order to structure it in the best possible way.The last year we earned another certification conferred by the Winning women institute, which looks at more parameters . For example, women and men are completely equal in salary ".In concrete terms, there are good practices implemented to favor women and mothers. "With a master's degree that we have launched online, we propose to demonstrate that the skills gained in the role of mother can be spent in the world of work, and those acquired working create a good parent. We want to build a synergy between the two aspects. , after maternity leave, you can use a coach to accompany you on your way back in. The other element we have invested in is the benefits in terms of permits. We give up to 15 days for the child's illness. managers who deal with people so different from each other, and how important it is that managerial styles are inclusive of professional and human skills ".

Founded in 1978 by Charles Weissman, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray and Nobel prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp, Biogen cultivates cutting-edge research on a range of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Sla), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (Psp).

With a global turnover of 2018 of 13.5 billion dollars, the American company whose headquarters is in the USA, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has 7,300 employees, operates directly with its own branches in 39 countries and collaborates with a network of partners in 102 countries. In Italy since 1997 and with an independent affiliate since 2011, it is located in Milan, with 140 employees, 50% in the headquarters and the rest spread over the national territory, six out of ten are women, a figure that is also repeated at the level of top management.

Scientific research is the heart of Biogen activity: the company invests about 20% of its annual turnover. Through its portfolio of biosimilars of advanced biological drugs for the treatment of important diseases, it creates sustainability and increases the possibilities for patients to access the necessary treatments and assistance. He has developed innovative therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and for spinal muscular atrophy. "We are now working to market the Alzhaimer cure drug. It would be the first."

The concept of taking charge of the employees and the analysis of the processes that make it possible to put the worker at the center, are the fulcrum of the top manager's strategy. In his career he spent just over two years at Ingram Micro, the world's largest distributor of technology products, a global leader in the IT supply chain, taking care of the workforce. Then with Teva Italia, an Israeli pharmaceutical multinational, in Assago, it became a hr business partner, with a 360-degree role for a unit, also following the legal, budget, and mobility procedures, for four years, two of which in the Italian subsidiary and the others in the European headquarter in Amsterdam, where it responded to the head of Human Resources Europe. "The processes were designed, the organizational culture, the values ​​of the company, and I was the intermediary between those who planned and those who had to implement them, a very interesting commitment that put me in touch with people from all over the world. a moment of great transformation for me, an opportunity to review my styles of communication and inclusion ".

Returning to Italy in 2016, she had another experience with Vodafone, a different and larger company, with 16,000 employees. First as a hr business partner for a unit that dealt with technology, and then promoted to the role of training manager for stores and agencies that were the fulcrum for Vodafone.

Three years later, here it is in Biogen Italia, immediately responsible for Human Resources. Here, in the new business model, the sustainability of the individual coincides with that of the company. "Sometimes when we talk about happiness we think about abstract concepts, instead it has precisely to do with the well-being of the person and the company he works for. Let's look at the data: the capacity to innovate increases by 300 percent, the sales of 37 per cent, productivity by 31%. To take care of our business we have to deal with everything that gravitates in this ecosystem: the topic of feedback, for example, focused on the emotional aspect of the recipient and the sender, on the quality of the relationship: if there is care in the relationships between people there is trust and trust leads to empowerment.As a manager we must be constantly attentive to what we do, we are not perfect beings, we have room for improvement, but c "It is the desire to be within this path. Which, moreover, corresponds to our mission, the treatment of rare diseases. In order to succeed, we cannot fail to take care of ourselves, and then perhaps we select ourselves in this sense. All this comes before anyone's competence; those who do not marry these values ​​cannot work ".

Positive actions in everyday life, investing in the psychological well-being of everyone. With a careful look at the social context, the company has activated a service that allows employees and their families to use psychological support for free, in confidential and anonymous terms for the entire family. "Depression, anxiety, work-related stress involve a large number of individuals; it is estimated that in Europe 84 million citizens suffer from mental distress. The idea was to start from the indexes given by the World Organization of Health The WHO warns that in 2020 depression will be the second disease the world will face and today, in Europe alone, 40 million workers suffer from 'work related stress'.

"We spend 8, 10 hours in the office and the various forms of discomfort have an impact on productivity. The company has a social value and its system must take care of it. The same is true on the legal side. Biogen also addresses the discomforts that arise from the separations, from the search for the house, the problems of the mortgage, the classic concerns in the life cycle. For us it is important to give tools that can guarantee the serenity of the employees ".

Even outside Biogen with Cecilia Masserini is investing on several fronts. Starting from an important collaboration with Dynamo Camp, in Tuscany, in San Mauro Pistoiese. It is the first recreational therapy laboratory for sick children in Italy, for holiday periods and fun with specific assistance. "Before they were normal donations, then our organization instead of taking up space in a hotel for our cycle meetings, decided to go to Dynamo camp, and to give the money saved to charity." The evolution of this relationship has been to favor the experiences of the employees within the non-profit organization and the company has given ten days of volunteering. Next year it will promote training for its managers on diversity management, inclusion and non-violent communication.

For Cecilia Masserini, single and childless, one of the drivers is the journey. "My mother Maria Antonietta Russo, she was a flight attendant, my father Francesco the Lettere teacher. From an early age with a sister and a brother of eleven and ten years older than me, from school closing until September, we had a long vacation in a place in the world that could be Thailand, Tokyo, Argentina: in my DNA there is this way of immersing oneself in different cultures, in the continuous comparison I have grown a little bit. a necessity for me. The last I did in Botswana, immediately after I hooked Namibia, before I had been in Israel, which I had the curiosity to know ".

The next shipment, usually this December, will be different. "I decided to volunteer at the Dynamo camp. A week of recreational therapy dedicated to children with serious illnesses, seven days in which they can forget about their illness, involved in a series of activities that make them think of a game. structure that allows these children to make incredible experiences for free: with a wheelchair, in the pool, the circus, painting workshops, a concept very close to that of the 'Fun'da us introduced in the company. the primary needs that lead to more creativity The idea is: take all your surroundings, work or illness with lightness and fun ".

To access you must go through a selection and a four-day training because before being with children in situations that can be very difficult. it is necessary to test the energy level, and follow a course on the management of diversity, "extremely touching". "In my three years of counseling I have learned that the management of the different is constant. It means understanding the needs of those around us and including this diversity for a common evolution. In the company it is an added value. I chose to do hospital training Niguarda and in the end there was a path for those coming out of the spinal unit that had to get back on track in everyday life ".

Cecilia Masserini, who lives in Milan, near San Siro, declares herself happy. "I would say yes, I understand from the desire that I have the morning to carry on the day. And I fall asleep with the same energy. I have people I love very much and I can count on, my sister with her four children, the first twenty years, a beautiful network of friends, acquired sisters, an extended family, so the things of life make sense: you don't have the feeling of going empty, but of feeling nourished, knowing that everything done can have a impact I was fuller and more fulfilled from the moment I realized what contribution I can make, I feel good, I am happy to do it and I see an ecosystem that activates around me, but the damage caused by man makes me sad. , the result of a lack of care, it is often private organizations that arrive where others fail.Maternity, diseases would not be the perimeter of the company, but those who have a minimum of vision understand that if someone else does not, it touches to them It is obvious that a company that moves like this is enlightened: it is the theme of social responsibility. Profit for profit cannot be the ultimate goal, otherwise we are destined to implode ".

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