Ferrovial joins in this celebration and reaffirms its commitment to equal opportunities – because talent isn’t defined by gender.
We started on this path some time ago with various initiatives developed along the different business lines and in various countries to create a work environment that offers equal opportunities by prioritizing merit and talent. In Spain, for instance, these initiatives have been included in Equality Plans since 2009. Nevertheless, we still have room for improvement. One of our challenges involves increasing the number of women in technical areas in accordance with our key business profiles.
According to the latest data published by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), only about 30% of women choose STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. If we look at the enrollment of female students in the fields of engineering, manufacturing, and construction, it is only 8%. This data shows that the gap in female talent in these areas is a reality, even though technology continues to transform the way we live, work, and learn.
There is no single answer, but the data suggests that a significant factor could be the role that gender stereotypes play in the future professions girls are encouraged to engage in. As such, Ferrovial is committed to job orientation for the youngest generation of women through various initiatives that promote STEM careers, especially by making the role of women in this field more visible. Besides, inspiring new generations to this type of career is ensuring our needs for key talent in the future.
In the same vein, here in Spain, we’re working on the OrientaT program along with the Junior Achievement Foundation. More than 170 Ferrovial volunteers have already participated in this initiative by giving workshops at educational centers nationwide to awaken in students a calling for STEM jobs and to develop the most in-demand skills on the job market that are related to technical professions.
STEM for all of our working areas
These initiatives have also been carried out in other places around the globe. In the United Kingdom, this has been done with our British subsidiary Amey and the STEM Girlguiding or STEM Learning program, through which Ferrovial Agroman UK professionals have been certified as STEM Ambassadors. It has also participated in numerous activities to promote women in the construction sector along with various institutions: Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), among others.
Meanwhile, our colleagues in the United States have joined the Women in Construction Week initiative, which is led by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). This initiative aims to bring visibility to women who work in this sector and to serve as a reference pint for future generations.
Our equality awards
In addition to committing to the talent of the future, we also foster internal female talent: several of our engineering professionals have been awarded by the European Women in Construction & Engineering Awards (WICE). These awards not only recognize female talent in the construction and engineering sectors across Europe, but they also bring visibility to these fields and boost their attractiveness among younger generations.
Similarly, Spain’s Ministry of Health, Social Services, and Equality granted Ferrovial S.A. the Equality Badge, which it has renewed every year since 2010. This recognizes all of the management in place to encourage equality, as articulated by our Equality Plans. On the other hand, we should also highlight our inclusion in Bloomberg’s 2020 Gender-Equality Index, whose main goal is assessing companies’ commitment to gender equality by creating relevant policies, as well as women’s representation in the company and transparency around this information.