Women and Power: the fundamental role of women in economic recovery

Round table FEDEPE and EWMD

“We need women in leadership roles andmen assuming caregiving responsibilities”

  • FEDEPE and EWMD held the round table “Women and Power: the fundamental role of women in economic recovery” to address the impacts of the pandemic and the energetic crisis on women
  • The event was presented by the President of FEDEPE, Ana Bujaldón and the Presidents of EWMD, Paola Ligabue an Nadine Nembach; who highlighted the value added of their two year old cooperation between both organization.
  • The journalist Ana B. Nieto acted as a moderator from New York and speakers were Elena Betés, vicepresident of Education at Red Ventures and founder of Rastreator.com; Carmen Niethammer, gender specialist at the European Investment Bank and Pia Kroon, national focal point for the initiative #equalpanel at EWMD Italy.
(Madrid, 15 septembre 2022). – On Thursday, the “Spanish Federation of Female Directors, Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs” (FEDEPE) and the European Women’s Management Development Network (EWMD) organized the online round table "Women and Power: the fundamental role of women in economic recovery ". Speakers to the event were Elena Betés, vicepresident of Education at Red Ventures and founder of some firms such aRastreator.com; Carmen Niethammer, EWMD Berlin-Chapter member and gender specialist at the European Investment Bank and Pia Kroon, national focal point of the initiative #equalpanel at EWMD Italy. The journalist Ana B. Nieto moderated the debate from New York.
In her presentation of the round table, the president of FEDEPE, Ana Bujaldón insisted on the differential impact of the pandemic and the energy crisis on men and women and declared that data available “should provoke our reflection and action”. Bujaldón reminded that “the economic and labor empowerment of women leads to more equal and prosperous societies”
After Bujaldón, co-presidents of EWMD took the floor: Paola Ligabue, highlighted the importance and value of the two-year-old cooperation with FEDEPE, and Nadine Nembach explained that this cooperation was originated by the need to accelerate the closure of the gender gap.
During the round table, all participants agreed in putting forward the specific impact of the pandemic on women. For Pia Kroon, national focal point of the initiative #equalpanel at EWMD Italy, there has been a substantial regression. Kroon, pointed at the importance of “bringing to the fore female leadership and women capacity to make decisions and tackle difficult situations”; she encouraged the continuation of efforts towards equality despite existing barriers and hurdles, because “every little step forward will benefit the future generations, in particular our daughter’s future”. According to Kroon, a larger female participation in the public debate improves the social perception of female leadership as well as women’s carriers”.
In her intervention, Carmen Niethammer, EWMD member and gender specialist at the European Investment Bank, agreed that women had been negatively impacted by the pandemic and other global crises and re-emphasized the urgent need to target recovery interventions to better meet women’s needs. At the same time, Niethammer  pleaded for the construction of positive narratives related to the pandemic because, “even if women are discouraged because of the mentioned negative impacts, it is also true that many of them have made of the pandemic an opportunity to reinvent themselves and come out stronger”. In her opinion, the pandemic “has also helped many men to assume more responsibilities as caregivers”.  Niethammer, who considers “we, women, have to be more confident and pursue our goals with determination”, claims that financial markets still do not view women as a valuable market segment.   She said she was certain that, in the future, these same markets will have to “adapt to a growing market segment constituting  of entrepreneurial women”. “We need to show that the investment in female talent  not only has an added value for private firms, but also for the society” she stated.
Elena Betés, vicepresident of Education at Red Ventures and founder of Rastreator.com, pointed at co-responsibility as one of the key issues. “As long as women will take on most of the caregiving work at home, the situation won’t change substantially”. She added that “regulation and education, both at home and at school, are fundamental to change those gender roles”. For Betés, who considers “that we will not reach equality without quotas”, women need to change the way of doing business. “There is glass ceiling very difficult to break: women tend to create small business with less growing potential out of the need to survive”. Lastly, she showed her support to regulations for stronger work-life balance and increased co-responsibility, “for these change social perceptions, and, in the long term, the behaviors of both women and men”
The Spanish Federation of Female Directors, Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs (FEDEPE) is a non-profit Federation of Associations originated in 1987: it represents almost 26.000 business, management and professional Women working in a wide variety of sectors and in the Public Administration. Its goal is to promote women’s professional development, as well as their totally equal access to high managerial and professional positions through appropriate reflection, study, debate, training and support activities oriented to making visible their individual and collective leadership. FEDEPE is a Public Utility Entity and holds consultative status at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
About EWMD
EWMD (European Women’s Management Development Network) was founded in 1984 by women from different universities, business schools and associations from all over Europe. It has delegations in severa European countries, as well as individual and corporative members at the global level. Its main goals are to promote women access to high management positions, as well as to make their contributions in firms and school business visible.