Professional Women’s Network Proposes a Decalogue of Measures to Increase Female Presence in Management Positions
- Some of the recommendations to the companies include: adoption of new models of corporate leadership, compromise on behalf of the top management and establishment of performance indicators.
- Proposals to the society include training of youth on new patrons that foster handling differences, promoting joint responsibility and motivating women to get out of their comfort zone, among others.
- As affirmed by Susana Camarero, Secretary of State for Equality, “it’s been proved that countries with stronger gender equality have higher GDPs”.
- The main barrier in Spain is the reconciliation of work and family life, according to Arturo Gonzalo from Repsol.
- Networking, Mentoring and Sponsoring play key roles in developing both men’s and women’s professional careers, as noted by the General Secretary of PWN Global.
- Investing in Mentoring, establishing performance indicators and involving men in the process are some of the measures suggested to the companies by ME-Totem, a study aimed to impulse leadership, developed by PWN Global and co-financed by the EU.
Madrid, October 26th, 2016. Professional Women’s Network|PWN Madrid proposes a Decalogue to educators, government, media, companies and other sectors of society, in order to increase women’s presence in management positions. Although women work in 24% of management positions, Spain faced a stagnant growth in this area during the last 5 years.
“Nowadays the talent is the fuel of our society and our companies. We cannot afford leaving 50% of it offside. It has been proved that an increase of diversity stimulates productivity and efficiency of organizations”, affirmed Raquel Cabezudo, President of Professional Women`s Network|PWN Madrid, during the event organized by this association with the main goal to call the attention to the need of encouragement of female leadership in our country. There was a full auditorium total attendance of more than 300 men and women.
Lower salaries despite of better preparedness.
Susana Camarero, Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality, one of the speakers of the event, highlighted that Spain has advanced a lot in terms of gender equality, however there is still a long way to go. “Women have lower wages, 3.5% less than men, despite of the fact that 60% of University graduates are women. We have lower pensions and the financial crisis has had a hard impact on women: there are 3.5% more unemployed women than men in Spain. Moreover, women ask for 95% of extended leaves to take care of our children and 85% to take care of our parents. Yet, we still have to make sure that women have access and stay on the labor market, because the better gender equality influences positively on the GDP growth and because we cannot afford a society that doesn’t take into account 50% of the talent.”
60% of women lose their professional aspirations as they proceed along their career paths
Arturo Gonzalo, Corporate Personnel and Organization Director of REPSOL, a company that received multiple awards and acknowledgements for fostering gender diversity, said: “In my experience, teams with equal number of men and women work better. They are more balanced, show better climate and more efficient conflict management, and their innovative attitude allows to experiment with new formulas to find better solutions.” Moreover, the big issue in Spain is that it it very difficult to reach conciliation between professional and personal life.
According to Marta Delgado “60% of women lose their professional aspirations as they proceed along their career paths.
Networking, Mentoring and Sponsoring, key tools to develop professional career
Marta Delgado explained why networking, mentoring and sponsoring are key tools to develop both men’s and women’s careers. “Networking opens the doors towards decision makers. Mentoring allows to access knowledge and know-how of those who already achieved it and sponsoring involves help and support from a person inside or outside of your company to boost your career”.
Hooda Soodi, Personal and Professional Development Director of PWN Milan, presented the conclusions of the study “ME-Totem. Mentoring as a Tool Toward Empowerment” that outlines the benefits of mentoring, and that was developed by PWN Global and co-financed by the EU with the aim to impulse European female leadership. The study advises companies to invest in Mentoring, “a far reaching tool that hasn’t’ been fully explored by companies, that offers models of conduct, mirroring and inspiration”.
The society should avoid putting obstacles to women in chief positions and update stereotypes associated to corporate leadership, and the governments are recommended to develop the necessary legislation and evaluate the possibility of imposing quotas of female representation on the boards of directors.
Another aspect emphasized by PWN Global is that companies should implement performance indicators to demonstrate the positive impact of the presence of women on boards, and to measure their progress. The results of the ME-Totem study also highlight that it is crucial to involve men to guarantee success in the long term, and that all politics and initiatives implemented in the corporate environment are to be gender-neutral, to avoid the “ghetto effect”.
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