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Female talent: A increasingly valued in large companies

The values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) have gone beyond statements of good intentions and are now part of organizations’ strategy

Proof of this is the commitment of companies like Cellnex to these concepts, as endorsed by its Executive Committee, which acknowledges them as the lever driving policies that will contribute to making this sector a more professionally diverse field.

According to Imen Toumi, the Global Lead of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Cellnex,  “our ambition is to be a benchmark in having a diverse, inclusive culture of leadership in which we all participate and feel welcome in our differences.” The company has set ambitious gender diversity objectives, like promoting equal opportunity, increasing women’s representation in leadership roles, lowering the salary gap, and encouraging a work-life balance among all employees. “We are working on these objectives through specific programs with measurable results,” Toumi says. “We believe that we are generating an environment in which we all contribute our maximum value through EDI policies.”

Programs to consolidate female talent

The Progress and Promote Programs, resulting from the agreement between CEOE Campus and Esade, are two examples of this. Progress is an individual development plan for emerging leaders that aims to strengthen their technical and leadership skills with the goal of being promoted to jobs with more responsibility, thanks to their personal and professional growth.  The Promote project, in turn, is targeted at women who are already in managerial positions and want to further develop their skills to increase their impact in both the company and their teams.

Progresa y Promociona

Mentors and coaches are also crucial in talent development programs. Each person equips their “apprentice” with different yet complementary tools. The coach shows the path to skill development, while the internal mentor offers experience and knowledge from inside the company. José Ángel Carmona, director of Operations at Cellnex and coach in this program, explains that it is an experience in which the coach can learn as much as the person they are supporting. “It made me aware of the inequalities and negative situations that exist for women in the workplace. Because that was something that was outside my realm, I wasn’t fully aware of it.” José Ángel is satisfied with this experience, in which he has helped his mentee recognize her own value when grappling with an unfavorable situation at work. “We have helped her recognize what she was going because she was capable. Thanks to this reaffirmation, she was able to break through the glass ceiling.”

Aligned with recognized initiatives   

Gender biases tend to assume that women are lacking certain abilities and prepared for others. This belief poses an obstacle for talented females to reach managerial positions and jobs with responsibility. The goal of the Women Progress & Promote program is precisely to focus on the capacities that may hinder women’s professional development. Two editions of this program have already been held with 96 employees, including mentors, mentees, and managers. The set of actions that Cellnex targets at female talent also includes participation in the Cross Mentoring program, organized by the Asociación Española de Directivos. This initiative puts managers with a high degree of leadership and a prominent career in touch with young businesswomen with high potential. “It is a pioneering program focused on the leaders of tomorrow. Its goal is to promote the presence of women executives in large companies,” says Imen Toumi.

Cross Mentoring

Eva Vázquez, the head of engineering at Cellnex, has been managing teams for many years. She currently has 16 people under her charge and has participated as a mentee in this program.

“The program has given me the self-assurance and confidence that are so necessary in the professional setting. My mentor, an executive at KPMG, helped me see that if you want to develop professionally you have to show it; you have to identify the right interlocutors who have to know that you’re working to achieve professional growth. Now I’m aware that my superior relies on me more and that even though I manage a team, I also have to spend time and energy on my own development.”

Since 2021, Cellnex has participated in the United Nations Global Compact’s Gender Equality program. In 2023, five countries where Cellnex operates are participating in this program.

Creating our own space for growth

Such an eminently human gesture as gathering with our peers, sharing knowledge, or asking for advice is what the Connecting Circles program provides as a safe digital environment for different groups. At Cellnex, a circle has been created to speak about equality at work and female empowerment, following the example of the one on affective-sexual diversity which has already been around for two years.

Anna Betlem Villà, an expert in Cellnex’s overall quality area, is firmly committed to diversity policies. Based on the figure of the “Champion,” she is in charge of leading the circle on equality at work. “It is a safe space where people can express their concerns, share their experiences, and thus help and mutually empower each other. We are in no way a group where people just come to complain; instead, we’re focused on the solution to problems or concerns, not only at work. What these encounters discuss is valuable both in the company and in private life.”

In 2023, Cellnex also joined the Google initiative I am remarkable, which, according to Gemma Dolcet, an analyst in Cellnex’s Engagement area, “allows a community with a common goal to be created in a single session; to become aware of our achievements at work and in our personal lives and to recognize and value them.”

This reflection on one’s own worth is an effective tool for handling professional development processes. Coupled with specific empowerment policies, it enables female and diverse talent to move forward, the key to enriching the business and social experience.