“IS The time has come to enhance diversity and offer a more realistic representation of the world we live in, eliminating discrimination and categorizations of people even in the workplace ». To say it loudly is Cathy La Torre, lawyer of Sicilian origin (she was born in Erice in 1980), specialized in anti-discrimination law and ambassador of the countryside Hair has no gender launched by Pantene to defend LGBT + rights in the workplace.
Hair has no gender
Often a look at the hair is enough to discriminate, but, as the campaign claim states, hair has no gender and indeed they are a distinctive trait of people’s identity. «There are no wrong hairs – the activist lawyer reiterates – they represent and define us, on the other hand none of us are wrong. Personally, up to the age of 25, I dyed my hair which was already gray. And then, when my mother was diagnosed with leukemia and advised not to use dyes anymore, I decided to keep my hair short and natural in solidarity. Over time that gesture of love has become a characteristic of which I am deeply proud ».
Cathy La Torre: “We educate in an inclusive culture”
Equally proud Cathy La Torre is of her daily commitment in defense of LGBT + rights. According to WHO estimates, 53% of LGBT + people tend to hide their identity even in the workplace, experiencing an emotionally stressful condition.
“Although aware that change will be slow and tiring, we insist on educating for an inclusive culture the entire citizenship. But politics must also play its part: recognizing the rights of what are defined as minorities and making society more representative, ”says La Torre. She is a non-binary lesbian, she assures that she has never felt discriminated against among fellow lawyers. But she every day with her work defends people discriminated against for their gender identity.
For transgender people, discrimination at work is the norm
«Discrimination is a serious problem especially towards transgender people – he explains – ASome employers believe they can fire an employee who has started a gender transition because they no longer match the gender of the person hired. On the other hand, the gender transition is protected by law 164 of 1982 and is guaranteed by article 2 of our Constitution ”.
Respect for rights is also good for the company
Diversity and inclusion policies are well applied in many multinationals, such as Procter & Gamble, while there is still a large gap in the fabric of small and medium-sized enterprises which must be bridged to ensure equal rights but also to show the benefits of a more inclusive work environment.
As La Torre points out, «in an increasingly diversified society, it is important to make a human rights policy concrete also in the recruitment processes, at all levels. Lintegration and respect for diversity are strengths. Not only because they improve the image of the company, but also because they contribute to better results: in an environment where everyone feels at ease and can express their uniqueness, people work better “.
“There are more important things.” Safe?
The importance and urgency of the battles for civil rights is not recognized by all Italians, although they generally profess to be open-minded. “There are more important things” is a phrase that we have often heard, or have uttered ourselves. And this is the title of the new book by Cathy La Torre released on May 17th for Mondadori.
«Through my commitment» he says «I try to show that the solutions to ensure equal dignity to all are already under our eyes. Politics, or rather some politicians, exasperate and force conflicts that would be easily resolved. For instance, What’s the point, in 2022, of still discussing men’s or women’s bathrooms, or men’s and women’s haircuts?“.
Diversity scares us because we don’t frame it
There is an undeniable tendency, sometimes unconscious, to categorize people using stereotypes. «To evaluate someone we tend to put him in a social whole, we connect that person to a group with homogeneous characteristics and we calibrate our evaluation on the basis of that belonging. Here because, when new categories of people emerge, we find it hard to frame them. We do not have a reference and this scares us »adds the founder of the law firm Wildside Human First Legal Associate. Cathy La Torre herself, in a world where the gender gap persists and mainly men are in top positions, represents an example: she is a gender fluid woman who has managed to distinguish herself professionally and who today has the tools to make her voice heard.
Cathy La Torre: “The pride of being what I am”
“I am happy to have been able to follow my heart, indicating through my experience a new path to take together. Actually, the idea of being an example makes me anxious, ”she laughs. “However being one of the protagonists of this battle for equality and inclusion makes me feel good, makes me proud of who I am and encourages me to do more and more ».
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