This is how the role of women in the workplace has evolved

In terms of equality, there is still a long way to go, as well as new initiatives to promote.

31 May 2022 Tuesday 22:05
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This is how the role of women in the workplace has evolved

In terms of equality, there is still a long way to go, as well as new initiatives to promote. The book Women in different sectors of activity in Spain. Evolution and leadership, promoted by the WaWa-We Are We Add women's network and the EUNSA publishing house of the University of Navarra, collects the reflections written by professional women with experience in multiple fields of activity on the evolution, development and current state of the role of women in Spain in very diverse sectors.

The book shows the analysis prepared and coordinated by the researchers Silvia Carrascal Domínguez and Laura Fernández Castro, from an interdisciplinary perspective and based on reports, good practices and popular science articles. Throughout the text, data is presented that helps to identify the challenges faced by women in each sector. Thus, readers will learn about the role of women in areas such as public administration and politics, the judiciary, the energy sector, transport and science, among others.

For Domínguez and Fernández, this publication tries to provide an analysis of reality and can be a good starting point to deepen the reflection and debate that is taking place in society. "The main value is to add and add value to other initiatives that are being carried out by institutions, people and public bodies to promote transformation and change and ensure that women can be free to choose their professional path," they say.

Through the 14 chapters of more than 27 authors that the publication contains, readers will identify a significant increase in the participation and presence of women in society, both economically and politically, as well as socially and culturally. "The increase is remarkable, but it is very important to analyze the data, to review the background and the factors that are directly related to the change, and this is precisely the focus of the book," they point out.

Spain continues to make progress in gender diversity in management positions, with significant advances in the number of female managers compared to other countries in the European Union. However, women are 51% of the population, 58% of new university graduates, but occupy only 20% of the management committees and 30% of the boards of directors.

In fact, one of the most outstanding aspects that caught the attention of the researchers is the data that emerges from the analysis of the Global Gender Gap Index since 2006, from the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 of the World Economic Forum. “The study, which evaluates the evolution of the gap in 156 countries and in four dimensions (economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment), indicates that, in 2021, the average distance to parity is 68%, a 0.6 less than in 2020. This would mean that it would take 135.6 years to close the gender gap”, the researchers explain.

In that sense, “a very important source of this distance between women and men is underrepresentation in the labor market. With the current rate of progress, it would take more than 267.6 years to reach parity”, state Domínguez and Fernández. By extracting data like these and capturing the reality of women in the sectors studied, "proposals can be formulated to reinforce the active role of women in society and guarantee the future of this process of change," they point out.

The authors have wanted to make "a special mention to some pioneering women and referents who, in difficult times and throughout history, have laid the foundations to guarantee a greater presence and visibility of women in society and in public life in the present”. "What has surprised us the most is the number of leading women who have led projects of impact and transformation in Spanish society and who do not have the social recognition they deserve," say Carrascal and Fernández.

Among them, Ángela Ruiz Robles stands out, a teacher who patented a mechanical book in 1949 to facilitate the learning of her students. “A revolutionary idea for education at the time that would have made it possible to create a first e-book but that no one wanted to materialize”, they affirm. Another referent is the writer Emilia Pardo Bazán, the introducer of naturalism in Spain and her precursor in her ideas on women's rights and feminism. "She claimed the education of women as something fundamental and she dedicated an important part of her public performance to defend it," she says.

Despite the clear advances from the first steps of women in the labor market at the end of the 19th century, through the massive incorporation of the 70s to the present, the book highlights the need to continue promoting equality. Because, as stated in the prologue by the First Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, "we need to normalize the presence of women in economic activity and that their participation in the economic decisions of any importance cease to be news. sector".



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