This week is going to be undoubtedly an historical one for Lleida.net. Not simply because we have broken records turnover (indeed we have), not simply because we are going to achieve the highest annual turnover in the company’s history (indeed we are), or even not because our branches operating outside Spain are successfully invoicing. Just because without realizing it and for the first time in Lleida.net history, we have achieved gender balance on boards. (Oh blimey, how pleased I am!)
But I’d like to confess something. Something I’m not exactly proud of, however I was able to redress the situation on time.
It all started twelve years ago, on a cold rainy day, and on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.
I was leaving my car in the office parking lot after taking my daughters at school while listening to a radio broadcasting discussion in the wake of the International Women’s Day.
The talk show guests were complaining that women were being paid less than their male colleagues. “What utter nonsense”, wondered my macho side, and leaving me with a sense of uncertainty. Are we doing the same in my business?
That very morning I asked for the list of Lleida.net worker salaries to the accounting department. And to my surprise the interviewee was right. No woman on my company was earning more than any of her male workmates. And what’s even worse, many of them were holding positions of greater responsibility.
With a sense of grieve and distress, I asked to meet with them. “Ladies, please accept my deepest apologies, I have unintentionally and without any malice discriminated you all,” I told them. On that day they got up to 40 percent pay raise, we agreed on specific responsibilities and I promised myself never to repeat this mistake again. Salaries would be forever based both on responsibilities and on evidence of proven merit irrespective of colour, race, sex, or ethnic origin. And now we are benefiting from the fruits of that wise decision.
Equality of opportunity and treatment has moved us towards our full engagement with gender parity. And I say it with pride and welcoming Carme Agusti, Chief International Sales Officer. We finally bridged the gender gap and achieved a true balanced board. A new challenge for all men working at Lleida.net has come, namely proving to be equal to Lleida.net’s female managers.