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INTERVIEW TO ANDRÉS ARRANZ, SENASA’S PRESIDENT, ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2024

Madrid, March 6th, 2024

 

On International Women's Day, SENASA's President and CEO, Andrés Arranz, explains how to integrate equality in an organisation in the aeronautical sector, where the gender gap is still a big challenge.

 

 

 

Bearing in mind that this is an organisation with a number of highly technical and specialised professional profiles, how is SENASA doing in terms of Equality?

 

The aeronautical sector is traditionally one of the most predominantly masculine sectors, although we are aware that, in general, in all STEM areas it is necessary to place special emphasis on promoting the presence of women. SENASA has been committed to this drive for more than a decade since its Equality Plan was launched in 2011. We also have clear policies of Equality, Conciliation and Co-responsibility for all, with equal opportunities for men and women, and which have the full support of the workers' representatives.

 

As a result of these policies, at SENASA not only do we consider measures that promote equality in the recruitment and professional development of female technical profiles, but we also encourage men to request work-life conciliation measures that are usually requested by women.

 

SENASA has clear commitments, first and foremost, to our people. Implementing this type of policy for the entire staff not only has a positive impact on the company as a whole, but we are convinced that this has a direct impact on the aviation sector, on the economy and on society.

 

What are these commitments to Equality in SENASA?

 

The commitments we are currently working on are focused on measuring and quantifying the impact of conciliation and co-responsibility measures for all staff.

 

The Remote Working system introduced after the pandemic has proved to be the most successful measure. More than 80 % of the employees are now using this system, which allows our professionals to work three days a week from home and to better balance their personal and professional lives. We also implement other actions, such as the No School Day, so that our staff's children can come and spend a fun day at SENASA's facilities in Madrid while their parents are at work. Making conciliation easier is one of the most highly valued aspects in the company, it implies greater understanding and flexibility on the part of team managers, it is a cultural change and one of the measures that we consider to have the most positive impact on talent retention.

 

Strengthening preventive measures against gender-based and sexual harassment in the workplace is another area we want to target in the future. Although it is an issue that has already been addressed in internal forums, we believe that no organisation should drop its guard. In the case of SENASA, both the management and the Equality Committee are aware of the importance of updating the entire workforce on current regulations. This, together with appropriate staff training and communication, will enable us to continue our zero harassment policy. At SENASA we have the teams, channels and procedures in place to respond to any case that needs to be addressed.

 

How has the staff evolved with these commitments?

 

SENASA's workforce has developed in line with its Equality policy. There is real gender parity. Indeed, in 2023 the number of women outnumbered men for the first time. However, we should not stop there and overlook the need to boost the presence of female talent in positions of responsibility.

 

In this sense, SENASA has always trusted in women with a solid background in the aeronautical sector to lead strategic areas of our business. This trend is being showed particularly evident in the last three years with the appointments in the Sub-Directorate of Prospection and Innovation, the Legal Services area and in the recently created Transport Services Management.

 

In more structural positions in the business units, SENASA also has women with highly qualified profiles, leaders in the technical area of their specialisation: they are engineers in the aeronautical, environmental, safety and security, air navigation, or responsible for key projects in the legal or training fields. Making their work visible serves as an example and inspiration to other women.

 

We also engage profiles from different areas in the mentoring programme, which currently involves six mentors from management and other areas (three of whom are women) and six mentees (four of whom are women). In the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, SENASA is also generally concerned about women's access to employment. Therefore, as part of the Contigo+ Programme to support social projects, SENASA has carried out a campaign to help women at risk of to find a job, in collaboration with SENtir and Fundación Quiero Trabajo.

 

We believe that there is much to be done and that, as organisations, we have the responsibility to implement updated Equality policies and realistic measures to reduce the gender gap.

 

What are the future challenges for SENASA to achieve this goal?

 

At SENASA we are proud to promote these policies of equality, conciliation and co-responsibility among the entire company. But we believe that it is also necessary to measure their scope in order to know the real effect on the teams, the well-being of our employees and the productivity of the business, because everything is a chain and must work as a gear. This is one of the points on which we will continue to work in the near future.

 

As a company, the result of these measures is valued externally, and that certainly helps to attract and retain talent. Any organisation with such an expectation will therefore necessarily adapt to new family and social contexts, to the evolution of the sector, and to the needs generated by the jobs of the future.

 

The new scenarios in innovative air mobility are going to require profiles with very intuitive mindsets, able to combine specialised technical skills with the irruption of AI and technological developments. We will see this in both men and women. In SENASA, we are convinced that, by showing scenarios of equal opportunities, we are opening doors for today's girls to have references in science and technology for their future professions.

 

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