Woman Forward Foundation creates voluntary code of conduct and seal for executive search companies
The Woman Forward Foundation organized a roundtable at the Lzaro Galdiano Museum, following the findings of its research, to open a debate on the need to include different stakeholders when mainstreaming diversity and broadening the base. of talents in administration. Stakeholders include Excellent research companies for which a voluntary code of good practice has been created, thus seeking to promote competitiveness and innovation. On the other hand, investors, since issues of human capital management are essential to the long-term success of a business; and finally, communication media, the impact of which has been decisive in strengthening compliance with the CNMV Recommendation to listed companies to increase the number of women on their boards of directors.
The signatories of the code of conduct were: Jose Antonio Garca of Ackermann Solutions; Juan Daz-Andreu by Alexander Hughes; Sara Bieger Altopartners; Miguel Angel Zuil from BOYDEN, Alfonso de Benito Secades, Executive Interim Management Espaa, Jos Escriv from Roman d’Euromanager, Alfonso Jimnez from Exec Avenue, Elena Terol from Excellent Search, Raquel Duque from GTWomen, Stefano Salvatore from Heidrick & Struggles, Alberto Terrn from Kingsley Gate, Marta Garca-Valenzuela from Talengo, Antonio Nez from Parangon Partners and Eugenio Hernndez from Seeliger y Conde. From today, the Code of Conduct can be signed on the Foundation’s website.
Begoa Torres in his welcome justified the historical figure of Lzaro Galdiano who knew how to surround himself with women and work with them to create his legacy, not only his wife Paula Florido, an important patron of the Museum, but also eminent personalities of the era like Emilia Pardo Bazn. He also highlighted the existing inequality in the art sector and its management, which is very visible even in the promotions of posts by opposition.
In the era of stakeholder capitalism, we see that also in the field of diversity, there are different dimensions that the different stakeholders are called to cover, underlined Mirian Left, president of the Woman Forward Foundation.
First, headhunters play a key role in making companies aware of the need to integrate diversity to improve their competitiveness and innovation. With the aim of promoting the so-called equal opportunities, not only by promoting more women, but also by expanding the source of talent from which the advisory and administrative boards draw, and include businesswomen, university professors , researchers, directors of third-sector organizations, etc.
This voluntary code of conduct, inspired by comparative legislation, in the British code launched by the Lord Davies Review, in force there since 2014, and signed by more than 60 companies in the United Kingdom, adapts to the Spanish market of solutions to improve the needs and obstacles that the foundation research “Creating value in boards of directors and gender diversity, how to progress to increase the number of women in boards of directors in Spain”, (Izquierdo, Huse, Mltner,) detected in research into maximum decision-making positions: To this end, also the latest report by Spencer Stuart, mentions that the main origin of directors continues from proposals of the Chairmen of the boards of directors.
Marta Garca-Valenzuela, Talengo diversity partner, stressed that we need to move from worrying to managing diversity issues, it is important that companies publicly commit to equality and the Voluntary Code of Good Woman Forward practices are of great help in generating this engagement.
For his part, Miguel-Angel Zuil, partner of Boyden Espaa, stressed that the commitment of headhunters is to promote the diversity of talents and it is not just a question of numbers, we must push in all areas to locate women and that they are integrated into boards of directors, and not just in support functions as is currently the case.
While Juan Daz-Andreu, partner of Alexander Hughes commented that it is very important to support women and help them overcome the impostor syndrome that does not represent them.
Another group of stakeholders are investors. For many companies, their most valuable asset isn’t a patent or a product – it’s their people. Boards oversee strategy and risk, but it’s the people who implement this vision. Companies and their boards must demonstrate how a diverse workforce fits into their overall talent management strategy. Mirian Izquierdo pointed out.
Juan Prieto, founder of CORPORANCE ASESORES DE VOTO, the Spanish proxy advisor, underlined that equality is an objective of good corporate, social and economic governance. As part of sustainable development, investors will pressure companies to publish plans on climate change and equality. Distinguishing itself from equality management systems will certainly be valued, especially if the system is labeled, such as the certification of the Woman Forward Foundation in terms of equality and competitiveness, which allows companies to set goals and measure progress of equality and diversity in their company in terms of its own ROI.
Finally, the role of the media is essential in this progress towards equality, since the organic law for effective equality between men and women was adopted in 2007. Thus, the Recommendation which promotes the law in relation to representation of the gender less represented in the councils, begins to be visible in the press, which led to go from 6% then, to the current 31.1% of the figure of women representation on the boards of directors of the IBEX 35 .
However, as the recommendation that the organic law envisages increasing the number of people of the under-represented sex up to 40%, only refers to the number of female directors and does not include senior executives, nor women CEOs or CEOs, the press and the media did not talk about it, and suddenly, in the first case, the percentage of women in senior management, which was 11% in 2007, only increased 16% today and that of female CEOs, 2.8%. at 5.8%.
Compensation, influence and opportunity are still felt to flow more freely to the male gender. Creating value and equal opportunities is a social benefit for all, in which the media are called to play an essential role, said Izquierdo.
A round table composed of a representative of different media and moderated by Charo Izquierdo opened the debate on the importance of the media in achieving equality:
Charo Izquierdo stressed that the media are capable of changing things or keeping them as they are, and that currently only 15% of top positions in the press are women. She also commented that beyond boards of directors, the media and society at large must take action to ensure that young girls study careers in STEM.
For his part, Paloma Zamorano stressed that the media have the power to directly influence changes in society and that there is currently a certain resistance to equality that we must fight for, at this time the reason why women do not reach more managerial positions not because of talent, but because of the unwillingness of those who make the selection on the boards.
While Marta Pastor underlined that today many journalists skew the information they transmit to the citizen; defended investigative journalism especially on equality issues. We must seek out the relevant women and not privilege “masculine” information. The responsibility of journalists is to inform and therefore the impact that the media have on society; the citizen takes shape through the stories and the news of the journalists who construct history, with the image which permeates the world. It is therefore essential that journalists convey a true image of women, which is often conveyed in a pejorative and erroneous manner.
Ester Valdivia for her part indicated that the fault cannot lie only with journalists but with society, while it is true that the media can promote a different and real image of women, it is also true that there is still micro-machismo that influence people’s perception and action.
Finally, Ignacio Quintana agreed with Ester Valdivia and commented that although the responsibility of the media is to inform, society is not formed to demonstrate an equality which unfortunately does not yet exist.