Happy International Women’s Day! Today we want to pay tribute to women in the industrial sector and recognize their vital role in innovation, leadership and progress in the industry.
Paz Nievas, Purchasing Manager; Eva García, from the Human Resources Department; Eva Huete, Finance Manager; and Teresa Hernández, from the Finance Department explain their views on the role of women in the industry and the challenges they face in their careers. Their views and experiences will help us better understand how we can work together to promote gender equality in a sector where there is still much to be done.
- What role do you see Women’s Day playing in industrial sectors?
P. N: In my opinion, it represents the slow but steady progress towards equal opportunities in all sectors. Women are very present in sectors such as education or health, but the presence in industrial environments is still scarce, except perhaps in the fashion or pharmaceutical sectors.
E. G: Unfortunately, the industrial sector is quite masculinised. Less than 25% of the workforce is female. That is why we should be proud to be part of this percentage.
E. H: In the end, things are about people, not men and women, and so skills and abilities have to be valued. This shows that women are and will increasingly form part of the business fabric. The reason: our skills and abilities, not because we are men or women.
T. H: It represents a fundamental and very important role.
- Based on your work experience, what professional advice would you give to other women?
P. N: For young women starting out in their careers, I would advise them to focus on their careers, whatever sector they are in. Lifelong learning and technological curiosity should be the path to female empowerment. The future will be in the hands of talent, regardless of gender.
E. H: If you want to, you can get there. You have to believe in yourself and show what you are worth. Even if it costs us more, if we make it a little easier for the next generation, it’s worth it.
T. H: You have the opportunity to level the scales and get management and board positions, it’s only a matter of time before they keep fighting.
- Do you think SEBIR’s values of innovation, responsibility and constant improvement are important for the modernisation of certain more traditional parts of the industry?
P. N: Obviously these values are important for the whole of society, and women represent 50% of that. SEBIR has evolved significantly in this respect. Eleven years ago, when I started, there were six women in the whole company: two in the financial department, one in quality, one in purchasing and two in the commercial department. From then until today, we have doubled in number. Today there is already a presence in other departments such as IT or Technical Management. The female representation in several departments is practically the same as that of the male gender, and some departments are made up solely of women. And the most important thing is that it is a normalised fact. Therefore, it perfectly describes our evolution as a company.
E. H: They are obviously important, and it is obvious when you look at the evolution of our workforce.
T. H: Yes, they are, and we must continue to work along these lines.
- How do you see the future regarding the role of women in sectors such as industry, whether in different areas such as administration, sales, engineering…?
P. N: In my opinion, women have to learn some things that men are good at: creating our own professional networks and being represented or directly present in the places where decisions are made. It seems that nowadays only brilliant women make it to top positions. Examples are Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde or Ursula von der Leyen. Men, in general, are not held to such standards of perfection or exclusive dedication. My conclusion, therefore, is that we have to be present, even if it is difficult, even if we have to work harder than our colleagues, but little by little we will succeed in making gender irrelevant and we will leave a good legacy for the next generations.
E. G: It is obvious that it is necessary to promote equality at work. It is said that companies that do so sell 20% more on average. Moreover, it has been proven that these companies, apart from being fair, are also more efficient. Women should be encouraged to develop professionally in industry: in the areas of production, logistics, quality… not only in the administrative area and, at the same time, it is necessary for employers to widen the range of opportunities for women.
E. H: The incorporation of women into the labour market in all kinds of positions is evident, and the search for talent means that being a man or a woman is diluted. As I said before, let’s talk about people. For me that is equality. Let’s talk about people. Neither positive nor negative discrimination.
T. H: I see it as slow, but it will come, and even more so now with the new law. I hope it will be applied from now on.