Best Practice – Women’s Leadership (Telefónica)
Because Telefónica is a company with a presence in 106 countries and more than 125,000 employees globally, diversity strengthens its competitivity, which is why it has taken on the challenge for 2020 to have 30% of its executive positions (globally and locally) held by women, and reduce unconscious bias through targeted workshops (locally).
An ongoing process committed to human rights is indispensable for Telefónica’s success, especially given the diversity of challenges and opportunities around human rights in the countries where the company operates, and for the development of technology that makes human rights risks and opportunities even more significant for the sector.
Telefónica is committed to respect for human rights internationally recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), International Labor Organization, the eight core conventions on fundamental human rights, and Convention 169 on the rights of indigenous populations, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
As a member of the Global Compact since 2002, the company has also taken on a commitment to respect and protect human rights in keeping with its 10 basic principles. Furthermore, it respects the framework established in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Derechos Humanos: Compromiso Telefónica (Human Rights: Telefónica’s Commitment).
The company implements recruitment policies that request that selection panels always include men and women, and incorporates teams such as Women in Leadership, geared only to women in leadership positions, experts, management and mid-level management, with the aim of providing them with a comprehensive guide for their professional development.
Contributions of the “Women in Leadership” Initiative
- Inclusive practices for women were seen positively by the entire corporation, and currently women participate in hiring and promoting processes, whereas in the past it was thought that certain positions were exclusively held by men. Men acknowledged women’s contributions and learned to coexist with women’s leadership, while traditionally the corporation had more men employees than women.
- The results obtained are the product of a comprehensive internal hiring and promotion model that includes training processes, which is what makes it a comprehensive model.
- 4% of the payroll at Telefónica in Guatemala are women (111 out of 437 employees) and there are two women managers in local leadership (Commercial Television, Cable TV and Customer Service), out of a total of 10 managers.
- In Guatemala, 54 women are in leadership positions, out of 183 total in the Central American region.
- Telefónica Guatemala has demonstrated improved diversity indicators, increasing by 22% in December 2017 to June 2018 in terms of the percentage of women leaders.
- 12% of the total payroll (men and women) took the workshop on reducing unconscious bias, including 50% of the women on payroll.
- Vacancies filled in 2018 included mixed selection panels of men and women. This could have had an impact on increased participation of women in the selection panels.
- “What’s important is that Telefónica believes in women, because leadership is usually a man’s thing. One example that comes to mind that inspires admiration is an employee that was previously in Human Resources and is now overseeing operations in the country. This example shows that we can arrive to fill those positions and I’m pleased to work for a company where men and women are equal, they are not treated differently and there is no discrimination. It’s also important that as women, we accept that we are important, that we are not weak, and that we focus on what we want to do.” María Isabel Satz Martín, Back Office and Infrastructure Manager (IT Camp), Telefónica Guatemala.
- “When I started working in the commercial area of Telefónica, everyone were men and sometimes I felt that they looked down on me, that they didn’t take my opinion into account. They thought the commercial side was more for men. Once they told me that I was “snobby” because I was feminine. Nonetheless, dressing more feminine does not mean that I can’t do my job well. So, I had to build my confidence and demonstrate my abilities, and then once I became more specialized, I was promoted. Now things are more balanced, we treat each other equally, we work as a team, and they take me into consideration when decisions are made. Now I feel confident and sure of myself when I negotiate with other companies.” Sharon Floridalma Martínez Salguero, Head of Trade Marketing.