Company | In depth

The Challenge of Reaching Effective Equality

As part of our commitment to talent development, we drive measures to foster equal opportunities between men and women.

Upon joining the workforce, women have had to overcome an endless number of obstacles to prove gender is in no way a hindrance to professional capacity and worth. Their presence in organizations is now something (almost) no one questions and more and more women are developing successful careers.

Despite all the achievements, there’s still a lot left to do to attain real equality between men and women in the workforce (salary gaps, discrimination, difficulties with work/life balance...). However, equality is a goal with which there’s no turning back and, with the will of all social role-players, it’s only a question of time before gender truly becomes irrelevant in the companies of the future.

The CLH Reality

As with all other sector companies, women have been in the minority at our company. Although the figure has risen in recent times, the percentage of women at CLH Group Spain is around 13%.

“Our human resources management policy is based on equal opportunities, diversity, fair pay and the possibility of career development,” explains the Corporate Director of HR, Cristina Jaraba. Furthermore, the company more than just complies with legal equality requirements and has specific plans and technical committees to oversee this matter. So, why aren’t there more women at CLH?

“In order to promote female talent, we must spread awareness among men and women alike”

The first pitfall is training. “The percentage of women doing technical degrees or vocational training programmes is quite lower than the percentage of men meaning the young talent joining the company is mostly male. To change this trend, we must promote these studies among school-age children,” she says.

“The company participates each year in job forums and has agreements with schools to recruit the best talent, including females, with a particular focus,” mentions Violeta Crisóstomo, Human Resources Coordinator.

New Best Practices

n a more direct way, we’ve adopted selection process measures to encourage hiring women. “Our goal is to have at least one female candidate in the final running for each technical position offered. This is our way of trying to reach a balance at CLH that is similar to the overall job market all while seeking to attract the best professionals,” confirms Cristina Jaraba. And when this balance is not achieved and there are no women among the final candidates, we must be able to justify the reasons. This, she points out, “is not the criteria applied to internal promotions as our procedures are based on meritocracy”.

We also participate in programmes like ‘Promociona’ (Promote) and many women at CLH have already benefitted. This course aims to boost the participants’ skills to foster their career development. “It’s been a very positive experience and is providing me with a new perspective on my possibilities,” says the Head of Customer Service and Shipping, Yvette Sada, who is currently in the programme.

Moreover, we promote networking and encourage women to create a network of contacts and become visible in sector forums such as AEMENER (Spanish Association of Women in Energy) and EJE&CON (Spanish Association of Female Executives and Board Members). At CLH, we have endorsed the latter’s best practices code which is “quite the declaration of intentions and involves great commitment,” says Cristina Jaraba.

Management Support

This commitment to equality is supported by the company’s management beginning with the CEO, Jorge Lanza, who is also one of the signatories of the ‘No sin mujeres’ (Not Without Women) manifesto in the energy sector through which companies undertake to participate only in events where women are also present. “I truly believe that female talent offers more diverse points of view when it comes to management being able to enrich the organization and the results can be seen in the profit & loss account. In order to promote this talent, we must spread awareness among men and women alike,” he affirms.