The number of directors in Catalonia falls again

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Every year the number of women occupying management positions in Catalan companies decreases. In 2023 alone, the female presence in senior positions has fallen six percentage points compared to the figures before the pandemic (from 39% to 33%), according to data from the gender equality report presented this Monday by the Women's Observatory , Business and Economy of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce. “The results are clearly related to the pandemic, which has increased the need for family care, a task that always falls on women,” said Carme Poveda, director of the institution. The 33% is “especially worrying” if it is qualified with two other factors: female talent (qualified and highly trained women) has increased in recent years but the number of female directors has fallen. On the other hand, the female presence is growing in the “immediately lower positions”—of an intellectual nature. “This is what we call the glass ceiling,” concluded Poveda. The race towards equality has slowed down. In the last eight years, the study on gender indicators shows that every year there are fewer women in management positions in Catalonia. The number of businesswomen on boards of directors and boards of directors of companies moves along the same lines—32% and 30%, respectively. The downward trend since 2015 contrasts with the increase in the female presence in technical and intellectual positions close to management. The Observatory explains that this is a direct consequence of the glass ceiling that has increased in the last three years due to the increase in demand for care in the family home, which continues to be their “responsibility”: women have asked for the 86% of leaves to care for family members or children in the last three years. The glass ceiling is not indestructible. The way to do it? Legal measures and quotas that promote equal representation. Since the approval of the equality law in Catalonia in 2015, the number of female mayors and councilors has increased ten percentage points—from 18% to 28% and from 35% to 45%, respectively—and during the plenary sessions of the Parliament, more Half of the voices are female. “The most alarming thing about the decrease in the number of female directors is that female talent is increasing and so is the presence of women in the labor market,” the Observatory has stressed. In the last year, almost 60% of university degrees belong to women who, in addition, are close to parity in the labor market where they represent 48%. But quantity does not imply quality and Catalan female talent is being lost amid precariousness. Three out of every four women hired are part-time and receive less remuneration: in Catalonia men earn almost three euros more per hour of work. The Observatory analyzes the salary gap from factors: the lack of promotion in the job with lower salaries, the very fact of being a woman (which acts as a handicap to ask for more salary) and, mainly, sectoral specialization: women They work in market sectors—education, health and social—with lower salaries than industrial or business sectors. Young women continue not to choose scientific careers and the number of female workers in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector does not increase either. Inequality in the technological field remains stagnant. And this data is especially worrying because it is a growing sector with high demand for workers and where more wealth is generated. This situation and the wage gap feed a reality: “poverty has a woman's face,” Poveda denounced. More than half of the people at risk of poverty are women (54%): eight out of ten single-parent families are mothers with children and the elderly at risk of exclusion are widows dependent on a meager pension. The increase in life expectancy of women—which has reached 86 years—is one of the few optimistic data, “we want life expectancy to increase but to live with dignity,” the institution has stated, and the only The way to do this is to “move, speak and give visibility”. You can follow EL PAÍS Catalunya on Facebook and x, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletterWhat affects you most is what happens closest. So you don't miss anything, subscribe.Subscribe