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According to reports, the integration of women in Spanish boards of directors is stagnating

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MADRID, August 9 (EUROPA PRESS) –

The integration of women on Spanish boards is stagnating, according to the V report “The Contribution of Spanish Companies to the Sustainable Development Goals. Tensions in the transition to sustainability’, prepared by the ESADE Chair in Leadership and Sustainability.

Thus, this work shows that the post-pandemic socio-economic context is characterized as a “fragmented, fragile and increasingly unstable environment” due to the geopolitical disruptions of the war in Ukraine, while the percentage of women in the enterprise has declined, another variable highlighted in the literature to show a positive correlation with sustainability governance: “Women represent 37% of the workforce in the analyzed global companies, a figure that has remained stable over the past 5 years. That proportion drops to 27% for women CEOs and 22% for women in managerial positions.”

Speaking to Europa Press, Anna María González, project leader of the Chair of Leadership and Sustainability at Esade and co-author of the report, recalls that the Equality Act of 2007 promoted the goal of a balanced number of men and women, but did not have this on a more mandatory basis Base done, although acknowledging that the biggest boost came from the CNMV’s specific recommendations to reach 30% of female directors in 2020 and the present update to reach 40% of women by the end of 2022.

“The result uncovered in the report (27% female directors) may explain an initial push and will to achieve goals, but also the difficulty in reversing these patterns ingrained in the organisations, particularly when it comes to replacing representative members of the board and not to expand its composition,” he admits.

Added to this, in his opinion, is the complexity of reconciling work and family life, which companies mention in general but do not describe in detail, or other elements of work culture such as the preference for face-to-face training (“that teleworking could change”) and “informal – but influential – discussions outside of the work environment,” he clarifies.

“There is enough talent to achieve parity in senior positions, but a change in mindset, sensitivity and prioritization of that perspective is needed to be implemented effectively. The introduction of corrective measures in the appointment of new members, voluntary positions of non-participation in spaces where there are no women, or incorporation into the company statutes could be examples of this,” says the expert.

AN OPPORTUNITY COST

This V-report, prepared by the SDG Observatory in collaboration with the “La Caixa” Foundation, again highlights the motto “Leave no one behind” of the 2030 Agenda and mentions that this does not only refer to a moral obligation, but to Opportunity costs when different profiles are not integrated into organizations: “It is imperative for companies to combat any kind of discrimination based on gender, gender identity and/or sexual identity in order to ensure equal opportunities and the existence of balanced governing bodies. This balance is maintained enable companies to exercise effective sustainability governance in their contribution to sustainable development.”

In this sense, the Esade expert recalls that with the 2018 law on non-financial information and diversity, for the first time companies must comply with the obligation to disclose their diversity policy, ie equal opportunities, non-discrimination in recruitment, or non-discrimination in salary remuneration.

“It’s a concept that encompasses gender issues as well as issues of disability, race or religion. The presence of different voices in the decision-making bodies favors the presentation of multiple visions to analyze the impact of the decisions taken and the counterparts to incorporate or not to incorporate this perspective. The added value of diversity can lie in including people from different backgrounds, profiles and backgrounds, expanding the scope of discussion and the contribution of companies to society,” estimates González.

In his opinion, the cost to companies of failing to act can be manifested in the loss of talent and human capital, reputation with their customers and the trust that citizens place in the private sector as an engine of transformation, particularly with regard to sustainability. .

GENDER EQUALITY POLICY

The V report “The Contribution of Spanish Companies to the Sustainable Development Goals. The tensions in the transition to sustainability” shows that the proportion of companies that communicate about equality policies is decreasing moderately.

“Compared to 2020, there have been some improvements in terms of companies reporting data on equal opportunity and diversity in the workforce. While in 2020 89% did so and 32% of the total did so ambitiously, in 2021 90% of companies reported and up to 36% of the total did so ambitiously. However, the data from companies reporting discrimination in hiring has deteriorated slightly. We see that in 2021 43% of companies report in general and only 4% do in detail (in both cases 2 points below 2020),” he continues.

At the same time, it is claimed that the report on pay discrimination is deteriorating slightly and in 2021 39% of companies refer to this type of policy intentionally, 10 points below 2020, while the percentage that did so ambitiously increased from 6% to 5% increases %.

“It is likely that the decline in the quantity and quality of the report is due to the sum of two factors: a change in reporting priorities that has led to companies offering less information about these policies than they did last year, and then the formation of new companies in the sample, so it’s possible that since these are companies reporting for the first time this year, they did so with lower quality,” he concludes.


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