Madrid, March 8th, 2023
“SENASA HAS A FULL AND EFFECTIVE EQUALITY POLICY”
Interview with Belén Moreno Raymundo, SENASA’s Corporate Services Manager and SENtir’s Vice-President
As a manager at SENASA, how did you experience the gender perspective in the company?
At SENASA, when it comes to equality, we do things right. We have clear policies of Equality, Conciliation and Co-responsibility, which are equal for men and women. We encourage that men request regulated leave, agreed with our legal workers representation, to care for children or an elderly person. It is urged to be done to the same extent as women do. We should be proud that this is something we encourage, and that people make use of it. Implementing this type of policy not only has a positive influence on the company, but also has an impact on the sector and on the whole business network.
We also have real gender parity. This is something we should be proud of. Out of 600 employees, 51% are men and 49% are women. Compared to other institutions in the sector, this is an interesting figure, because for other organisations, achieving gender parity means introducing specific company policies to achieve this objective. In any case, we must not forget to focus on the details and check the bias in positions of responsibility.
And the latter is the duty of the organisation. When I arrived at SENASA in April 2020, I noticed that I was the only woman manager and, although SENASA already had a female president, I was the first woman in a management position. From this perspective, I believe that there is still little female weight in management positions, especially in operational areas. This is not an impression; it is an objective fact. We find women in cross-cutting units, such as the Financial and Corporate Services Divisions. But if we go deeper into the second and third levels of the business units, there are hardly any women in the operational sector. This is probably a reflection of the sector, which is very male-represented, and which directly affects our structure. SENASA has to continue to do the right things because, as a company in the sector, we also influence it, and I hope that the measures taken within the organisation in terms of equality will be appreciated outside.
You are also Vice-President of SENtir, SENASA's women's network, what is the scope and contribution of the network to equal opportunities?
SENtir was a must. Many companies have a network empowered by women to help female talent to have a professional projection within the company. This does not mean that it is a network that only includes women, on the contrary, it is intended to bring together men and women who believe in equal opportunities, who have this professional objective. Unfortunately, at the present time it is necessary to count on an specific network that promotes this objective.
SENtir’s creation was a moment of joy and excitement; we got together a lot of SENASA women workers who had never had any relationship with each other, and, in a joint presentation, we all felt that we shared the same concerns and the desire to start up a project and work for it. The women who are part of SENtir have responsibility positions, family obligations and for all of us, taking this project forward implies a personal dedication. It is not going as fast as we would like, but things are getting done and we are taking on the commitments we can afford.
In order to continue developing this network, it would be important for more people to become part of SENtir, in a constructive spirit, to see it as something positive. We want to export this enthusiasm to all the staff and get new people to join in, to give ideas and establish possibilities for collaboration. SENtir has a very clear vision and mission; its main objective is to generate equal opportunities within the sector, which, unfortunately, it is still mainly male-represented. Being part of SENtir should be seen as positive for everyone and for SENASA. A network allows us to pool individual ideas so that together we can build something better.
Within SENASA there are people with very good profiles, very good academic and professional careers, with a lot to contribute, and yet they are not visible. SENtir can and should help to export our talent, to expand as a company, to encourage and promote networking with other networks, and to expand a little more.
From companies like SENASA and networks like SENtir, what can we do to promote female talent in the aeronautical sector?
Even today we can see that the majority of women tend to enter STEM careers because of family tradition. There are even certain professions, such as pilots, where only 10% of women enter the profession. In air traffic control there may be a greater presence of women, but in other areas, such as aeronautical maintenance (TMA), there are not even 1% of women.
Working to promote female talent in the sector involves all of us. For example, in this sense, SENASA has made a commitment with Castilla y León to promote Vocational and Technical Training cycles in this area, with a collaboration agreement with an educational centre in Salamanca for the training of Aeronautical Maintenance Technicians for Turbine Engine Aircraft. We are looking for ways to encourage young women in that community to pursue these studies. Castilla y León provides good employment prospects in this field and could be a niche for women.
From SENtir we even want to reach secondary schools so that, from there, they can consider the possibility of continuing their studies in a higher cycle of Vocational and Technical Training with which they will have an almost immediate job opportunity. We also want to make women in the sector visible so that they are the ones who, at first hand, can tell us about their work experience, the limitations they have encountered because they are in the minority, and thus, little by little, stimulate greater female participation in this type of training.
From your life and professional experience in the public sector and with international institutions, how are we doing in terms of equality?
At SENASA we have a full and effective equality policy, of which we should all be proud. We could consider it an inspiring example for many companies, institutions and organisations in the aeronautical sector and other sectors, both in Spain and abroad. This is from an institutional point of view. Of course, our staff should be asked about their perception and real experience of our equality policy.
A very important effort is being made in Europe to create very powerful professional and personal networks for women that bring together Spanish women networks and Spanish women workers, specifically in the aeronautical sector, in which we are also present.