Diversity, Equity and Inclusion unlock the power of the workforce

    Embracing Diversity for Stronger Teams and Better Solutions


    March 27, 2024



    Federica Ravaglia embarked on her professional journey as an SAP functional consultant, working in Milan and London. Since earning her MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona, she has gathered a diverse range of experiences in Signify across IT, Internal Audit, and HR. These varied experiences have led Federica to her current role as the Talent and Learning Program Manager at Signify. In this capacity, she is committed to delivering impactful learning programs and initiatives to establish a skills-based organization on a global scale.


    Beyond her work, Federica serves as a co-active coach, guiding others and making use of her passions for painting and improvisation. She also takes the stage as a stand-up comedian, adding humor to her diverse set of interests.

    How do you experience diversity, equity and inclusion at Signify?


    When I joined Signify in 2014, I was one of the few women in an environment where the majority of employees were middle-aged men. While I was always nicely treated and respected, I sometimes felt like I was an outsider. I came from a different country, and I had a different lifestyle, language, and way of thinking. Over the past nine years at Signify, I have observed an increased attention to DE&I issues, starting with increasing the percentage of women in the workforce, early career representation, more inclusive practices, and more DE&I awareness activities.

    How do our differences help us and allow us to learn from one another?

    Diversity is not an easy journey. Listening, and reflecting on other people’ s perspectives and ways of thinking can be frustrating, difficult, and sometimes confrontational. But when we refrain from making quick, impulsive judgments and keep an open mind, accepting we can make mistakes, there is space to learn from diversity and incorporate different perspectives in problem-solving. This can make the team stronger and able to provide more robust solutions to complex issues.


    In my team, I have experimented with monthly reflection meetings in which each team member shares their most relevant learnings and reflections with the group. These meetings require everyone to stop and think. It is always interesting to observe the world through the eyes of someone else in a different area of the world or in another role, or even on the same team. I encourage everyone to try this practice. You may be surprised by the massive insights you can get from these meetings.


    How has having a diverse team contributed to your outlook and objectives?

    It is important to keep an open mind to accept and incorporate different styles and ways of thinking. We should be wary of falling into biases that perpetuate the same patterns, such as “you’re good with numbers, so you run analysis all the time.” Working together means allowing everyone to experiment with different tasks and responsibilities and ultimately grow. This can help to increase team members’ potential, stimulate curiosity, and uncover unexpected talents and passions.

    How can we ensure that all team members have a chance to be heard?


    One good practice is to require everyone to express a perspective during team meetings. This means being aware of cultural norms or character traits that might make it difficult for someone to express considerations and opinions publicly in a meeting. In these cases, psychological safety is paramount. Within your team, you should feel a sense of trust and safety. It is essential that no one is judged or punished for expressing their opinions. Further, coaching and mentoring can be of immense help. Using feedforward practices can help to show how to do things differently. This has helped me see the world from a different perspective, reconsidering my beliefs and adjusting my actions and ways of being.

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    Can you give us an example of how you personally champion DE&I in your team?


    As a DE&I champion for our Internal Audit and Learning team, I set up team reflection moments around key DE&I topics. In 2023, I led a working team to set up Women’s Day at Signify. Signify employees could participate in local sessions dedicated to the 2023 Women’s Day equality topic. We engaged a wider audience with a LinkedIn Live event called “Diversity across generations,” in which three Signify women employees of different generations shared their reflections around DE&I topics. We also organized Signify Open Doors Day to welcome students in different domains to visit our premises and engage in conversation on DEI topic. I am very proud of having led the event. It felt like a big step forward.

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    About the author:

    Sarit Ucmak

    Sarit Ucmak

    Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing & HR Comms Global Head


    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Corporate Communications


    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

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