‘Telefónica has been connecting people through technology for 100 years,’ Elena Parreño

Meet Elena Parreño, Head of Talent and Development. Discover her professional career and personal vision.

Meet Elena Parreño, Head of Talent and Development. Discover her professional career and personal vision.

Elena Parreño Turrión

Reading time: 5 min

How long have you been with Telefónica and what is your assessment of your time here?

I have just completed 11 years within Telefónica Spain. I started with a scholarship as a Business Partner in the People Division, where I was lucky enough to join the staff a year later. There, I had the opportunity to move through the different business areas we managed to get a more transversal perspective. In the following years, I was in different projects/areas such as Labour Relations and Talent Recruitment, where I spent my last 5 years.

In February of this year I was offered the possibility of leading the Talent and Development area of 3 companies in the Telefónica group: Telefónica Servicios Audiovisuales (TSA), Telefónica Broadcast Services (TBS) and Telefónica España Filiales (TEF) and I am in that position now.

My assessment of all this time is that I have had the good fortune to meet extraordinary people from different areas of the company who have been pillars in my development, both professionally and personally. In addition, this company offers you many opportunities to grow, such as great Talent Development Programmes, very relevant training and I would even highlight a valuable mentoring by an executive of the company that helped me to see things from a different perspective.

When you join a company like this you realise two things: one is that we love acronyms and the other is that you are part of a big blue family. I really couldn’t be prouder to work in a technology company for and at the service of people.

Is there any project at Telefónica that you feel particularly satisfied with or proud of?

The one I remember as the most challenging was the 360º evaluation of the managers of the Telco 3.0 Project when it was still a project. It was in April 2014, I was entrusted with the creation of the end-to-end evaluation process, which consisted of defining the methodology, planning the process, analysing the results, proposing action plans and preparing personalised reports for the 51 people evaluated. I remember it especially because I had only been with the company for a short time and they trusted me for such an important project. In fact, I was given an internal award for it, but the satisfaction of having made it possible was the most important thing.

In addition, another project that I am very proud of and that I cannot fail to mention was one that was more human, more Telefónica essence, which was the Employability Refugee Ukraine project in June 2022. Together with two other colleagues from Telefónica Spain’s Talent Recruitment Team, Fundación Telefónica and the Association of Volunteers for Ukraine, we embarked on this project to give employability workshops focused on Ukrainian women.

Not only did we design the content and the sessions, but we also had to rely on people to help with the simultaneous translation, both for online and face-to-face environments. It was a very exciting and, above all, very emotional project to be able to carry it out.

What do you think Telefónica has contributed to society?

Telefónica has been connecting people through technology for 100 years, which is saying a lot! Moreover, one of the best examples is in the case of the pandemic, where Telefónica went out of its way to facilitate in every possible way the connection of people, entertainment and other things in the situation we were in (among other things). And this commitment extends to the business level, promoting digitalisation in small and medium-sized companies; and at the social level, in groups at risk of social exclusion, vulnerable groups, etc.

Where do you see Telefónica in the future?

A leading company that reinvents itself every day, that challenges itself and looks to the future with enthusiasm and without losing sight of the fact that people are the most important, strengthening this ethical and responsible approach to new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. Moreover, with a team full of a great sense of belonging and at the service of people, we have a little heart and blue blood and we will continue to have it in the future!

Could you live without a mobile phone?

If I said yes, I could live without a mobile phone, I would not be completely honest. The telephone gives us connection to the people around us, information of any kind, news, a work tool, social networks… and living without it today would be a step backwards.

What I do know for sure is that I implement strategies to limit its use, for example, I have all notifications removed from the main social applications except for calls, from 11pm at night the phone goes into sleep mode and only if certain phones call me does it ring. I also do the same with social networks, I usually limit myself to 1 or 2 views of less than 10 minutes on them, except LinkedIn, which I spend more time on for work, although I have it scheduled 3 times a day, 5/10min maximum.

In short, all the strategies we put in place to be independent in this digital world (telephone, RRSS…) that has no end, the better we will live, so it is in our hands to live better!

Help us to solve one of the great enigmas of humanity: the potato omelette… With onion or without onion?

As my grandfather used to say ‘there is nothing written about tastes’, although I prefer the potato omelette with onion because it gives it more flavour. In fact, I’m part of #TeamOnion, in fact I’m part of #TeamOnionFromMom, because more than one person on the phone has tried my mother’s omelette and it should be banned because it’s so good. I invite you to try it!

Propose a crazy idea that you would like Telefónica to do for its centenary

A crazy idea is to go on an excursion in the mountains or in another outdoor space (because of the volume we are) where we can all get together to celebrate.

Nominate a colleague to appear in this section.


In #Thespanishomelettething tag section we interview Telefónica’s employees on a variety of topics, while trying to solve one of humanity’s greatest dilemmas.

The Spanish omelette ranking







Get into the ranking! We want to know about you – tell us your story!
* This interview is aimed at Telefónica’s employees


Contact our communication department or requests additional material.

Telefónica Centenary logo Celebrate with us the Telefónica Centenary