Women managers: this is the current balance of the role of women in management positions in Spanish companies
The number of female executives in Spain remains at 34% for the second year in a row, according to data from the “Women In Business 2021 report prepared by Grant Thornton. The report analyzes companies with 50 to 500 employees, listed and unlisted, and the stagnation that occurs after a positive development in the last two years is latent, in which it has increased from 27% to 30% in 2019 and 30% at 34% in 2020.
Promoting equality in leadership positions and the most innovative policies to advance diversity have been some of the keys to this new edition of Forbes SUMMIT Women 2021, co-hosted by Forbes and Gran Thornton, which has had the presence of the Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Daz and the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero. Besides government officials, some of Spain’s most influential leaders also attended the event, such as Patricia Benito, CEO of Openbank; Laura Ros, Managing Director of Volkswagen Spain; o Mara Blasco, director of the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), among others.
Despite the slight stagnation, Spain remains in the top 10 worldwide in terms of the development of diversity and equality policies in an exceptional period, during which national companies of all sizes and in all sectors have had to do big efforts in their management to cope with the impact of the pandemic.
The study also analyzes the evolution of the role of women in the company by region, where the Community of Madrid continues to dominate the ranking with 39% of women in management positions; followed by Catalua with 34%; Galicia with 33%; Andalusian with 29%, Valencian Community with 26% and Basque Country with 23% of directives.
For Ramn Galcern, president of Gran Thornton, “in the post-COVID-19 phase, when we have seen that things can change very quickly, leaders must be able to put in place a culture of change and adaptation. Diversity is essential to ensure that businesses thrive in today’s volatile, uncertain and changing business environment. It is necessary to have diverse leaders and management teams ”.
Reconciliation policies and equitable access to opportunities, inclusive strategies
The Women in Business 2021 study by Grant Thornton also analyzed the main measures that Spanish companies have implemented to improve gender equality in their teams.
The main actions of the past year have focused on ensuring fair access to available employment development opportunities and the application of flexible labor policies aimed at reconciliation. 35% of Spanish companies apply both strategies in their organizations.
It is followed by other policies such as creating inclusive corporate cultures, with 32%; reviewing hiring procedures with 26% and developing mentoring and coaching programs with 23%.
However, the effort of Spanish companies finds a worrying figure. During the last financial year, the number of companies that did not apply a diversity policy fell from 11% to 26% in one year.
The Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Daz, underlined that “equality is a habitual and daily attitude, which must be invisible without going unnoticed. It must be part of the style in which leadership is exercised, by both women and men, and must reflect our society, what it values and what it demands. For this reason, leadership must be diverse and feminine, out of obligation, but also out of conviction ”.
More women managers in HR and finance departments
With regard to the main positions held by women in Spain, the Women in Business 2021 study reveals that the number of female CEOs in Spain has fallen by two points compared to 2020, from 25% to 23%.
Aurora Sanz, partner at Grant Thornton Labor, and Isabel Perea, audit partner at the firm, agreed on the importance of carrying out a diagnosis of the company, in order to establish improvements and to end the pay gap. From both perspective, letting female talent slip away means penalizing your bottom line, so caring for women and knowing how to treat them is essential.
With regard to other areas, once again, human resources departments are the ones with the most female managers, with 36%. Next come the areas of financial management with 32%, operations with 28% and marketing with 25%. At the bottom of the classification by job type are business management, with 14% and areas related to technology management and strategy, with 12%.
At the closing of the event, the Minister of Equality Irene Montero presented her vision on how to deal with the current situation of gender diversity and assured that “to overcome the crisis of care, reorganize uses of time in our society and achieving a fully functional world that is egalitarian, dignified and decent is a challenge that we must take up hand in hand, on the part of business and public administrations ”.