Fedrigoni and Inspiring Girls International work together in schools

The Fedrigoni Group, a leading world producer of special papers and self-adhesive materials has partnered with the NGO Inspiring Girls International association as part of its commitment to the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Inspiring, educating and elevating the creativity of teenagers – especially girls, who during adolescence often lose faith in their own talents – is the challenge Fedrigoni Group has taken on. The company will support girls and boys between 11 and 15 years old on a journey to explore the countless professions that are on offer today, from the most technical (product development, production, supply chain) to the most creative (graphic design, digital communication, merchandising), in the firm belief that passion and talent must be a guide for young women in choosing their own growth path.

Through a global partnership with Inspiring Girls International, Fedrigoni will hold workshops for middle and high schools in some of the countries where it operates. These workshops will see female managers sharing their stories, allowing girls and boys to take part in creative and sustainable innovation activities with the company’s paper and self-adhesive materials. It will start in Italy in November at the ICS Pini Trevisani Scaetta Institute in Milan, with two second and third grade classes, and follow on in France, Spain and Brazil.

In the first part of the workshop, through clues and interactive games, the Fedrigoni ‘role models’ will explain what they do, the path that led them to succeed in their profession, how they saw themselves as children, what gave them confidence in themselves and what challenges they found along the way. These role models will act as a mirror for today’s adolescents who are still so often victims of gender stereotypes that prevent them from thinking big, from straying from the beaten path, from imagining a job for the future by focusing on their own talent. This will be followed by the practical, hands-on part of the workshop. With the help of facilitators, a simple, structured method will be introduced to draw out everyone’s creativity, using tricks and techniques to turn a good idea into an original solution. They will then create a concrete object, a sustainable type of packaging made with Fedrigoni papers and self-adhesive materials. The workshop is designed to be fun and engaging whilst also educational, with the aim of affecting real change.

“Research by Ypulse (The Confidence Code for Girls Report, 2018) shows that girls experience a 30% drop in confidence during adolescence, when they begin to direct their education and career ambitions towards what is expected of them. As many as 67% of girls (Girls Attitudes Survey, GirlGuiding, 2018) believe they do not have the same professional opportunities as men,” said chief executive, Marco Nespolo. “We believe that every girl should be free to choose whatever path she deems right for herself, and we want to contribute so that future generations think big, experiment fearlessly and feel supported in realising their potential. This partnership stems from the desire to help young girls develop an awareness of their talent, freeing them from gender stereotypes that can hold back their ambition. The initiative is part of our social responsibility commitment towards our people and the communities in which we operate on the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

“I founded Inspiring Girls in 2016 because by the age of six, children are already beginning to classify jobs along gender lines,” explains Miriam González Durántez, founder and chair of Inspiring Girls International, “and by the age of 12, 50% of girls aspire to gender stereotyped roles. How can this be possible when the world is so full of exceptional female role models? These role models are everywhere, and with Inspiring Girls we want to amplify their voices and introduce them to girls all over the world, inspiring them to aim high. This is why we are thrilled to work with Fedrigoni in Italy, France, Spain and Brazil.” Inspiring Girls’ research shows the extraordinary influence that successful female models can have, including through social media: when exposed to these role models, 93% of girls begin to think differently about themselves, and to have higher personal and career ambitions.

The NGO Inspiring Girls International is an association founded in 2016 by Miriam González Durántez, aimed at increasing the aspirations of girls aged 11 to 15 all over the world, by presenting them with successful female role models from the most diverse fields and social backgrounds, in order to encourage them and show them that they are free to aim for any personal or professional goal. The social media campaign, #ThisLittleGirlIsMe, is one of many recent activities, with women posting a photo of themselves as a child, explaining what their aspirations were and the results they can see today.