Let’s Not Wait Any Longer. It’s the Time of Women
20 de July de 2021
20 de July de 2021
In just one century, women have come from demanding “a room of one’s own” to standing toe to toe with men in the power relationships of the world of work and companies. But the “glass ceiling” is no unicorn — it’s quite real. Only 3% of management positions are occupied by women. For Victoria Camps, the 21st century is (will be) the century of women, and connectivity and the new ways of working must contribute to it. “The division of work is still very traditional in private life”, Noemí Boza recalled. She’s the creator of the annual event The Time of Women, whose latest edition took place on June 30 and where we got to listen to experiences with a woman's perspective. Initiative, networking, diversity and new stages were some of the topics that were discussed.
Pilar Llácer, directress of the Work of the Future Centre and holder of an ethics doctorate degree, has been fired three times throughout her life and she left on her own on seven other occasions from different companies. Out of those experiences, she wrote “You’re Getting Fired and You Know It”. Her greatest asset is experience and attentive observation of the reality around us. “One big certainty facing the future is that everything that can be automated will be”, she affirms. That’s why “being good” in the classic sense of “getting things done” is not the panacea in the word of work. Being in contact with others and being capable of creating an agenda are key to positioning yourself in the new sustainable employability: “It’s what makes you attractive in the labour market because we don’t really know where the future is going”.
It’s the time for action and for ambition well understood — that is, ethics and sustainability. “Nowadays, you have to connect with a lot of people. You need to have good relational capacities”, Llácer points out. She also asks a provocative question: “What’s the aim of our job?” Purpose is the most important aspect, whether we see it or not. Feminism, diversity, energetic transition and, in general, the 2030 Agenda, are some of the main purposes of the future in the labour market. We need to stop, look to both sides and find purpose in our work instead of following the production chain with our heads down. We need to stop and analyse in order to anticipate the winds of sustainable employment. Creativity, innovation, a digital attitude and the capacity to anticipate events are in the highest demand. “We, women, must ask ourselves where the wind is blowing towards: our future depends on the answer to that question”.
Knowing ourselves is as important as unraveling the environment. We must know our mission, our value and values, our capacities and skills. It’s the first step towards the building of our Personal Brand, the “Me Inc.” Tom Peters talks about. Eva Collado Durán, strategic adviser, quotes Jeff Bezos: “Your Personal Brand is what others say about you when you leave the room”. And she adds one of her own creation: “In the digital world, we are what google says we are”. Together with Paula Fernández Ochoa, they left us with many tips on the capacity to generate impact on others, a sort of Tablets of the Law for Personal Branding. Personal.
“We live in a very competitive global moment. There’s a lot of good workers. We must stand out, be unique and leave a mark in the hearts and minds of others. The ability to connect, move, lead, and move the world forwards goes beyond the technical competencies that we may have”, concluded Paula Fernández Ochoa.
You already probably know that we live in a VUCA world, marked by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Antonella Fayer, psychologist and lecturer, thinks that Kant gave us one of those magical recipes to surf the world of conflicts in which we live: “Someone’s intelligence can be measured by the quantity of uncertainties that he/she can bear”.
Listening and watching help us understand the mechanisms of conflict management — it helps us learn beyond our own truth, beyond our own interpretation of the facts. “We must erase these two generalisations from the dictionary: always and never”, Fayer points out. According to a study carried out by Palo Alto School, only 25% of what we say is an incontrovertible fact; the rest can be questioned. Keeping this in mind will make us more flexible and open people when it comes to dealing with conflict. But, of course, in order to broaden this horizon, we must work on our humility.
A successful venture, ultimately, is all about getting around conflicts. Around 650.000 women (a higher number than men) embark on new projects in Spain every year. They all know how much of a bumpy road it is to achieve personal and professional development. One of those many women is a former student of EAE Business School and Co-founder of Scoop Nutrition, Phillipa Morris. She had a conversation with Puri Martínez —Founder of Sensalia Labs— and Montserrat Arias —Bemypartner’s CEO— and they agree that, in this volatile context, “women have an advantage looking forwards; and that is that we are very aware of other people’s opinions''. Women, Morris thinks, are more social and less individualistic than men; “we have a much greater instinct for helping society, something that is very important after a crisis such as the one we’re experiencing with Covid”. A dichotomy that has been marked since the classic archetypes: Mars, God of War, and Venus, who had more social and maternal components.
Philippa Morris brought her professional experience for the leading of Scoop Nutrition, a company of the health/wellness industry that’s on it’s early stages since it was launched in 2019. “That’s why I still have to develop my personal brand in order to attract investors. I started working on knowing myself while I was studying at EAE. You can’t create a brand that isn’t you. You have to identify your abilities and learn to communicate, because, with this company, I’ve learned that your contacts are your finest assets. They are essential for growth”. Constancy and the usual pampering of contacts, whether in events or in social networks, are some of the skills she’s been developing and that are showing results with time.
But, regardless of women’s undeniable strength, the context is still hostile and breaking some barriers is still a challenge: “Men are still thought to be better qualified and, as their contact network is mainly made of men, they choose themselves for management positions”, Montserrat Arias points out. According to Morris, in younger companies, this trend is changing. Positive discrimination starts with our mentality, in being able to see women in leadership positions and with promotion opportunities equal to those of men. “It used to be that women didn’t fight much for what they wanted. They didn’t believe they could. Now, with my generation, this is changing”, she concludes.
Bringing out our most sustainable and ethical ambition, accepting a VUCA environment that is always changing and being able to adapt, getting to know ourselves in order to build a personal brand and understanding contacts as an asset… All of this, we’ve learned from the speakers at The Time of Women.