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Women in diplomacy: Annual General Meeting of Women and Managers in Diplomacy takes place at Farnesina

The Annual General Meeting of Women and Managers in Diplomacy (Italian initials DID) has taken place at the Foreign Ministry in Rome. The AGM opened with a welcome address by the Deputy Minister, Marta Dassù, and was attended by the Director General for Human Resources and Innovation, Elisabetta Belloni. Deputy Minister Dassù expressed her appreciation of the work done by the association, both within the Ministry in collaboration with the Administration, and externally, in its relations with other government and private sector organisations. She also noted the career advances being made by women, who this year accounted for over one third of the successful candidates in the Foreign Ministry’s recruitment competition.

The “Women’s Pathway” at EXPO 2015

Deputy Minister Dassù congratulated the new arrivals and suggested that the DID extend its activities to initiatives of general interest to the country. One sphere of action could be EXPO 2015, whose theme will be nutrition and whose organisers are working on a “women’s pathway”. Women could also play a greater role in drawing up Italy’s foreign policy lines, commented Dassù.

Director General Belloni noted the significant progress made by the Farnesina in helping women achieve a better work-life balance. She underscored the Administration’s determination to go on collaborating with the DID to safeguard this progress and consolidate the advances made thus far.

The 50th anniversary of women’s entry to the diplomatic profession

These ideas were discussed with great interest by the numerous participants in the AGM and the DID board meeting. Interesting and innovative proposals also emerged for the work to be taken forward in coming months, especially as Spring 2014 will see the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of women’s entry to the diplomatic profession.

The DID Annual General Meeting also discussed important issues such as maternity protection, flexible working hours, and career progression, and judged the collaboration with the Administration to be highly useful. Counsellor Sabrina Ugolini gave an interesting presentation on the Single Guarantee Committee, and participants underscored the need to network more actively, both inside and outside the Ministry, to raise awareness of Italian diplomacy, in both its male and female versions.

The “Women’s Pathway” at EXPO 2015 could also be presented in our missions abroad, with specific initiatives by heads of mission, female ambassadors and consuls general on the issues covered by the EXPO.

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