The 1946 Referendum and the 21 Women of the Constituent Assembly
The date of June 2, 1946, that of the Italian referendum on a republic or monarchy, is also significant because it was the first time women were able to exercise their right to vote. "In the Constituent Assembly there were 21 women belonging to almost all political alignments," says Graziella Romeo, Professor of Constitutional Law at Bocconi, "who did not just deal with issues that were traditionally inherent to the female sphere, such as the family, but also with other fundamental aspects such as work and, in particular, the recognition of working women. Because", continues Graziella Romeo, "it was necessary to acknowledge not only the political but also the productive contribution of women. A fundamental figure in this period", the professor continues, "was Maria Maddalena Rossi, who took particular care of women who had suffered violence during the war".
Gender diversity is also good for work teams
Management literature shows the positive effects of diversity on work teams, explains Angelo Ditillo, Professor of Management and Accounting at Bocconi University. Diversity provides valuable information, fosters creativity and innovation and improves the social capital of the work group, enhancing networking. When it comes to gender diversity, it has been shown that if women equal or exceed the number of men in the workgroup, the quality of work increases. This is particularly true in the case of complex managerial tasks. With respect to accounting, increasing diversity in audit teams increases audit quality.
International Treaties Protecting Women Are not a Cultural Imposition
Sometimes, in the West, there is the problem that certain norms and treaties of international law (such as those prohibiting infibulation or honor killing) can be seen as an imposition of Western culture. "This criticism, while based on a fair sensibility," explains Roger O'Keefe, Professor of International law, "nevertheless ignores the fact that those who fight for these rights and against violence against women are not us, but precisely African women, Arab social movements or South American women's NGOs." Legal language is in fact the most powerful language used to claim universal, intercultural rights: the dignity of every woman and every girl.
Digital revolution boosts women's empowerment
Mobile phones give access to information and social networks and allow access to financial instruments. These are elements that improve female empowerment in the poorest areas of the planet, explains Francesco Billari, Professor of Demography at Bocconi University, discussing two of his recent studies. According to a third study, moreover, mobile phones increase women's decision-making power within the couple and their access to information on both sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, with a positive impact on health.
Differences in salaries in the EU are at 15%. But if there is a woman on the board...
The inequality in the rates of employment between men and women is very high, even in young people. In short, there has been no silent revolution. "But another relevant aspect," as Alessandra Casarico, Professor of Public Economics at Bocconi University, explains in the video, "is the wage differential, which stands at about 15% on average in European Union countries, although with notable differences between countries. In Italy, for example, it is around 5%. The causes? Once this difference was justified by lower rates of education", continues Casarico, "but now it is no longer so. In a research, we showed that an important cause is that companies apply different salary policies and that women are less successful in negotiating their own career progression. But if there are women on a company's board, then the situation is better."
Womens alternative roads to management
Women are still underrepresented in management roles considering that, for example, in many EU countries they only count for 1/3 of such roles, explains in this video Tracy Anderson, professor of Human resource management at Bocconi. “The characteristics of management work are poorly suited to the reality of women's lives and so they are taking their management careers in different directions to overcome this,” she highlights. “My research shows some women are doing their management work as freelancers or independent contractors while others on a part-time basis – all ways to give them control over their time, which is essential. But for such options to work, it is essential that employers fully recognize the legitimacy and value of such arrangements.”
More female work, more children: the importance of this equation
More female work equals more children. It is precisely the higher proportion of women in work that sustained fertility in Central and Northern European countries in the 1990s, when Italy's fertility rate was in enormous decline, explains Letizia Mencarini, Professor of Demography at Bocconi. It is therefore important to be able to apply this equation in Italy as well, even more so during this pandemic period. In fact, the data show that, during this period, it was women who suffered the most from job loss and family workloads. At the same time, from the first surveys on births in the last two months of 2020 in 6 large Italian cities, the evidence is that fewer children were born (20% fewer in December). It is therefore necessary to invest in female labor to maintain high fertility.
Marking Remembrance Day So That We Shall Never Be Evil Again
January 27th is the International Commemoration Day for the victims of the Holocaust, an event that still haunts European memory, although three generations have passed since the end of WWII. "First of all for the victims themselves," says Guido Alfani, professor of economic history at Bocconi, "but also because not only the successes in the history of mankind should be remembered, but also the evil things because remembering past crimes helps not to commit them again. And even if this is not entirely true," continues Alfani, "because unfortunately man is prone to error, but having the awareness of what happened then, and of the consequences that can derive from bad political choices, will perhaps help us avoid atrocities on such a scale."
