Page 28 - Dallara Magazine

Doctor Di Gregorio, Zanardi’s achievements
in London did a lot to raise awareness of
the problems associated with disability, a
subject that has always been dear to
Dallara's heart: are companies doing
enough, or is it also time to rethink the
Although I don’t think we should expect the
private sector to take the place of the State
or the relevant authorities, companies will
always have a part to play, and this includes
ensuring that they employ significant
numbers of disabled people in terms of
percentages. If I may make a suggestion, this
could be incentivised by reducing company
taxes and employee contributions. Up until
now such concessions have always been
granted on an one-time basis. Generally
speaking I think the Italian legislation is
adequate: sometimes the problem lies in the
difficulty of reconciling the various rules and
regulations with the individuals they are
supposed to serve».
What are the advantages of integrating a
disabled person fully into the working life
of a company?
We are talking about people here, in the
fullest sense of the word, and this means
that the benefits are the same for everyone:
increased motivation and a sense of
belonging that favour the capacity to work as
part of a team. This is fundamentally
important when dealing with today’s
increasingly challenging work environment.
Moreover, integration provides us with
positive examples. I have various disabled
colleagues who, thanks to their professional
and personal contributions, represent an
example for the rest of us, both for their
approach to the obstacles they encounter in
the work place, and in life in general».
What strategies could be used to ensure
that integration is as complete as possible,
including on a personal level, within the
context of a company, and what are the
contributions a firm like Dallara can make
in this field?
Since we are talking in terms of strategies
designed to achieve a good level of
integration, the first step is to ensure that the
company management structure is
sufficiently sensitive to such issues. In
particular, we believe that the best strategy is
to ensure that the right people are placed in
the right positions (whether disabled or not).
This ensures that people are appreciated for
their merits, which is obviously a positive
from the point of view of the individual, but
also for the Company, in the broadest sense
of the word.
Our Company is expanding the technical
area, so we tend to insert new personnel
including disabled personnel) in these
departments. Typical candidates will have a
technical-scientific based education, to
engineer level, and an aptitude for working
in a given specialised sector. We are
committed to using all the hardware and
software technologies that are available to us
with the onus on information technologies)
in order to enable people to work as
efficiently as possible. We don't think there's
any point in employing a mechanical
engineering graduate with a physical
disability to perform menial, everyday tasks
simply because «It’s the law, and at least it
keeps him busy…» It wouldn't benefit either
the individual or the company. Naturally
there’s a lot less room for manoeuvre in the
case of personnel with psychological
disabilities, since it is necessary to take into
account an entirely different set of
What areas of the company are most widely
affected by this issue? How was the software
that enables Engineer Molardi to interact
perfectly with the rest of the company
developed? And how does it work?
We first encountered Gian Luca Molardi
when he was preparing his thesis at the
University of Parma in 2008. Shortly
thereafter he received a scholarship through
the Spinner Project (investment in education,
research and training in order to promote the
development of young people and
businesses), financed by the Emilia-Romagna
regional government. On a personal level, we
were struck by his indomitable spirit and the
tenaciousness they enabled him to graduate
in mechanical engineering and produce a
thesis on structural analysis, despite having
to overcome enormous personal difficulties.
Were we also impressed by his passion for
motor racing and in particular his interest
in our company; I have fond memories of a
visit while he was still at senior school. And
now, several years after first meeting Gian
Luca, we are fully satisfied with the outcome
of the project, which has enabled him to
exploit his abilities to the full and find his
way in a world that he had always dreamed
of being part of, as well as expanding his
own technical skills and knowledge. In fact,
he is now employed in our Structural
Analysis department, taking advantage of a
flexible working schedule and the possibility
of working from home, the better to suit his
personal needs. As far as the software is
concerned, we have supplied Gian Luca with
an «off the peg» program that enables him
to write documents and emails, and provide
instructions using voice commands, i.e.
without having to use his hands. We have
also acquired a second "dedicated» software
for people with limited mobility (which has
been developed by a company run by a
disabled engineer) that enables them move
and click the mouse simply by moving their
face or their eyes. In addition to the
software, we have also purchased a
customised support designed to create a
more comfortable, ergonomic working
position for Gian Luca, who was not slow in
letting us know how versatile it was, and
how much he appreciates it».
Di Gregorio
The key is having the right people
in the right positions»