The barriers that prevent women from reaching managerial positions in Spanish companies, far from diminishing as one might think in view of the social boom of equality, they increase. At least this is what most of the executives consulted by Esade Business School to develop its third 'Gender Monitor'. 46% of the respondents consider that difficulties to conciliate grow (compared to 27% last year), which perceive the wage gap also (from 33% in 2017 to 41% in 2018) and, in addition, there is a growing lack of recognition of their tasks by companies (up from 26% to 34%). The difficulty to reconcile professional and personal life and the scarce identification of women with the values of the organization for which they work are the main obstacles for the promotion of females to senior management.
The reasons that justify this setback have to do with the companies have become comfortable, in the opinion of Patricia Cauqui, director of Esade's Promociona program and author of the report. Instead of implementing structured plans to break the glass ceiling, organizations continue with the measures they implemented years ago without monitoring or incorporating more.
The growth of gender barriers is also influenced by the fact that the top management of companies is less involved than before in promoting equality. According to the 500 directives consulted to prepare the study (which form or were part of the Promociona program), in the last year this involvement has gone from 41% to 34%. And this despite the fact that many organizations ensure that gender balance is part of their strategy. Something that almost half of the executives believe that it serves fundamentally to improve the public image of companies and little else. 63% believe, however, that it is not a priority for the company.
"We are far from having equal opportunities", said Eugenia Bieto, former general director of Esade, in the presentation this morning of the study. And although flexible schedules offered by half of the companies in the sample to achieve it are the measure considered a star by the women surveyed, positive discrimination in the selection processes or internal quotas are not even present in 10% of the organizations .
Extend paternity leave to eight and 16 weeks, as the Government intends in 2019 and 2021, there is no incentive at all in corporations, according to 35% of women. And it is fundamental, according to Cauqui, because it has a high impact on the career of women in management. "But for many permissions that the Executive introduces, if within the organization it is frowned upon that the managers take the permits, they will not be caught," he adds.
The conclusions drawn by the 'Esade Gender Monitor' of 2018 is that the measures that companies have introduced to achieve that women ascend to managerial positions are not enough. It is necessary to arbitrate new plans and introduce indicators that allow measuring their results, according to Cauqui.