INITIATIVES FOR WOMEN'S DEVELOPMENT IN STEM AREAS

Promoting scientific vocations among girls and young women

Women Training Gender equality

Iberdrola carries out numerous initiatives to support the professional development of women in STEM areas and to advance towards real equality of opportunities. Aimed especially at young women, these programmes also seek to be a benchmark for those girls who will be the scientists, engineers and researchers of the future.

At Iberdrola group we promote the development of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers among women. We believe that training in traditionally male professions is essential in order to enable them to work in all areas they wish and hold positions of responsibility occupied until now by men.

According to the PISA Report External link, opens in new window., only 18 % of men in OECD countries aspire to a career in engineering or computer science. This drops to a mere 5 % of women embarking on STEM careers. In recent years, however, significant progress has been made. The number of female employees at Iberdrola has increased by 50% in the last decade and women now make up 23.6% of the group's total workforce and 33.7% of women are in senior positions, as our latest Diversity and Inclusion Report points out. 

In order to continue attracting female talent, the electricity company develops several programmes to promote these types of careers in the different countries in which it is present. In this way, we are demonstrating our commitment to the United Nations SDG 5 for Gender Equality, inspiring other companies and our value chain to see the challenges faced by women in science and technology and to undertake similar initiatives.

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  WOMEN STEM IN MEXICO

The Ministry of Public Education warned that Mexico will be short of 20,000 engineers within five years. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), currently only 27 % of men and 8 % women entering university in the country do so to study engineering, slightly exceeding the OECD average.

Iberdrola México External link, opens in new window. is convinced that encouraging women to study engineering helps break down the salary gap that still exists in the country and attract more diverse talent to the company. It has therefore launched several initiatives to enable women to develop in STEM careers.

In addition to continuing to measure progress through surveys among the people who make up the company, the subholding company of the Iberdrola group in Mexico promotes actions to achieve objectives such as:

  • 30% of women in management positions by 2025 across the group.
  • Training of collaborators in diversity and inclusion. Enlace externo, se abre en ventana nue .
  • Develop products and services with a focus on diversity and inclusion.
     

 Impulso STEM

The Impulso STEM External link, opens in new window. programme, developed by Iberdrola México together with the Instituto de Energías Renovables (IER) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Technological University of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca (UTVCO), seeks to encourage the study of engineering among Oaxacan youth, especially women.

The programme follows several lines of action which will make it possible in the future to respond better to the needs of the labour market and increase the area's productivity and competitiveness:

 The training of teachers and career advisers to optimise their way of transmitting knowledge about science and technology.

 The development of courses and workshops in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for basic and higher education institutions.

 A communication campaign to encourage young people, especially women, to study engineering.

 A scholarship programme External link, opens in new window. to enable students interested in studying engineering to do so successfully.

In addition, surveys External link, opens in new window. will be conducted periodically to measure the progress of students in terms of their interest in this type of education and to know the effectiveness of Impulso STEM.

 Women with Energy

In 2021, the third Women with Energy forum was held, a space for dialogue in which collaborators were invited to participate in a series of conferences to promote initiatives to close the gender gap.

The aim of this event is to reaffirm the company's commitment to equal opportunities and to help get women into leadership roles.

 Aligned with global change

Iberdrola México has signed the Women's Empowerment Principles . (WEPs) of the United Nations and the Global Compact, a set of good business practices that promote equality between men and women in all the spheres of activity of an organisation.

The company also participates in the Target Gender Equality External link, opens in new window. programme, promoted by the Global Pact to accelerate efforts towards the Gender Equality Target, included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable DExternal link, opens in new window. Development and in line with Iberdrola group's strategic priority in favour of equality and diversity.

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 BRAZIL AND THE WOMEN'S SPORT

Neoenergia External link, opens in new window.*, the group's subsidiary in Brazil, has made a strong and diversified commitment in recent years to promote the inclusion of young women in those sectors in which they have traditionally had less presence. 

To this end, it has focused on pillars such as training, through its School of Electricians, sport as an agent of social change, with the sponsorship of the Brazilian women's soccer team, and the visibility and support of women with inspiring careers as role models for future generations.

