Five European women leaders discuss and cross-reference their views on the place women hold in large companies, through sincere and factual life experiences
This book published by Editions Débats Publics addresses issues related to the feminization of management roles:
- Do women really manage differently?
- What is their contribution to business performance?
- Do they have the same priorities and methods as men?
- Do they bring a new form of management?
- Are women leaders just like any other?
Cristina Garmendia, President of the «Fundación España Constitucional»
“Is it a difference in vision? No, it’s a difference in education. I believe that when women and men are raised the same, there are no differences. Performance is above all a socio-cultural issue..
Cristina Garmendia is a Spanish entrepreneur and politician. After completing her doctorate in molecular biology, she joined an industrial fisheries group, occupying various commercial and business roles. When she left, she had risen to the position of Executive VP and CFO. In 2000, she launched Genetrix, a company specialising in biotech. It was the first private company launched on the basis of research from the Spanish national biotechnology centre. She is still the president of Genetrix, which is now a group of a dozen companies.
What are the key points of her experience?
1. Successful companies are capable, audacious, transparent and honest
There are several characteristics that can define a successful company.
The first is the quality of their people. They must not only be talented, but well-trained. This is essential, because if talent is not nurtured and developed, it cannot become the most basic professional characteristic of all: capability.
Modern companies must be audacious. We do not have the time, in this fast-moving world, to think about what we have got right in the past, we need to spend our time thinking about the future.
When we look ahead, we think about change. Change is accelerating in our world, and we need to be conscious of how it is implemented. We need to be transparent and honest. People must know, and must be able to predict, where their organization is going.
2. Performance is a socio-cultural issue, not a genetic one
The issue of performance is often approached through a variety of lenses. One of these approaches concerns the differences between men and women in their respective vision of performance. I believe that any differences that we see in the visions of performance are not down to genetics, but to difference in life experiences and education. People who are brought up in a different way inevitably function differently.
When men and women are raised identically, with an identical vision, then there are no differences.
3. The European project must continue to combine competitivity and social inclusion
The political, academic, institutional and corporate bodies within Europe must advance together.
We cannot talk about European performance and only talk about business. We are all involved in competitivity. The competitivity of the public system is absolutely essential to the development of the economy. In Europe, we have many strengths that come together to make up our identity. One of the major strengths is the strength of the European project, our European Union, that brings together so many of our countries and their closely shared history. This brings us so many things, and generates so much value, its importance really cannot be understated.