The president of the Woman’s Week Foundation, Carmen Mª García, explains the plans and work underway in the recently constituted commission on Economy with Gender Vision that has created the municipal clusterMadrid Capital FinTech (MAD FinTech).
How do you face this challenge from the Foundation?
We face it from the knowledge, the experience and the need to integrate the gender vision in a transversal way in the business and financial ecosystem, in the ECONOMY.
The Foundationbrings more than ten years of experience dedicated to the exchange of needs and concerns: of both companies and top management, with a willingness and need for change.
In particular, I am looking forward to putting the talent of both women and men who have accompanied me on this journey at the service of the MAD FinTech cluster. They are experienced entrepreneurs and managers who have a lot to say.
What are the objectives of this Commission?
Include the vision of gender in the economy, business and finance and therefore in society. To look differently at customers and the relationship with them; but also to better understand and empower our own: workers, collaborators, franchisees, suppliers, etc.
There is no doubt that a country needs companies as an engine for change in society. If there is one thing that needs to change, and which we have been repeating ad nauseam for more than ten years, it is to recognise talent without discrimination and with the aim of continuous improvement, which is why the Commission is going to be an Observatory and critic in this respect.
We will look for a mechanism among the partners to address how the gender vision is taken into account in a transversal way.
In this health crisis that we are going through, it has been revealed how necessary it is to apply the gender perspective in a transversal way. Why is it still difficult to incorporate it into the world of business and the economy?
It is precisely with the aim of finding a solution to this problem that this Commission has been set up; but a priori several scenarios can be envisaged which respond to this complexity.
Culture and education are the first big problem. The society in which we live has a very friendly social face; but it hides a rather discriminatory reality in the roles of men and women.
Thirdly, the low visibility of women in the world of work as experts, as leaders… We women have had a hard time getting into the world of work and we have been tiptoeing through it so as not to disturb it, and there is still a significant gap. We have had to demonstrate, on many occasions, twice as much in order to be recognised.
Let us not forget either that the generation gap at the top of organisations also cushions change.
And, finally, let us remember a cross-cutting issue such as the lack of labour flexibility.
In 1997, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) already defined the concept of gender mainstreaming as “the process of assessing the implications for men and women of any planned action, be it legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels”. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality.
That same year, the enactment of the Treaty of Amsterdam broadened the notion of discrimination to include not only nationality and gender; but also race and ethnicity, religion and belief, age, disability and sexual orientation, and made it possible for the first time to address these issues not only on an individual basis, but also with a cross-cutting vision to cover multiple discriminations.
This committee will create the necessary mechanisms for opportunities and improvement in terms of competitiveness.
What are the main benefits that the gender vision brings to the company?
Competitiveness, because companies that guarantee equality in their organisation obtain better results. Companies that hire women in senior management positions are better able to serve consumer markets that are dominated by women. 80% of purchasing decisions are made by women and we cannot forget that.
Also effectiveness, as it is estimated that companies where three or more women hold senior executive positions record higher performance in all aspects of organizational effectiveness.
What actions or initiatives will the Commission take to achieve this?
The first of all that we have marked is the elaboration of a study in which we analyze the initial situation, necessary to contribute solutions and recommendations. We are going to rely on some of the consultants present in the Commission to help us produce this progress report and to invite new managers and company directors so that together we can propose the vectors of change that we will influence in all areas: political, social, business and communication.
Is it urgent to promote real transformations that go beyond the discursive?
It is urgent and necessary, we have been talking about the same thing for many years. Corporations are aware that they have to transform themselves, but they have not implemented real strategies beyond what the Equality Act requires or advises. Although they have not counted the losses or, better still, what they are not getting because they do not have a gender vision, they are losing competitiveness, talent, sales… It is necessary to take perspective and act, to leave the discourse and move on to action.
Is the Collaborative Economy more necessary than ever?
Of course, I am a great supporter of the Collaborative Economy. However, I believe that the business of such an economy has not yet been defined and that when it is regulated, many of the emerging startups will see their expectations diminished.
What profile of companies and experts can make up this commission?
All kinds of companies and experts belonging to the Madrid Capital FinTech (MAD Fintech) cluster Therefore, all those companies that want to join can contact us to find out about the different options.
* For more information on MAD FinTech’s Commission on Gender-Sensitive Economics, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org