8 Mar, 2023 @ 13:45
2 mins read

Women’s brilliance is in our diversity

Protest On 'international Safe Abortion Day' In Madrid, Spain 28 Sept 2022
September 28, 2022, Madrid, Spain: Women chant slogans during the demonstration. 28th September Global day of action for the right to free, safe and free abortion demonstration in Madrid city center. (Credit Image: © Guillermo Gutierrez Carrascal/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)

A woman’s place is in the home. And the boardroom. 

In fact, it is anywhere she damn pleases, particularly in this day and age in Spain.

But as another old adage goes, a woman’s work is never done. And there is no doubt, we often have to fight twice as hard to get the pay we deserve and speak twice as loud to have our voices heard in the workplace. 

You’d be hard pressed to find a woman, even in 2023, who hasn’t been called ‘darling’, ‘sweetheart’ or ‘gorgeous’ in the office, and even boardroom. 

And sadly, that’s getting off lightly. Complaining about these kinds of ‘compliments’ often isn’t worth your breath, since it’ll most likely be brushed off by colleagues as a bit of banter. 

A working woman now knows she has to pick her battles, and unfortunately a daily scuffle with balding dinosaurs over terms of endearment – or endowment – has to be sidelined for more pressing matters such as pay, fair treatment and basic respect. 

It is both exhausting and astonishing that in 2023 women still have to fight for the bare minimum. 

Take equal pay. It is fairly straightforward in principle: creating equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. But somehow some of the biggest brains in business still struggle to grasp the concept. 

As we face another economic downturn in the wake of coronavirus and as the Ukraine war starts to ramp up again it is clearer than ever that our old systems are failing us at every turn. 

It is time to challenge the status quo and do away with outdated modes of working – and women need to be helping to usher in the new dawn right alongside the men. 

Women are just as productive and determined as their male counterparts, and businesses need to recognise this. And not just because of quotas but to build better businesses and a better future for everyone. 

Speaking of the future, one that continues to pay women less than men or discriminates against anyone is a discredit to us all. 

Businesses should of course be making gender equality and equal pay a key foundation of success. It is the right thing to do. 

Indeed it is a shame that in 2021 the Spanish Government felt they had no choice but to intervene to ensure that women in the country are given the same pay as men. 

Now businesses have to share what they are doing, because they can’t be trusted to do the right thing. 

Just look at women in healthcare. Research last year found that Spain was one of the best places to be a female health professional in Europe, ranking eighth, while its doctors and nurses are ranked among the top three in Europe. 

A cause for celebration? Hardly. Female doctors and nurses here are earning an average of €10,000 less than their male counterparts. 

And for those who brand the fight for equal pay as propaganda coming from ‘male-hating feminists’, remember we’re sticking it to the man, not men. 

Our brilliance is in our diversity. Recognise it. Celebrate it. Reward it. And reward it equally. That’s just good business sense. 


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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