9 executives from the industry reveal why it's hard to advance to executive positions in tech if you're a woman

137 years. This The number needed to achieve equality in the worldAccording to a report on The Gender Gap in the Age of Artificial IntelligenceDirected by Professor Marta Grano from the OBS School.

Of course, if you're reading this report, you won't live to see it, and neither will your children.

But that's not all bad. If the data is analyzed by region, it can be seen that Latin America and the Caribbean is the region that will need the fewest years to achieve gender parity if the current pace (53 years) is maintained. It would take Europe 67 years to achieve that and the East Asia and Pacific region would require 189 years.

Topping the list are Iceland (with an index of 91.2%), Norway (87.9%) and Finland (86.3%). Spain is 79.1% and 18th ahead of New Zealand (85.8%).. At the other end are Afghanistan (40.5%), Chad (57.0%) and Algeria (57.3%).

If specified in Only 20% of the tech industry is women.

The European average of women graduating in STEM studies is 32% (only 13% in Spain), and that has a negative impact on the economy: according to a study by McKinsey & Company, If the share of women in technical jobs in the EU were doubled between now and 2027, GDP would increase by up to €600 billion..

If this is limited Global Senior Leadership Positions The number is still decreasing. Where are the girls? Running a company means finding female representation in this field is difficult. Only you can see They are LisaAMD's CEO, while in the telecom industry Crystal Heidman and Margherita Della ValleTheir names are Orange and Vodafone respectively.

however, At the local level and especially in Spain, things are changing: there are women in consumer technology management positions. What difficulties have you faced in your life? How did they overcome them? What is wrong with the system that they can rise to the top?

Challenges and Difficulties: Lack of compromise and trust within teams

Mayte Ledo, Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence; Ivana Clemente, General Director of Acer Iberica and Teresa Acha-Orbia, CEO of SPC.

Axel Springer

„In the telecommunications sector, although it is not common, the presence of women in management positions has increased, however, The gender gap remains a challenge in the tech industry in general” commented Ivana Clement, General Director of Acer Iberica.

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The Board comments on some of the reasons that might explain the difference. For example, one of them Women's enrollment in graduate programs related to new technologies is low. Currently, only 25% of engineering students are female, and only 7% of 15-year-old girls express interest in STEM fields.

For Teresa Acha-Orbea, CEO of SPC, the only consumer manufacturer still in existence in Spain, the popular balance of family and work life is a problem, she believes, in what you give versus what they take from you: „There are many highly educated women behind the big decisions. Running any technology company requires a lot of effort and personal sacrifice.„, he commented.

„It's less common to be a face, to face people, teams, decision-making strategies every day… Studies show that the presence of women in management positions in these regions is about 12%; But it is true that there is another way to break barriers in everyday life, such as the gender pay gap or family reconciliation”.

For his part, Matt Ledo, Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, believes there is still an „obvious challenge” in the tech sector.. „We work, in particular, to promote training for women. There is a very positive response to the policies we develop because we see that providing incentives helps to mask these disparities.”

Sandra Aguilar, General Director of Teufel in Spain;  Elena Yorta and Elena Fuenmeyer, co-founders of Ricky, and Patricia Bozuelo, director of technical sales in EMEA at Intel.
Sandra Aguilar, General Director of Teufel in Spain; Elena Yorta and Elena Fuenmeyer, co-founders of Ricky, and Patricia Bozuelo, director of technical sales in EMEA at Intel.

Axel Springer

He knows a lot about promoting these policies. IntelIt contains Target to reach 25% representation of women in senior leadership positions by 2030. „In recent years, we've seen an increase in the presence of talented, powerful and leading women in the technology industry, as well as efforts to close the gender pay gap. However, increasing the number of women and minorities is critical. They remain underrepresented in senior leadership positions. Additionally, all staff recruitment, retention and It requires an integrated strategy focused on innovation,” says Patricia Bozuelo, Intel's director of EMEA technology sales.

