Diversity from the ground up for a more egalitarian future
“Girls are changing the world with technology” is the slogan behind the Technovation Girls program, which over the past 15 years has trained more than 150,000 young women between the ages of ten and 18 as entrepreneurs and tech innovators so they are able to harness technology to solve the problems around them.
Through the Foundation, Cellnex has been partnering with its Technovation.cat section for two years. As a tech company with an extensive team of professionals in the fields of engineering and telecommunications, this is now one its most popular corporate volunteerism programs. Its professionals get the chance to share their experience and become referents to help the young women internalise the fact that they can also bring about technological and business advances in our society.
In fact, according to the latest Gender Gap Report from 2022, given the current pace of progress towards equality, we will need 132 years to fully close the gender gap, which stands at 68% today. And even though the proportion of women in executive and leadership positions has risen in the past five years (the parity is currently 42.7%), the gap is still huge in the tech sector, where only 24% of these positions are occupied by women.
Source: Gender Gap Report 2022
These figures confirm a problem that still needs a great deal of attention and intervention unless we are willing to wait several generations to solve it. On the flip side of the coin, all we have to do is focus on the positive aspects of gender equality to see that stepping up its progress is worthwhile. To this end, lowering the gender gap has a direct, positive impact on increasing the GDP. If education and efforts are poured into lowering the skills gap from the ground up, employment segregation will decrease, which in turn helps women fully participate in all job market sectors, improves productivity and ultimately boosts economic growth. From the business standpoint, diversity is also associated with organizations having a greater competitive advantage and better financial results.
Designing their future
Technovation’s mission is precisely to provide this impetus at young ages, when education can help erase gender biases more effectively, and when young people are just beginning to develop their own professional interests. In fact, the initiative’s years of experience have shown that students show a keener interest in technology and leadership after participating in the program, and that 76% of Technovation’s alumni pursue STEM careers. Getting involved is definitively worth it!
Every year different teams are given skills training to solve real problems by creating a mobile app. Guided tours and mentoring sessions are essential parts of the process to immerse the participants in complex work environments that enable them to tackle their ideas as realistically as possible. For example, on March 28, the Technovation Girls visited Cellnex’s offices in Barcelona , just as last year’s group did, and astonished their mentors with their incredible projects that are invaluable for the community.
“We want to help people have good health. But what does ‘health’ mean?” asks nine-year-old Clara, a member of one of the Technovation Girls teams. “Health means sleeping, eating well, bathing… And we want other people to learn how to live a healthier life through a videogame,” she says.
“Our project is called Everything for the Earth,” say Laura, Lea and Daniela, who are 11, 9 and 12 years old. “Our mission is to create an app so schools can be more sustainable and pollute less, and so they learn from other schools.”
An inclusive business culture is the key to equality
Cellnex believes that gender equality is addressed from Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. It is part of its business strategy and the roadmap it defined in its 2021-2025 ESG Master Plan, where it is addressed solidly and holistically alongside a more extensive set of social, environmental and governance challenges.
The company is constantly engaged in awareness-raising actions to highlight its importance, and its Annual Report for financial year 2022 tallied more than 8,600 hours of training in workshops and awareness-raising campaigns with the participation of more than 650 people. That is, many professionals are interested in learning and growing on diversity matters. Likewise, the senior management has renewed its commitment by updating its EDI Leadership Statement. “We approach everything related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion through shared responsibility. We work not only with women but with the entire ecosystem, since it affects all of us and we are all stakeholders,” said Arantza Caja, Global Head of Talent Management at Cellnex, with the Seres Foundation, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on March 8 of this year.
Cellnex’s partnership in Technovation Girls and other outside programmes complement an entire set of internal initiatives that the company is undertaking to accelerate our progress towards the goal of gender equality and bring us a step closer to the economy we want: stronger, more innovative, diverse and integrative, with benefits for society as a whole.
- Elena Martínez Jaume (MBA 21), head of Legal and Communication at Mary’s Meals España: “In just a few years, we are able to put an end to scourges that were considered immutable when I was born”
- Joan Prat (MBA 00): “It is extremely satisfying to have been able to cover the first year of the Pablo Soler Scholarship”