Female presence only reaches 43% of positions of responsibility


The workforce of the financial sector in Spain is mainly female, with 53% of workers, a trend that has remained constant in recent years, according to the report on the ‘Situation of women in banking in Spain’, prepared by Women in Banking (WIB), an association dedicated to promoting the role of women in the banking sector in Spain.

The report, in which entities such as BBVA, CaixaBank, CBNK, Citi, Deutsche Bank, ING, Banco Sabadell, Santander and Société Générale have collaborated, has been carried out with data from 2021 and 2022 and covers 105,000 employees, which represents the 75% of the sector’s total, WIB reported in a statement.

The findings of the study, which will be a starting point to follow the evolution of the presence of women in the sector and the benefits it brings, reveal a greater female presence in the workforce of the Spanish financial sector, reaching 53%, a trend which has remained constant in recent years.

By type of work, women occupy 55% of business positions, which includes the extensive commercial network of offices, while in central services female representation is 45%.

These central services include the areas considered STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), where the representation of women is 30%, which makes it the area where the greatest gender gap exists.

In terms of new incorporations, the report records a growth in the number of people joining central services compared to business areas. Women are less represented in these new additions to central services and constitute 36% of the total.

Voluntary turnover in the sector is minimal, although it is observed to be twice as high in men (1.4%) as in women (0.7%). This gap widens in STEM areas, where turnover among men (7%) is also double that among women (3.8%).

In positions of responsibility (managers), the representation of women is 43%. This implies that of the total number of women, 26% occupy these positions compared to 39% of men, marking a difference of thirteen percentage points.

However, women experience a slight increase in promotions compared to men, with 14% of promotions going to women versus 12% to men.

Regarding job stability, 98.5% of contracts are permanent and full-time. Although stability in the sector is very high, more than 80% of part-time or temporary contracts and 78% of leaves of absence are requested by women.

In relation to paternity/maternity leave, 83% of women who have been mothers take weeks of voluntary leave in addition to the mandatory ones from birth, while only 51% of men who have been fathers do so.

This means that only 1 in 2 men who have become fathers in 2022 have taken voluntary leaves in addition to the mandatory 6 weeks compared to 5 in 6 women.

Finally, 26% of the total workforce has the option of teleworking, with a slight male majority in this regard due to the predominance of women in face-to-face customer service areas, where this flexibility is not implemented.

The executive director and Advanced Analytics Discipline leader at BBVA, Isabel Pérez del Caño, who led the report, stated that the conclusions underline “the importance of continuing to work to promote gender equality in the financial sector, since even though women majority, there is still certain data in conciliation, presence in STEM areas or the gap in the group of managers where participation is lower”.

Among the “positive” data, Pérez del Caño highlighted that “women experience a slight increase (14%) in promotions compared to men (12%) and their greater representation in the extensive commercial network.”

For her part, the president of the Spanish Banking Association (AEB), Alejandra Kindelán, has highlighted that banking has gone from being “a field dominated by men to a sector in which more than half of the staff are women.” , who have “greater presence and greater responsibilities” in all areas and functions.

Kindelán has also highlighted that there are two female presidents of important entities such as Santander or Bankinter, and a female CEO.

In addition, women have a 40% presence on boards and are in charge of business areas, strategy and critical support functions in many entities, he added.