 Brazilian women's national soccer team

In 2021 Neoenergia became the first company to exclusively support the Brazilian women's national soccer team. The agreement, valid until 2025, also provides support for the national club competition, which is now called Brasileirão Femenino Neoenergia.

This sponsorship, the largest in the company's history, is symbolic of a commitment to the promotion of women's sport that extends across the board. Initiatives born of the conviction that sport promotes principles such as healthy living, respect, example and discipline. All of them in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially number 5, Gender Equality.

 Women's School of Electricians

In August 2019, the Women's School of Electricians  was founded, present today in Bahía, Pernambuco and Distrito Federal,. The aim is to promote the insertion of women in a profession predominantly occupied by men through apprenticeship programmes in theoretical and practical disciplines. At the end of these courses - free of charge and lasting seven months - the professionals can participate in the selection process to join the workforce of some of the Neoenergia* distributors in the country. In 2022, it trained 702 new electricians and by 2030, the company wants to reach 35% of students graduating through the course.

More than 20,000 women have registered since its creation, interested in working in a sector in which women already account for 22% in Brazil, according to a study presented in 2019 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA External link, opens in new window.). Faced with the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Neoenergia increased job opportunities for the project's students by 60%. Thus, in 2021, it hired around 1. 600 professionals trained by the School of Electricians.  

WeEmpower External link, opens in new window., a program by UN Women, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union to stimulate good practices in companies, has recognized this programme as a global example of good practice in promoting gender equality in the electricity sector.

The initiative has also been recognised with the 11th Corresponsables de Iberoamérica Award of the Corresponsables Foundation, in the Large companies category  and a case study [PDF]. The initiative is highlighted as an example of one of the Women's Empowerment Principles: the promotion of women's education and professional development.

 Impactô Women and Inspire Award

In 2021, the Neoenergia Institute launched two other projects to improve women's leadership initiatives: Impactô Women and the Inspire Award. Impactô Women is a social acceleration project carried out in partnership with the Ekloos Institute   , which for the first time had an edition aimed exclusively at NGOs and social enterprises with women as main managers, founders or co-founders, benefiting institutions in five states: Bahia, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Piauí.

The Inspirar Award was created to recognise women who promote social transformation through art and culture in peripheral communities in the municipalities of Rio de Janeiro, Baixada Fluminense (RJ) and the state of Pernambuco (PE). Awards were given to gender empowerment projects such as Redes da Maré, which is dedicated to producing knowledge through actions to formulate rights and public policies that improve the lives of 140,000 residents of the 16 favelas of one of the largest communities in Rio de Janeiro.

 #DeixaElaTeInspirar

Neoenergia has created the #DeixaElaTeInspirar (#LetHerInspireYou) campaign, on the occasion of International Women's Entrepreneurship Day . A campaign with the participation of influencers, entrepreneurs and Neoenergia employees who are entrepreneurs in different fields. One of the results of the action was the launch of the eponymous podcast with interviews with inspiring women from Neoenergia and the world of sustainability.

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  STEM TRAINING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

ScottishPower External link, opens in new window. is a member of POWERful Women , an initiative to advance gender diversity within the energy sector. The UK subsidiary also has a women's employee network called SP Connected Women which provides a platform for members to meet on a regular basis and share their experiences and ideas both internally and at external events.

As a general rule, women interrupt their careers more than men [PDF], for reasons such as motherhood and caring for children and dependents. ScottishPower therefore initiated a programme in partnership with Equate Scotland to encourage women who had taken a break in their STEM careers to return to work. The programme Returners had such a positive impact that it has now been opened up to other user profiles, while maintaining the mission to help women "enter, progress, return and reach the top" in the STEM industry.

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Six women have returned to their positions thanks to the Women Returners programme.

In addition, ScottishPower collaborates with the University of Forth Valley College in the design of an online programme that provides schools with worksheets, explanatory videos, creative activities and other useful training resources so that students can receive the best preparation in STEM subjects. More than 50 Scottish schools are boosting science and technology education through this programme.

