We believe in technology that creates an open, fearless and empowered culture

18. 07. 2022 Monday / By: Robert Denes / Generic / Exact time: BST / Print this page

G iuseppina Di Foggia, Managing Director and Vice President of Nokia Italy, spoke to Lombardia Ecoomy about the intention of digital transformation, sustainable development, new skills in the labor market and the culture of overcoming the gender gap.

Regarding the future of Nokia, Di Foggia said: "The first epidemic and the war in Ukraine that broke out shortly after completely upset the socio-economic balance at the global level, bringing geopolitical, financial and energy instability. While on the one hand, the pandemic showed that there is a great need for digital tools . transformation, on the other hand, the war drew attention to the urgent need for development based on sustainability. Two important goals are therefore to improve our future, always putting people at the center. It would not be possible to return to life. as before, we simply put ourselves behind what we have experienced. For this reason, nowadays companies they need to respond with new development models: Nokia plays a role in this scenario by offering telecommunications networks with increasing performance and solutions that increasingly take environmental impacts into account.

From the point of view of sustainability, for example, technology based on real-time data transmission is key to the implementation of solutions suitable for monitoring consumption and regulating the flow of electricity, based on actual demand over time; facilitating energy storage and minimizing waste. And there is no green without digital, digitalization and our actions on climate change are inseparable and must go hand in hand. As reported in the 2021 Nokia Sustainability Report, our "science-based targets" (SBTs-Science based targets) aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, both in company activities and in delivered products.

We strongly believe in the positive impact of technology to improve our lives and create an open, fearless and empowered culture. Connectivity enables people to interact, communicate, collaborate, share, learn and work. It provides access to all the services that are part of everyday life, from essentials to work, health and schooling. In recent years, it has become increasingly important to guarantee the continuity of education, even in several fields. in difficult circumstances because it affects the economic and social strength of national economies.

Nokia is strongly committed to closing the gender gap in STEM disciplines. "You need to have the right tools to read and understand how the world around us works and to constantly adapt to an extremely fast-changing reality," says Giuseppina Di Foggia.

"The fourth industrial revolution, demographic, socio-economic and production changes are transforming society and especially the labor market. Based on this premise, the value of the contribution of special technical/scientific knowledge must be emphasized urgently. The skills required from the world of work are increasingly science, technology, engineering and mathematics are and will be. It is in this sector that we have the most promising estimates for employment growth in the coming years. In fact, according to Excelsior Information System (created by Unioncarere and ANPAL) between 2020-2024 over a five-year period, companies will need about one and a half million workers with STEM skills.

These data highlight the phenomenon of the 'skills gap', i.e. the gap between specialized demand and supply. The exponential acceleration of technological innovation has led to a sharp increase in the demand for technical-scientific skills, which, however, is not reflected in the profiles available on the labor market. In Italy, the number of STEM graduates appears to be below the European average, which means that the Italian training system is not adapting to the growth rate and skill needs of companies to be competitive in the near future.

In Nokia Italy, in response to this trend, we launched orientation projects with secondary schools to bring boys closer to and especially girls to the world of STEM sciences, for example by welcoming students to our innovation center in Vimercate as part of school projects. Job change. We work closely with various universities to recruit talent and develop joint programs. Personally, I dedicate myself to the implementation of these programs together with my colleagues, because I am convinced that it is important to introduce young people to businesses and the work they do in order to navigate university studies.

I would add that the surge in applications for STEM profiles raises an additional problem with the world of work in Italy, the gender gap .or as the Anglo-Saxons would say, gender differences. Primarily due to societal stereotypes, men outnumber women in the STEM field, starting with the choice of study paths in which female students are still in the minority. The result is that despite statistics showing better academic performance, women continue to be disadvantaged both in the academic world of STEM and, consequently, in the world of work, in terms of wages and career growth opportunities. In this sense, at Nokia Italia we draw attention to the gender gap to raise awareness of these issues and apply corporate policies that guarantee equal opportunities for women.

Speaking about the innovation goals, he says: "I have always maintained that the partnership between the public, companies, educational institutions and research centers is really fundamental to enable digital transformation. In fact, this requires not only the introduction of new technologies, organizational and business models, but also specialized knowledge and continuous updating for some, digital literacy for others.

Only the cooperation of all the parties involved, each with their own expertise, will allow us to fully exploit the benefits of the digital transformation. That is why we at Nokia Italia have established many partnerships in the public administration bodies, academic and research centers, and we are open to new forms of cooperation that will allow us to accelerate the digital transformation of the country.

As for the cultural aspect and digital skills, I can confirm that this is a fundamental issue: it was also highlighted in the discussion within the Advisory Board in the context of last year's B20. There are cultural ones, specifically limited trust in digital technologies and low digital awareness. Moreover, in the latest DESI report (an index introduced by the European Commission in 2014 to measure the progress of European countries in the digitalization of the economy and society. Italy ranks unflatteringly in the third last place in terms of digital skills, with only 42% of the population have at least basic digital skills, compared to the EU average of 56.6%.

Therefore, there are two independent intervention plans: the first on technology and infrastructures, especially on the key issue of connectivity, which are fundamental enablers of the digital transformation, and the second on the cultural and skills level. It is now clear that there can be no development without skills. Both are essential for digital skills, we will not go through a full and effective digital transformation and there is a risk, especially in the case of Italy, that the reforms and investments planned by the PNRR in these areas will be less effective. At Nokia Italia, we are doing our part on the subject of digital literacy, we have launched several projects to spread the skills, including through the aforementioned collaborations with ministries, Universities and initiatives of important TLC operators. Our programs are all for young people: not so young, the elderly and the disabled, we want to continue to be the main actors and interpreters of the transformation of the country".

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