Metro brings together top female managers from the transport and energy sectors to discuss and praise the role of women
For the first time, Metro de Madrid is bringing together the managers of some of the leading transport and energy companies in Spain in the “Mujeres en Movimiento” forum to discuss the role of women in the present and future of these sectors, emphasising the challenge that the pandemic has posed for their companies. Metro has celebrated this meeting on the anniversary of the first time that women’s suffrage was established in Spain, on 19 November 1933.
Organised by Metro de Madrid, the forum was led by its Chief Executive, Silvia Roldán, with the participation of Isabel Pardo de Vera, President of ADIF, Ángeles Santamaría, Chief Executive of Iberdrola España and María José Cuenta, Director General of Non-Regulated Business of AENA, who came together to share experiences and combine strategies in a debate moderated by the journalist Gloria Lomana.
Having experienced this health crisis, everyone now sees the future as a challenge to turn weaknesses into opportunities and achieve recovery with the help of new technologies, innovation, creativity and sustainability, for which education must also be promoted from early-childhood to university.
In this sense, Roldan explained “I am feeling positive. We have also taken good things from this situation: we have reinvented ourselves, we have streamlined Big Data projects, we have been absolutely aware of how important innovation and digitalisation are within the company, working on such important projects as the 4.0 station, and the digital train and on capacity control".
The participants, all of whom are leaders in different areas of mobility and sustainability, both in the public and private sectors, wanted to talk about the transformation of roles, the importance of giving visibility to women in these management positions and the importance of combining strategies to take another step towards achieving a fairer, more egalitarian and sustainable world.
Roldán pointed out that “when we arrive and work in this sector we are aware that we women have to fight to be more and more visible, because there are so many women with incredible talent and we have to give that visibility so that young women see that these are tremendously appealing careers in which success can be achieved”.
According to the Gender Equality Observatory, in Europe women only represent 22% of the total workforce in the transport sector. Given these figures on women’s representation in the sector, the International Union of Public Transport (UITP), the most important international association in the sector, launched the WISE plan in 2010. In addition to carrying out an important quantitative and qualitative study, it made recommendations to promote the presence of women in the sector and set a target of 40% of women by 2035.
They all agreed on the importance of continuing to work to encourage scientific and technological vocations among girls. They stressed that there is a need to continue raising awareness and working to facilitate the access of children –boys and girls alike– to STEAM subjects. To build their self-esteem and give them greater confidence in their skills and abilities, and they have concluded that the only way to do this is from basic education, and from the families themselves
FIRST FEMALE METRO CEO
Appointed by the Board of Directors on 11 October, Silvia Roldán, CEO of Metro de Madrid, is also the first woman to hold the general management position at Metro in its 100-year history.
Last June, Silvia Roldán was appointed Vice President of the Division of the International Union of Public Transport (UITP), and has also been distinguished with the Honorary Mention for Industrial Engineer of the Year by the Madrid College and Association of Industrial Engineers in the 20th edition of its Honorary Mentions, this same month. The recognition highlights the work of professionals, companies and relevant institutions in the field of engineering and industry, emphasising the role of industrial engineering in the development of society and innovation.
Roldán is an Industrial Engineering graduate from Carlos III and has spent a large part of her professional career in the railway sector. In recent years she was Manager of the Planning and Budget Analysis Area of the public company ADIF.