The road to inclusive, diverse and fair leadership

The gender gap in the technology sector is a reality that we must not ignore.

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Sara Candela Esteban

Sara Candela Esteban

- Actualizado

Reading time: 3 min

Economic and social recovery is unfeasible if existing inequalities are not adequately addressed.  On the occasion of 8 March, International Women’s Day, we recall that one of the biggest challenges for industrial and technological companies is to boost female talent in operations management and in executive positions. The gender gap in the technology sector is a reality that we must not ignore.

A company commitment

At Telefónica we incorporate diversity management as a key element of our global strategy. We are convinced that fostering diversity in our teams and promoting an inclusive leadership style, in addition to responding to principles of social justice, offers very interesting opportunities: it allows us to attract and retain the best talent, foster innovation and get closer to a diverse and changing technology.

We want the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow, especially in the field of technology”, José María Álvarez Pallete

We are aware that to reduce the gender gap we must take a step forward. At Telefónica we are already on the way. We collaborate with programmes to increase the presence of young women in technical careers, addressing the shortage of women in STEM careers and in entrepreneurship. To this end, we promote equality in our sector with initiatives such as ‘Scale Up Women’ (Open Future), ‘Women and Engineering’, ‘#WomenHacker’, ‘Step into STEM’, and we participate in international competitions such as the ‘Technovation Challenge ’.

Further strengthening our commitment to equality-related policies and practices, Telefónica is included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index (GEI) 2022 for the fifth consecutive year. Its objective is to monitor the performance of companies committed to transparency in the presentation of gender data. In this area, Telefónica was most highly valued for setting diversity criteria in staff performance targets, representation of both genders in selection processes, training on bias, as well as the drive to break down gender barriers in the technology field.

Towards a common goal

Although Telefónica’s strategy for reducing the gender gap is working, we want to go further. We know that, to achieve effective equality between women and men, we cannot walk alone. It is in the interest of business and of Europe’s prosperity to better engage and involve the large pool of female talent.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the European Round Table, the association of CEOs and presidents of 60 of Europe’s largest industrial and technology companies, publishes its report to measure the performance of the voluntary targets achieved in this area. Participation in this annual initiative requires each organization to review its targets and report on progress on a year basis. In 2022, a total of 44 companies have already joined the initiative.

At Telefónica, we also set ourselves ambitious targets to surpass our performance every year. Compared to last year, we have increased the percentage of women in leadership positions by 1.6%. Compared to the rest of the world, Telefónica is above the average in the proportion of women in these positions, with 32.5% compared to 26.22%. However, we are not conformists.

Our targets for 2024 are to achieve 33% of management positions held by women and an adjusted gap of +/-1%.

It is our responsibility to build a path towards a more diverse, inclusive and just world.


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