“The most diverse organizations have a competitive advantage in their markets,” said Mirian Izquierdo, president of the Woman Forward Foundation during the presentation today of the ‘Report to promote the creation of value and equality in companies: proposals to move forward’, which has had the support of PROA and Deusto Business School, at whose headquarters the event was held in a mixed face-to-face and digital format.
The event, opened by Marta Aguilar, Director of Corporate Relations at Deusto Business School, also included a round table on effective equality management, moderated by Lucía Casanueva, partner and founder of PROA, and in which they participated as speakers Leire Gartzia, Professor of Leadership and Team Development at Deusto Business School; Laura González Molero, president of the Association for the Progress of Management; Ana Matarranz, Managing Director of Human Capital & Benefits at Howden Iberia, and Ernesto Weissmann, Managing Partner at Tandem Soluciones de Decision. Likewise, Susana Estudillos, director of the Business Club of the Woman Forward Foundation, presented the tools to advance ‘The business club for the management of equality’. Valvanuz Serna Ruiz, managing partner of PROA, has closed the day.
Mirian Izquierdo pointed out, during her speech, that the report was based on an investigation into whether diversity and inclusion improve the performance of organizations, which had to face several problems, such as correlation between causes and effects – “it is necessary to demonstrate causality, not the correlation ”, he stated-, or the form of measurement. He also explained that it was carried out “after spending a decade seeing how management committees barely improve 1% in diversity per year and the digital gender gap has been growing in recent years, with the consequent challenge for the Spanish STEM industry , in particular, for finding diverse profiles ”.
Likewise, it has revealed that during the investigation it was discovered that the most diverse organizations “are more innovative, stronger when it comes to anticipating changes in consumer needs and consumption patterns that make new products and services possible, potentially generating an advantage. competitive ”. And he has pointed out that the key to achieving both diversity and inclusion is committed leadership at all levels, “both in the front lines and in the middle levels”, something in which, in his opinion, organizations should invest ” time and effort ”.
Its solution to achieve these objectives is the measurement, advice, monitoring of results at all levels of the organization, having references in the business framework and sharing good practices, “especially in smaller companies”. In this sense, she recalled that “Lord Kelvin, inventor of the Kelvin scale for temperature measurement, stated that ‘what is not measured cannot be improved. What is not improved, is always degraded ‘, a phrase that could be applied to the presence of women in decision-making positions in companies, therefore, it is necessary to measure progress in a homogeneous, generalized and constant way to advance in equality”.
Thus, he has estimated that all of the above must be accompanied by the creation of an equality index for companies and an agile and effective management system to “know the reality of all companies, not only those of the Ibex 35, to be able to compare with global international indices and those of other countries in the European environment and comply with the recommendations of UN Women and W20 to collect and disseminate data on the economic situation of women, to which is added that a management system would allow companies to improve longitudinally in equality and to be able to set objectives automatically, in addition to comparing themselves with other companies to grow, attract and retain talent without gender ”.
Next, Lucía Casanueva asked the participants in the round table questions such as the effect of legislative changes in support of a system of equality in companies, the importance of good practices, what to do to achieve that equality or if gender influences decision making.
Laura González Molero positively valued the legislative changes on equality, but considered that they are not enough and that “it is not feasible” to provide global solutions for all companies, because they are different, to which Ana Matarranz added that what is important , but the how and why more, “because diversity contributes much more to organizations and society.” Ernesto Weissmann summarized that “more diversity, not just gender, is more extra richness in decision-making”. Leire Gartzia opined that “it is an issue that cannot be simplified” and that it is not so easy to manage diversity, for which different indicators are used.
Regarding the importance of good practices, González Molero said that it is important to look abroad and take ideas from outside, but that it is essential to design your own to create a culture within the company and be able to implement them successfully. Matarranz pointed out that the differences between sectors must be taken into account, that there must be a balance at all levels of the company and that it is essential to create references to encourage girls’ interest in STEM careers. Weissmann considered that “until now, good practices are very bad, because in society there is a stigma with women”, so it is necessary “to work the cultural in more depth” to break down barriers. Gartzia, for her part, agreed that it is necessary “a deeper change, rethink the system, analyze what the impact is” and take advantage of what already exists.
In order to advance in equality effectively, the president of the APD opted to advance in the educational aspect and the creation of attractive references, in addition to opening spaces for diversity to be shown naturally and reflected in society, “going from politically correct discourses to the real equality of opportunities to promote the best talent ”. Coinciding with this approach, the Howden Iberia representative also opted for the need for “men who are ambassadors” and women who are less demanding, fearless and with more self-confidence. The Tandem Soluciones Managing Partner highlighted the importance of roles, of communicating that diversity contributes, education and the generation of processes in organizations to generate models that allow “listening to the minority voice”. The professor at the University of Deusto pointed out that “not all references are valid” and that we are highly influenced by the context.
Regarding the influence of gender in decision-making, Laura González Molero warned that it is a mistake to generalize about decision-making by gender, “because it goes against diversity”, Ana Matarranz reiterated that “committees must be totally diverse and that is going to enrich ”, Ernesto Weissmann, that diversity has to be full and that the voice of women must be heard, and Leire Gartzia insisted that we must be careful about generalizing and that going too deep into this matter“ can be negative in itself ”.
After finishing the round table, Susana Estudillos, director of the Business Club for the Management of Equality of the Woman Forward Foundation, presented this useful tool to implement an equality management system in the organization, which will promote dialogue and awareness through the web platform. The objective is to achieve the strategic alignment of the entire organization, which allows achieving real and effective equality and positioning the organization as a benchmark within the framework of equality and sustainability, in a process of continuous improvement.
At the end of the event, Valvanuz Serna Ruiz highlighted the importance of talent management to get references and thus achieve true gender diversity.