On November 22nd, the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain (AmChamSpain) and its Gender Diversity & Inclusion Committee held a round table discussion on gender diversity policies and their positive value in companies, entitled Diversity Series: The Business Value of Diversity.
This new edition hosted four great speakers at the discussion table: Daniel Carreño, CEO (Spain & Portugal) of General Electric, Beatriz Faro, Regional President IDM Internal Medicine of Pfizer, María del Carmen Quintanilla, Honorary Member and Permanent Congressman in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and former President of the Equality Commission of the Spanish Congress, and Clara de Miguel, Director of communications, media and technology of Accenture.
During the interesting debate moderated by Amber Wigmore, Chief Innovation Officer of Highered EFMD Global Career Services, the four speakers talked about the different programs carried out by their companies to promote diversity, with reference to among other issues, gender and generational diversity in the workplace.
The speakers also cited specific actions such as, the diversity of panels during selection processes and the establishment of a suitable policy regarding reconciliation of work and family life for both men and women. In the words of Beatriz Faro: “It is the responsibility of companies to recognize differences between men and women in areas of development such as networking and negotiation, among others” and develop actions to reduce this inequality.
All agreed that companies that did not commit to increasing the diversity of their workforce were destined to fail and maintained that diversity increases retention and effectiveness. For all, a diverse pool of employees was a competitive advantage and contributed to the satisfaction and retention of employees as well as better customer service. Clara de Miguel highlighted the fact that diversity has been a key factor in Accenture’s success and acts as a source of creativity and innovation, adding business value and effectiveness.
María del Carmen Quintanilla, closed the event by noting that Spain is a reference worldwide on issues of equality and the fight against violence against women “40% of the members of the Parlament are women, but there is still a lot to do, especially in companies.”