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An X-ray of gender equality in the enterprise
Gender Equality in Business

At Forética we are convinced that it is very important to advance in the knowledge and strengthening of the role played by companies in generating and developing spaces for equality. Spaces where female talent is not penalized, but valued, and where women and men coexist, contributing their full value when it comes to contributing to more egalitarian and sustainable business and society models.

For this reason, on March 5th we had the opportunity to present the document "The role of business in the gender gap: keys for the contribution of companies to equality ". This document aims to shed light on the decisive role that companies can play in addressing the gender gap and, therefore, contribute to the promotion of more egalitarian, more diverse and more sustainable environments, from a business competitiveness point of view.

The report reviews some of the main elements contributing to the gender gap in Spain, clear indications of elements that need to be addressed from a business perspective. The following stand out:

  • Penalization of maternity. Data such as the fact that 70.6% of female workers in Spain consider that maternity may affect their professional career or the fact that 90.6% of leaves of absence to care for family members are requested by women make it necessary to develop effective strategies for reconciliation and co-responsibility.
  • Vocational and horizontal segregation. Indicators that show how from childhood women tend to be concentrated in sectors and occupations with higher rates of temporary or partial employment, lower wages and worse working conditions. 90% of female employment is concentrated in the service sector (commerce, hotels, cleaning, etc.).
  • Glass ceiling and wage gap. The difficulty for women to access positions of responsibility is one of the clearest symptoms of the need for a more active role on the business side (for example, only 23.78% of the members of the Boards of Directors of IBEX 35 companies are women). In terms of salaries, the gap stands at 14.2%, a significant imbalance, although somewhat below the European average (16.2%).

It also reviews some of the main debates and their implications for business. It includes aspects such as the binomial workplace flexibility (teleworking) vs. the right to digital disconnection, the progress towards a European framework to promote the reconciliation of personal, family and work life or the contribution of transparency to the fight against the gender gap.

Finally, the report highlights the role of companies, discussing the drivers, barriers and benefits of business action in gender equality, and its link to job creation, improved competitiveness and strengthening sustainability in organizations.

This is the first contribution of the Social Impact Cluster in 2019, which will continue its intense work throughout the year. This cluster is the business meeting point for leadership, knowledge exchange and dialogue on social impact (internal and external) coordinated by Forética. Composed of 66 large member companies of Forética, it is led by Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Ibercaja and ILUNION.

Throughout this year we have on our agenda to specifically address some of the issues identified in the report, such as the wage gap (its calculation, management and communication) or the development and promotion of female talent, which will be the subject of work in the following sessions.

We are convinced that, together, we can improve these aspects, thus contributing to the development of better organizations that are better prepared to compete on the basis of social responsibility models that take everyone into account, and thus move towards a fairer and more balanced society.


This text was initially published last March 10, 2019 on You can read it here.

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