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Another company with a similar plan Lenovo has a goal of achieving 27% female executives by 2025 globally.

Elena Yorta and Elena Fuenmeyer, co-founders of Ricky, the company responsible for the production of a smart ring that allows payments, believe it's a trust issue: „Maybe A lot of faith should also be placed on women who are readyDespite the fact that the management of a technical project must be run by teams consisting mainly of men.

Julia Bernal, General Manager of Red Hat for Spain and Portugal, and Andrea Monleon, General Manager of Motorola Mobility in Iberia.
Julia Bernal, General Manager of Red Hat for Spain and Portugal, and Andrea Monleon, General Manager of Motorola Mobility in Iberia.

Axel Springer

Another additional problem is that within organizations, women do not advance in their careers at the pace of their male counterparts.. This is what Julia Bernal, general director of Red Hat for Spain and Portugal, points out: „I think it's difficult to take a step forward and face new challenges or to look for them in advance, because we always want to be 100. % ready to take them, but, as they do, so do we. Let us begin.”

„He Compared to the technology sector, the telecommunication sector has been one of the most promising sectors for women. Likewise, there is still a perception that the telecom industry is social and humanitarian The technical field is often associated with masculine stereotypes such as logic or mathematicssays Sandra Aguilar, General Director of Teifel in Spain.

However, there are those who think it depends more on the company than the sectors, as in the case of Andrea Monleon, general director of Motorola Mobility in Iberia: „I would dare say it's too much. Not so much by the companies own direction and divisions„However, the director acknowledges that there were few women in the tech industry early in his career.”At first I thought they didn't take me seriously. This is a very harsh phrase, But I think this is because of the older generation that we are still living in, and sometimes the changes are progressive,” he adds.

What it takes to have more women in executive positions in tech: More education and tips

It is clear Much more needs to be done to close the gender gap in the tech industry. “We need to engage the youth and start sharing the power of technology and innovation, Comments Pozuelo. „The way to achieve the most innovative solutions is to leverage diversity of thought,” he adds.

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But be careful here too The most relevant aspect that the guidelines want to highlight comes into play: primary education. For them, it is necessary to promote inclusive educational programs that encourage the interest and participation of young women, preparing them „with the confidence and ability to lead and lead in diverse environments,” as Teresa Acha-Orbea considers.

Women in Technology and Science

This, if not addressed from the root, will lead to the lack of women leaders in the sector being taken as a benchmark and this poses a serious problem when it comes to encouraging all of them to participate in the sector.

Ricky's founders put it this way: „There are no notes. It's hard to convey this message without a good poster of women leaders in tech.” Clemente adds to this idea, adding that women are „too often” a minority in development teams and in executive positions. Similarly, Bernal considers who is the main difficulty. Lack of female role models, In which the youth can project their future.

When they don't all see other successful women excelling in leadership roles or tech fields, It is difficult to imagine a similar future for themselves. This leads to a lack of representation and participation of women, further reinforcing the misconception that these fields are for men or that women are not qualified to succeed in them.

The most equal and diverse work environment in the tech industry

Regarding the challenges faced by women in the sector, Many of the interviewees highlighted the importance of confronting and eliminating gender stereotypes altogether.. „Gender diversity is not only a matter of justice, but also a source of innovation and business success,” says Ivana Clement. One thing Monleón agrees on: „We offer different perspectives, and that greatly enriches an organization. Organizations must commit to diversity in order to gain more value.”

„Principles of Education, Visibility and Inclusion”Acha-Orbea says, adding the necessary compromise between professional and personal life and overall values ​​as the best pillars to create a favorable environment for women to develop their potential and contribute to the technology sector.

Encouraging women's participation in the technology sector requires a comprehensive approach that contributes to closing the gender gap. Through education, promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry, we can work together to create a more equitable and diverse future for the STEM field in general and in particular.

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