Monday, November 28, 2016

Girls; we can have it all! (want we can not is to do all ...)

More gender equality within the business sector and a reduction of the gender pay gap can only be sustainably realised if companies follow a comprehensive approach including corporate strategy, management, operational implementation by business units and HR work organisation and monitoring, said António Ramalho, CEO of Novo Banco last Thursday November 24, at Universidade Católica.

Key-note speaker at the conference "Liderança Feminina" (with an agenda aimed at inspiring the next generation of executives with experiences&advices from professionals with solid careers and leadership), António Ramalho made a review of the last 30 years, underlining that in Portugal, women represent more than half of the total population, graduate high school at a higher rate than men and hold domain in all areas of study except engineering and industry ... still, despite that, the country ranks poorly when it comes to corporate sector, as very few women hold top management positions in companies.

Diversity continues to be a much debated topic and, regarding gender, while there's a growing consensus that it is an imperative, the progress is painfully slow. Understanding and identifying how men’s involvement in gender equality issues, both in private and public spheres, is still a key question in the Portuguese contemporary society - and, as António Ramalho said, any father will be truly interested in this discussion as many changes are still required specially in traditional male domains. Amongst those many, responsability of corporations on talent retention and future thinking business strategies.

The conference was then followed by panels and by an interesting number of role-model testemonies from women in different sectors, with quite different and interesting experiences. If there is a summary for the common realms that were discussed, I would point to the inescapable fact that change only happens when one starts demanding that it does. This means that it, when it comes to gender diversity, change also depends on "each woman (own) decision".

And with that, if I may say (and share), we women (and mothers and fathers) need to accept that each of us is part of this! So, let's tell ourselfs and our daughter:

Yes, we can have it all. (what we can not is to do all.. and that's OK).