8-M | The UPCT and the businesswomen ask for more education in equality to reverse the imbalance in managerial positions

‘Women leaders: for an equal future in the world of Covid-19’ is the theme that the United Nations chose this year to vindicate on the International Day of Working Women and on which researchers and businesswomen linked to the Polytechnic University of Cartagena in a colloquium on the occasion of 8-M in which they have agreed to bet on education in equality, the increase in the co-responsibility of tasks and care at home, and the references of female leadership as the keys to equate the presence of women between management positions in the company and in the public sector.

Of the more than 19,000 executives in the Region of Murcia, only 24.54% are women, and that proportion has not only not grown in recent years, but has also declined, according to a Master’s Thesis directed by the UPCT researcher Ino Martínez. “The figure is far from the recommendations of the European Parliament and the Law of Effective Equality between Women and Men, which advise that the representation of each sex is not less than 40%,” says the teacher in this debate between women in which The president of the Cartagena employers’ association (Coec), Ana Correa, the president of the Association of Business Women (Amep), Nuria Castillo, and the director of the Polytechnic School of Higher Technical Engineering, Arantxa Aznar, also participated.

“The first thing is to educate in equality, but changes take a long time to reach society and much longer to companies,” says the president of COEC. «We ourselves have to put ourselves in value, because the capacities are exactly the same and even it is proven that women better manage work teams, with a more horizontal treatment in which better decisions are made ”, he highlights.

“More measures are necessary to help reconcile,” claims Nuria Castillo, recalling that professional stoppages and reductions in working hours to care for family members increase the wage gap between women and men, pointing as an example the remuneration supplements that men enjoy almost exclusively due to their greater time availability as they do not share household chores equitably. “We need effective policies to achieve real equality,” adds the president of AMEP Cartagena.

“I can’t, I have a child”

As an example of how family obligations limit the potential of women, Arantxa Aznar presented her own case, in which she answered ‘I can’t, I have a six-year-old boy’ when they asked her to lead the UPCT School of Agronomists. Y barriers imposed by gender archetypes, like when he raised to his surroundings that he wanted to study Engineering and they told him that it was a boys’ degree. “It is essential to educate in equality from the earliest ages,” he says. “From the first moment, we cannot give excavators to boys and cookers to girls,” Ana Correa agrees.

The need for references is another of the mainstays for the change that these four women demand. “I was very comfortable in my company,” recalls Correa, “but women cannot miss opportunities such as taking command of the Confederation,” he reflects. «As there are hardly any references, the girls do not even consider that they can become managers», Agrees Aznar.

«In Cartagena we now have a rector, a mayor and a deputy mayor, a president of the Port Authority and a president of the employer’s association, we are the regional reference in female leadership and we hope that it will have an effect both in the present and in the future so that more women are encouraged to be in decision-making positions, “adds Ino Martínez.

Bad mothers?

“When I got pregnant I cried, not because I did not want to be a mother, but because I did not know if I was going to be able to carry on with the company,” recalled Nuria Castillo, adding that “one month after birth my son was already doing taxes with me. «You always have the feeling of being a bad mother for not giving enough time, when Equality education is also seeing your mother working», Remarks in the same vein the director of Agrónomos.

«I sent my first research article to a high-impact magazine two days before giving birth and during maternity leave I have continued to write others, but it ends up noticing that you do not rest well and It is in those years of early upbringing that the research careers of women and men diverge», Argues Ino Martínez. “Women have a value that they must demonstrate by fighting three times more than a man,” concludes the president of the Cartagena businesswomen and professionals association, Nuria Castillo.

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