Gender inequality persists in business management: women fail to increase their share of power

7 May 2024

Brecha Salarial 2024

The gender gap in management positions in Spanish companies continues to be a worrying reality, according to the report "Brecha Salarial y Presencia de la Mujer en Puestos Directivos 2024", presented today by ICSA Grupo and EADA Business School. Despite efforts to close this gap, the presence of women in leadership roles has experienced a drop compared to the previous year, without managing to recover the pre-crisis levels of 2008.

The data shows that the pay gap persists, with male managers earning an average of 93,030 euros gross annually, while their female counterparts receive 83,663 euros on average, representing a gap of more than 11%. This trend, although it shows a slight decrease, is advancing at such a slow pace that it is estimated that it would take another 20 years to achieve equal pay between men and women in management roles, a reality that experts consider unacceptable.

Indry Canchila, industrial engineer and consulting managing partner of ICSA Grupo, points out that "the decrease in the wage gap consolidates a downward trend, although at this slow pace it will take about 20 more years to achieve equal pay between men and women directives, which is still unacceptable and needs to be worked on.”

Dr. Aline Masuda, researcher and professor at EADA Business School, highlights the need to redesign management positions to promote work-life balance. According to Masuda, "positions that encourage presence and overtime contribute to inequality, since society continues to expect women to be primarily responsible for caring for the family."

Regarding female representation in different management areas, the report reveals that women only occupy 9% of general director positions in Spain, with figures that have stagnated for years. Although they stand out in areas such as Communication (39%), HR (33.2%) and Marketing (30.5%), they are still underrepresented in typically masculine areas such as IT (5.2%), production (5.8%) and commercial (7.3%).

To address this inequality, Canchila emphasizes the need for a change in the structure of organizations and a redesign in the ways of working, prioritizing work by objectives and results over in-person work. The persistence of this gender gap in business management highlights the urgency of concrete measures and inclusive policies to promote equal opportunities in the workplace.

The paradox that exists about the results of this report is - as EADA has been analysing annually - that the evolution of the female presence in executive and senior management training programs continues to grow, reaching its maximum level of representation in 2024 at 54% of women in its more than 70 programmes. “Women are prepared to reach positions of representation and decision-making in companies and organizations. Now it is the organizations' turn to make it possible without delays,” says Dr. Jordi Díaz, Dean and General Director of EADA.