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 US: SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FEMALE TALENT

AVANGRID External link, opens in new window.**, the group's subsidiary in the United States, also promotes the training of women and girls in more scientific fields. Through its foundation it supports the training of electricians through scholarships in the CMP Lineworker Technology Program to train specialists, prioritising the inclusion of young women in the energy sector.

In addition, in 2018 WomENergy was founded, a Business Resource Group (BRG) aimed at attracting, retaining, developing and advancing female talent. BRGs are employee-led groups sponsored by a member of the AVANGRID Executive Leadership Team for the purposes of professional networking, professional development and community building.

Coinciding with the hundredth anniversary of women's suffrage in the US, the #AVANGIVES programme, an initiative that provides grants worth 5,000 dollars to organisations selected by employees, focused on women in 2020-2021 External link, opens in new window.. A successful initiative that supported the work of 12 organisations focused on diversity and inclusion, many with a special focus on women and girls, applied in the areas of:

 Arts and culture: women in history, art and culture.

 Education: enrichment, training and education programmes.

 Health and safety: support for critically ill people, with disabilities, addictions, mental health issues, anti-violence, anti-abuse and social justice.

 Social inclusion and poverty reduction.

AVANGRID also sponsors Eureka! External link, opens in new window., a five-year education programme for girls from low-income and minority families and those who would be the first college students in their families — in partnership with Girls Inc. External link, opens in new window., a programme for young women interested in STEM careers. The ultimate aim to engage 100 girls, 20 in each grade up to the last year of school.

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Participants of the Eureka programme!
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 SPAIN IN THE STEAM ALLIANCE

Currently, less than 20 % of online profiles are women. PISA Report External link, opens in new window. figures show that while more than half of university students in Spain are women, less than 26 % choose STEM-related degrees.

Furthermore, enrolment to study for degrees in these subjects have fallen by 26 % for men and 33 % for women in the last 25 years.

To counter these figures, Iberdrola España External link, opens in new window. also has programs to promote STEM vocations.

Thus, through its foundation, and together with EMT (Madrid's municipal transport company) and the Comillas Pontifical University, has launched the STEM Woman Sustainability Mobility Chair External link, opens in new window.. This seeks to promote women in STEM vocations, in particular in the field of vocational training External link, opens in new window. — where the presence of women studying a professional STEM family does not exceed 3.6 % — for sustainable mobility, by providing them with the necessary means for their development.

Iberdrola España is one of almost 50 businesses, organisations and institutions to join the STEAM Alliance for female talent. Girls for science to encourage the STEAM career paths (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in conjunction with Arts and Humanities) for girls and young women.

Among the activities foreseen for this initiative from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is the drive for teacher training in these subjects, the call for STEAM projects for educational centres and the creation of a quality seal for businesses and organisations that carry out activities to encourage these disciplines.

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IBERDROLA, SUPPORTING GENDER EQUALITY

All these initiatives are part of Iberdrola's commitment to gender equality, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, one of the main global objectives of Agenda 2030.

Effective equality between men and women forms part of Iberdrola's core values, as stated in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

Equal pay is a fact of life for our staff, as men and women are paid the same for the same work and are subject to pay reviews with common criteria for both genders. A positive work-life balance is also encouraged, with more than 70 measures such as 100 % pay during maternity leave, 15 days paid leave before birth, a flexible reduction of the working day to five hours without reduced pay until the child is one year old and leave of up to four years.

 Diversity and Inclusion Report 2021 [PDF] External link, opens in new window.

By promoting women's sport, the company also wants to contribute toward talent promotion, effective equality and social development. Iberdrola was the first company to make a global commitment to promoting women's participation in sport as a way of promoting equality. Today it promotes 32 federations, more than 600,000 athletes and more than 100 competitions, 32 of which are Iberdrola leagues.

*Iberdrola S. A. indirectly holds 50 % plus one share of Neoenergia S. A.

**Avangrid, Inc. is 81.5 % owned by Iberdrola S. A.