International Women’s Day is a good time to take stock of the progress made in recent years on women’s rights, to give visibility to women who play a key role in society, to denounce the difficulties that exist in achieving real equality and to promote more action for change to continue progress towards gender equality and the human rights of all women and girls.
Women and the Objectives of Sustainable Development (ODS)
The United Nations Global Compact is an international initiative implemented in 2015 by the UN, which promotes the commitment of countries, companies and the population to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and raise awareness of Agenda 2030.
Achieving gender equality and empowering women is part of each of these 17 SPOs. Establishing new legal frameworks on equality that guarantee the rights of women and girls through all of these goals is the only way to achieve effective inclusion and drive more sustainable economies that benefit all people now and in future generations.
Since 2017 IDP has been part of the Spanish Network of the Global Compact with the aim of strengthening the commitment to defend these 17 objectives. This decision entails a responsibility and represents an opportunity to innovate, to carry out new actions to constitute the basis of our Corporate Social Responsibility and to apply these strategies in our daily processes.
The role of women in the engineering sector
According to data from the Women’s Institute and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, 54.8 % of university students are women, but we found that the branch with the lowest female participation is Engineering and Architecture, with only 25 % and 28.2 % respectively.
This low interest may be a consequence of the lack of female references in the sector, the stereotypes associated with technical careers and the difficulties of access to the world of work.
The first and fundamental step is to end the gender bias in education and to motivate the new generations to break the stereotypes and encourage the interest of women in the traditionally male sectors of engineering, architecture or new technologies.
Companies have a leading role and must promote equality policies that allow to reduce the inequality gap and to break the access barriers to jobs in these sectors.
In this sense, at IDP we work to guarantee an Equality and Labour Insertion Plan with different positive action measures to achieve effective and real equality between women and men in labour relations. This commitment has meant an increase of 13% in the female representation in our staff, going from 22% of women in 2014 to 35% this year 2020.
Although these data represent a step forward on the road to equality, we still have to continue working and joining forces to end gender discrimination. Gender equality is a right and a way to generate greater value to society.