Sonia Ortega, general director of the group Hijas de Francisco Ortega and Ortega Twins, companies dedicated to the food sector, has been selected for her career, strategic vision, capacity for innovation and transformative leadership as the winner of the Canary Islands Territorial Directorate of the 'CaixaBank Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022', which recognize the talent and professional excellence of businesswomen in Spain, and promote networks of contacts between leading businesswomen in the world.
The award-winning businesswoman leads the management of the family business with more than 20 years of experience at the head of the group, which has established itself as a benchmark in the food distribution sector in the southeast of Gran Canaria with six Spar brand establishments.
After learning of this recognition, Sonia Ortega highlighted the importance of the family character for her company: "The role that we, the daughters, have played professionally and in business, fostering the succession in a creative way, with great enthusiasm and imagination, disciplined and consistent way, overcoming our own fears of not feeling recognized or empowered enough to lead.”
The businesswoman has also influenced the changes that have been decisive in giving an important turn to the trajectory of her business group and her commitment to promoting an innovative and entrepreneurial culture in the face of such a changing landscape, "which has required immediate adaptation and making complex decisions for each situation”.
"We love challenges," Ortega stressed, adding that "in our case, we have also successfully managed, but with a lot of effort, to reconcile business and family life, making both facets compatible and putting value on what we enjoy And it makes us happy."
Sonia Ortega, due to her status as territorial winner, will be part of the 'CaixaBank Women Entrepreneurs Community', a virtual community operating through a private space on LinkedIn, which is configured as a platform to share knowledge, ideas and experiences, and a meeting point to establish professional links between the group of award-winning managers.
The Community, which already has more than 60 members, also offers access to exclusive experiences, such as forums, debates, conferences and national and international events, with which it wants to contribute to the development and leadership of women in the field of business.
For Juan Ramón Fuertes, territorial director of CaixaBank in the Canary Islands, "the 'CaixaBank Women in Business Awards', which are celebrating their sixth edition this year, have been consolidated in recent years by their commitment to business excellence and the promotion of equality of opportunities and diversity, fundamental pillars for the entity. Like every year, we are proud to recognize the professional career and leadership capacity of these women leaders."
After the territorial phase, the jury of the awards, made up of a group of directors and executives from CaixaBank, will choose the national winner, who will be one of the Spanish representatives in the international IWEC awards, succeeding Inés Juste, president of the Juste Group ; Rocío Hervella, founder and CEO of Prosol; Arancha Manzanares, Vice President of Ayesa; Lina Mascaró, president of Grupo Mascaró; and Pilar Martínez-Cosentino, Vice President of the Cosentino Group, all of them national winners of past editions of the 'CaixaBank Women in Business Awards'.
The IWEC Awards
The International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), headquartered in New York, is a global network of leading businesswomen in their sector, who support company ownership, and who cooperate globally through chambers of commerce and business organizations with the aim of connecting and developing female leadership.
Every year, within the framework of its Annual Conference, the IWEC awards are given in order to recognize and support women entrepreneurs from all over the world. Among other aspects, the IWEC awards aim to increase the visibility of women entrepreneurs, so that they can play an important and decisive part in the development of the global economy of the 21st century.
After two years of conferences in virtual format, this year the IWEC awards are scheduled to be presented in Madrid from November 13 to 15, in a meeting that will bring together great personalities from the global business world.
Since its creation in 2007, IWEC has awarded 460 businesswomen with a presence in 47 countries. The companies led by these businesswomen generate 295,416 jobs and have an aggregate turnover of over 41,000 million dollars.
Wengage, CaixaBank's commitment to equality
Diversity, meritocracy, equal opportunities and recognition of talent are some of the pillars of CaixaBank's corporate culture. Under these premises, it works with the commitment to be a benchmark for its employees, promoting inclusion and participation and promoting projects that promote equality both in the company and in society as a whole. In fact, CaixaBank has 41.3% women in management positions and 40% women on the Board of Directors, one of the highest percentages in the sector.
CaixaBank has the Wengage diversity program, a transversal project developed by people from all areas of the entity based on meritocracy and the promotion of equal opportunities, which works to promote and visualize gender, functional and generational diversity. Wengage includes internal measures to promote flexibility and conciliation, to make diversity visible and to reinforce the role of women, with training programs or female mentoring plans, through which the entity's directors advise other professionals in the development of your professional career.
Wengage also develops external initiatives for clients and society, promoting diversity and equal opportunities in three areas of action: leadership and entrepreneurship, innovation and education, and sports.
In addition, CaixaBank has an Equality Plan to promote the principles of equal opportunities and diversity in work teams, promote the presence of women in managerial positions and reinforce measures to reconcile personal and professional life. It includes, for example, the gender perspective in management development programs and in selection and training processes, and encourages teleworking and flexibility.
CaixaBank is a member of the international Target Gender Equality program and the Women's Empowerment Principles of the United Nations; the Voluntary Agreement with the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality More women; and the Diversity Charter, to promote equal opportunities and anti-discrimination measures.
In addition, since 2018, CaixaBank has adhered to the EJE&CON Code of Good Practices for Talent Management and Improving the Company's Competitiveness, committing itself to promoting the presence of women in management positions. It is also part of the STEAM Alliance for female talent "Niñas en pie de Ciencia", an initiative led by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to promote STEAM vocations in girls and young women.
Thanks to this commitment, CaixaBank is among the top five companies in the world in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index 2022.