Why it makes sense to protest against the death penalty
The execution of Lisa Montgomery has revived the controversy surrounding the death penalty and its admissibility today. Not just because it is cruel, but because it violates certain fundamental principles, as Damiano Canale, professor of philosophy of law at Bocconi University, explains in this video. "In Europe, it is not justified because a large part of public opinion considers it a violation of the fundamental principle of human dignity", explains Canale, "as important as other principles such as equality and democracy, but in 29 states in the US and in other countries around the world it is identified as an effective means of combating crime. However, academic research shows,” Canale continues, 'that there is no evidence of this”. Does it make sense, then, for people in Europe to continue protesting? "Yes,' Canale continues, 'because violating a principle such as human dignity means putting others also at risk.”
25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Today, 25 November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. "At Bocconi, we believe that spreading knowledge and awareness about diversity and inclusion is one way in which we can all fight violence against women and girls," says Catherine De Vries, Dean for Diversity and Inclusion.
31 Years Ago the Rights of the Child Were Born
On November 20, 1989, the UN adopted the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, later ratified by 196 countries, including Italy in 1991. "It is a series of legal obligations linked to the concept of the pre-eminence of a child's best interests," explains Roger O'Keefe, Professor of International Law at Bocconi. "The application of these rules is not easy, because there is an international level but the fulfilment of most of the obligations is the responsibility of national Courts and societies", continues O'Keefe, "even if the most important part of this Convention is the work of social awareness on these issues. It is an important step forward, but there is still much to do".
According to an Experiment, Trump's Victory in 2016 Legitimized Xenophobia. Will It Happen Again?
The outcome of the US lessons will be important, among other things, for the future of immigrants and other minorities. "And this is not only because of the policies of the next President, but also because of how American citizens will behave towards those minorities after the elections," explains Stefano Fiorin, professor in the Department of Economics at Bocconi University. "In fact, when politicians who openly attack minorities (saying they want to build walls or eliminate Roma camps with bulldozers) receive significant electoral success, their words and popularity can lead to the legitimization of derogatory language and violent behavior against these minorities". To demonstrate this hypothesis, in 2016 Fiorin and co-authors conducted an experiment in the U.S., asking participants if they wanted to donate money to an openly anti-immigrationist organization, telling some that the donation would be anonymous, others that it would be public. "What we see," comments Fiorin, "is that before Trump's election, supporting a xenophobic cause was socially stigmatized (participants were less inclined to donate when participation was public)." Immediately after the election, "in which Trump won using an explicitly anti-immigration campaign, this social norm against xenophobia quickly disappeared". Knowing in fact that many countrymen had expressed xenophobic feelings by voting for Trump, "participants began to donate more to the organization even publicly, because they were no longer afraid of being judged as extremists". It will therefore be interesting to understand "whether these dynamics will be reinforced by a Trump victory, or whether a Biden victory can resurface those social norms in defense of minorities that existed in the past," Fiorin concludes.
Milgrom and Wilson, Two Microeconomists Fundamental for Game and Auction Theory
Pierpaolo Battigalli, Professor of microeconomics and game theory and Director of the Department of Decision Sciences at Bocconi, comments on the 2020 Nobel Prize for Economics
Nobel Prize to Milgrom and Wilson. Thanks to Them, We Understand How Markets Really Work
Marco Ottaviani, Professor of Economics at Bocconi, comments on the 2020 Nobel Prize for Economics
Be Responsible, Be Sustainable, Be Safe
Bocconi has reopened safely with a campus ready to welcome the community back. Be responsible, be sustainable, be safe. #YourSafetyMatters #nowmorethanever
European Recovery Fund. Now Italy Must Roll Up Its Sleeves to Make This Historic Deal Work
Italy has got a good deal, explains Carlo Altomonte, professor of European economic policy at Bocconi University: "Meanwhile, the overall structure of the Recovery Fund has never been questioned", explains the professor. "Today we can make debt to areas of the Union that are in difficulty and it is a revolution". In addition, this "finally common, finally European" fiscal policy is flanked by monetary policy to support the economic cycle. "And the markets are rightly celebrating", Altomonte comments. In terms of the political cost of the negotiations, "transfers to the states are maintained, but spending on European public goods is reduced. So, less money for investments, for research, for the energy transition". For this reason, "it is necessary that national recovery plans recoup at least partially this part of expenditure on green and digital", continues Altomonte. However, they must also speed up the timing of disbursements ("By the end of the year we can already have a green light, if we do everything right"), there will be an advance of 10% from January 2021 of the funds disbursed "and the possibility to include also the expenses already made in 2020. Finally, to those who point out that all the money that countries like Italy will receive will have to be repaid anyway, Carlo Altomonte replies that "in reality, this is not the case. The countries are giving a guarantee to the EU budget to pay it back from 2028, but new European revenues are also being activated in the agreement". For Italy, the agreement on the Recovery Fund is, in short, "an even better agreement than expected, but it must be very clear that the operational capacity to carry out projects and reforms on schedule, which is our historic weakness, will become central to ensuring the effectiveness of these funds," concludes Altomonte.
