The research carried out in 2016 by Professor Morten Huse, the German University of Witten Hoerdecke and Bi Business School in Norway: “The creation of value in the boards of directors and gender diversity” HTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V = B9W8lN2wO9Q and the book “Equal Opportunities, promoting women’s leadership”, as well as the different interviews with advisors and institutions linked to corporate governance, indicate that Spanish companies must be prepared for a change in the advice and senior management so that they can take a strong step forward towards better corporate governance, a better reflection of 21st century society and greater global competitiveness and sustainability.

It is a time when it is essential to combine the inclusive and financial social management of the company. Particularly when research suggests that Spain could improve its GDP by up to 15% by 2025 with the full incorporation of female talent.

The impact of digital transformation and other global changes in consumer behavior, as well as exogenous challenges of the economic panorama, require large Spanish companies to incorporate global credibility and reflect the changes in society that affect their reputation and long-term sustainability, including in their reporting, non-financial indices, – without which Spanish companies will soon be outside the leadership of 21st century globalization demands.

These demands raise the need to mentalize and involve the business community in the business case for change, in a language that they can understand. To meet this need, the Woman Forward Foundation has created a Think-tank. Led by a meaningful and respected group of business leaders, who already share and understand the benefits of gender diversity, it aims to develop key actions of high impact to achieve the goals of placing companies at the top of competitiveness and respect for human rights.

Think Tank by Woman Forward in RTVE

The main barriers that hinder the incorporation of women to the positions of maximum decision are those associated with the glass ceiling, which erodes women’s careers as they try to progress in the company:

The glass ceiling is related to the number of people, of each sex, that is in the company, the wage differences they receive, the different promotion opportunities and their impact in terms of the level of management that men and women occupy as a percentage. These barriers, which are often not glass but rather concrete, do not disappear on their own. They are specific to the female sex, since they do not respond to the dynamics of other patterns of inequality such as those that are racial, and the history and evolution in the companies shows that they do not disappear by themselves, despite the fact that significant cultural changes occur.

In addition, it is sometimes difficult to explain their existence, since it focuses on external factors, such as the sharing of family roles in their homes; negative prejudices against women; patriarchal and sexist cultural models-gender stereotypes; enterprise policies with structural barriers (internal recruitment barriers, lack of transparency in the information women receive regarding their performance; lack of mentoring; rules on family reconciliation; labor inflexibility; an authoritarian leadership model that does not consider performance management, etc.

Audio on the glass ceiling of the Washington Post

To fight against these barriers and in particular those that are structural, the Think-tank intends to perform different tasks that can change the mindset of business leaders, and to take proactive action with business leaders who share these values and who are persuaded of the need:

  • to include feminine talent,
  • to grow the Spanish GDP by 8 points by 2025,
  • to ensure that the percentage of 11.8% of women in the top management reaches 20% of the companies of the main stock indexes as in the United Kingdom, France, Poland, or Germany,
  • for the presence of women in the councils of listed companies to be 30% or more, as in Italy, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Romania and Latvia, and
  • to ensure that Spain resembles its European counterparts.

The Think-tank proposes for this purpose of sensitization, using scientific research, collecting the proposals of creation of value of the feminine contribution to the company and in particular, to the positions of maximum decision-making and objectives of awareness. It aims to emphasise that the integration of talent should not be placed within the CSR measures of the company, but should be considered part of improving competitiveness and complying with human rights, as well as meeting the communication and dissemination objectives to reach a good part of the industrial fabric, using as an example good practices and results obtained in surrounding countries.

The result of these activities should bring the leading companies in this area closer to those that are lagging and help those who do not share this vision to do so, and improve their ratios of value creation and innovation. Because innovation is diversity and the female purchasing power reaches up to 80% in some sectors.

If you want us to help your company to undertake change, we can perform a diagnosis of equality free of charge, by completing on-line the Woman forward Diagnosis of Equality, which includes measures of equality to be respected by all companies regardless of the sector or size of the Global Compact and the National Human Rights Action plan. Later we can offer you solutions as your company needs.