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SUSTAINABILITY| 08.03.2022

Best practices in gender diversity at MAPFRE

ANASTASIA DE LAS PEÑAS

Anastasia de las Peñas Quintana

 

 

Gender equality refers to equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for women and men. It is not intended to homogenize but to recognize diversity. 

We live in a diverse society and therefore diversity has to be very present in the company’s values if we want to be connected to society and provide the best service to our customers.  Therefore, working for gender equality is not only a matter of social justice but also of business competitiveness.

At MAPFRE, we value diversity, and we work for inclusion

At MAPFRE we have a Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy and a Diversity Strategy called Inclusion for sustainable growth, based on the idea that diversity is an opportunity for sustainable growth, representing more than just an area that the company must manage.

Our actions to make advances in equality

MAPFRE promotes the creation of Women’s Leadership Networks in the main countries in which it operates with the aim of developing initiatives that contribute to advancing equality in the company and, specifically, to increase the presence of women in positions of responsibility. 

Among other activities, the Women’s Leadership Network has promoted the Leadership Conversations, open talks with leading women in their respective fields to discuss the role of women in relevant areas such as business, the media, the third sector, science and the civil service. 

At MAPFRE we ensure that the principle of equal opportunities is present in all people management processes.  For example, in selection and mobility processes, we use no personal data that are not relevant in assessing the value of the candidates for the position, and we aim to ensure that the final shortlists always include people of the gender less represented in the position; we analyze remuneration to correct any salary differences detected; we carry out communication and awareness campaigns; we have a Women’s Leadership Development Program and we offer equality training and training resources available to the entire workforce through our Corporate University. 

We gave visibility to our commitment to gender equality by signing the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles in 2020.  In addition, we have been recognized as a company committed to gender equality by being included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index in 2021 and 2022 (GEI: Global Gender-Equality Index) for our gender policies and practices.  This index provides investors with transparent and valuable information on the gender diversity management of listed companies.  We are also one of the 30 Spanish companies ranked in the Gender Equality Index established by Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) which recognizes the work of listed companies that are on the way to achieving parity in their governing bodies. 

MAPFRE S.A. has the Equality in Business seal awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Equality, which recognizes companies that develop equality policies in the workplace. Since 2012 we have also had the EFR seal (Family Responsible Company) awarded by the Másfamilia Foundation with the endorsement of the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030. 

We work to influence externally.  As partners of the Spanish Network of the UN Global Compact, we take part in the Target Gender Equality program, a global movement to accelerate action related to SDG 5 Gender equality.  In addition, since 2018, we have been part of ClosinGap, a cluster of twelve organizations formed with the aim of analyzing the opportunity cost for the economy and society of the persistence of the different gender gaps and promoting social transformation to achieve equality.  The companies that make up ClosinGap have shared around 300 best practices that have been collected in a tool kit that has been made available to companies, public authorities and citizens as a new working tool to help roll out actions aimed at closing gender gaps across the economy and society. 

Through these actions and others, we seek to strengthen our contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality).

The great challenges in society

We speak of the glass ceiling, the invisible barrier that prevents women from accessing positions of power in organizations.  And there is also talk of the sticky floor , which refers to the social pressure felt by women to take on as their own the responsibilities of caring for family members and household chores, which pushes them to work double shifts (outside and inside the home) and prevents them from developing their full work and personal potential, or even, in some cases, from entering the labor market. Both should be eliminated. 

Public authorities, educational institutions, families and companies should promote education in values of respect and equality, continue to work on raising awareness and eliminating unconscious biases, so that motherhood and work-life balance do not have an impact on women’s professional development, in promoting co-responsibility, in creating inclusive work environments that promote the development of talent based on merit without gender labels, and in the promotion of STEM careers, so that on the basis of equal opportunities, nothing prevents people, women or men, from developing personally and professionally. 

As companies, we are aware of our capacity to impact and transform society and of the responsibility that this entails.  We must continue leading, establishing alliances and, hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, we can stop talking about these issues because it will mean that they have been overcome.