The Post Covid Startup Ecosystem
In this live chat by B4i, Markus Venzin, Dean for innovation, and Nico Valenti Gatto, managing director of Bocconi for innovation, discussed the pre acceleration and acceleration opportunities for young, innovative companies with two representatives of such firms: Nadia Neytcheva of Doctors in Italy and Lorenzo Piovani of Wapi
Executive Chat Live
Bocconi University's Rector Gianmario Verona meets Francesco Giavazzi (Vice President, IAC Bocconi) and Laurence Boone (chief economist, OECD) to discuss about “Economic policies and economic outlook in times of Covid-19”.
Doing Business (and Innovation) in Times of Covid19
Gianmario Verona, Rector of Bocconi, discusses the issue with Diego Piacentini, senior advisor of KKR, and Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play, in the fourth episode of Executive Chat live
CORONAVIRUS/ The Recovery Fund is a historic initiative
The Recovery Fund is a historic initiative, explains Carlo Altomonte, professor of European economic policy. "For the first time, in fact, the European budget is being used in a countercyclical way, i.e. with a procedure that creates European public demand at federal level for an immediate contingency and not for structural expenditure". The key point of what for Altomonte "is truly a real Eurobond, is that it is a mutualised instrument, i.e. not everyone will be rewarded for what they put on the plate". There will be countries, "like Italy and Spain", that will receive more, others, "like Germany", that will receive less.
Information in times of Covid19
Gerard Baker (Wsj) and Maurizio Molinari (La Repubblica) are the guests of Gianmario Verona, rector of Bocconi, for The la testa Executive chat live
Executive Chat Live
Basic and applied research in times of Covid-19 is the topic of the secound round of the Executive chat live series. Gianmario Verona, rector of Bocconi, talks with Alberto Mantovani (Humanitas Research Hospital) and Carlo Rosa (Diasorin)
#BocconiCorrespondents from London, Pier Vittorio Mannucci
“Like many universities around the world, we were faster in understanding the risks of the pandemic and closed before the UK actually went into official lockdown,” Pier Vittorio Mannucci, Bocconi alumnus and professor of Organizational Behaviour at London Business School, tells us in this video from London. “And when lockdown started we witnessed similar scenes to Italy, such as stockpiling. Lockdown here has been a bit lighter - controls are less strict, there is no self-certification and we are not totally confined at home.”
Executive Chat Live
Bocconi University's Rector Gianmario Verona meets Francesca Cornelli (Dean, Kellogg School of Management) and Giovanna Iannantuoni (Rector, Università Bicocca) to discuss about Universities and the social sciences in times of Covid-19.
#BocconiCorrespondents from Moscow, Roberto De Meo
Roberto De Meo, chapter leader of Moscow’s Bocconi Alumni Community and head of CEMEA Region at Visa Consulting & Analytics, is six weeks into lockdown at home. “Covering over 80 countries in my role I am quite used to working remotely, but I do miss traveling and interacting with people face to face.”
#BocconiCorrespondents from Miami, Emanuele Francia
At the end of January, Emanuele Francia, Bocconi alumnus 2002 and SDA Bocconi MBA 2007, left a Beijing still enjoying fairly normal daily life to reach Miami where he was planning to stay for some business. Since then the Business and legal consultant at Allpku and professor at China Agricultural University has witnessed the growing escalation of the Coronavirus emergency in the US. “We are not experiencing a total lockdown here in Miami - the main rule here is to wear a mask in public places and to respect social distancing.” Emanuele is keeping busy meanwhile with online business meetings and with his academic research.
#BocconiCorrespondents from Los Angeles, Leonardo Gerotto
Freedoms and restrictions - Leonardo Gerotto, Bocconi alumnus and global marketing manager (Hot Wheels) at Mattel, tells us in this video all about lockdown in LA
#BocconiCorrespondents from Amsterdam, Pilar Pedrinelli
Over 40 days into self-isolation, Pilar Pedrinelli, Bocconi alumna and Global Engagement Manager at the Rainforest Alliance, the international NGO, reports on what she is observing around her regards the more lenient lockdown being observed in Amsterdam. With regards to her work, “this crisis is hitting very hard the communities we work with that are losing their income“ she observes. “And yes, some say this emergency in the short-term has been better for climate change but looking at the future, with a reprieve of economic activity, we have to hope sustainability is kept in mind and that nations learn their lessons.”
Covid19 / Human Rights in Times of Pandemic
In the last months many of our human rights (the right to not be detained, the right to family life, to freedom of religion, etc) have been curtailed to help stop the spread of Covid-19. “International human rights law permits such limitations for legitimate reasons, such as the protection of lives of others,” explains in this video Roger O’Keefe, professor of International Law at Bocconi. “And where governments have acted in good faith to stop the spread of Covid-19, the measures taken can be justified as such. One state that will however have difficulties is Hungary, which has clearly abused the use of decrees to overturn some rights that cannot be related to the Coronavirus emergency.”