The concept of women in senior positions is no longer a matter of equality; it also makes good business sense. A growing number of studies carried out on markets throughout the world, as well as the daily practices from the most successful companies, confirm that diversity benefits the workplace by fostering creativity and broader perspectives, and that companies with women in senior positions are rewarded in their income statements.
In Spain, despite the evidence and the undeniable progress in recent years, women continue to be underrepresented in senior management roles. This fact is particularly striking because according to a study performed by the consulting firm PwC and the Isotes platform, women hold 60 percent of university degrees in Spain and represent 45 percent of the job market. However, they only occupy 10 percent of the senior management positions.
The progress that has been made in women's access to education and the job market – which seemed unimaginable a few years ago – shows that we are on the right path. But there is a long way to go and we must remain focused and implement measures that promote women's leadership quickly and firmly.
The concept of diversity in senior management teams represents a clear competitive advantage. However, diversity applies to genders as well as companies' ability to hire varied profiles and create an inclusive setting that stimulates different ideas, multiple paths towards a single challenge and innovation through joint approaches.
One of the main barriers that women have faced is the ability to establish a work-life balance, which led to the general belief that women must sacrifice their family life in order to become successful executives. Not only has it been proven that this is a myth but it has also been confirmed that work-life balance is a genderless concept. Men and women must jointly face commitments and obligations outside of work, which means that we must reeducate and make an effort in how companies organize working schedules.
Our firm is committed to advance the issue of diversity in the top management, and therefore one of the objectives of LLORENTE & CUENCA´s Strategic Plan 2017-2019 is to create the necessary conditions for including more women in the company's senior management team. We will analyze and learn from the best practices of others. We will listen to our employees in order to understand their perspectives, aspirations, and frustrations. We are clearly committed to continuing along this path until we reach our goal.
The aim is clear but the challenge that lies ahead is daunting. Now is the time for active listening, gaining a better understanding of the barriers that exist in our companies that hinder the presence of women in senior positions, and finding the mechanisms to overcome those challenges. We must take advantage of all our skills and aptitudes to serve as a lever for creating a team that is more diverse, plural, and competitive.