surinenglish

“Spain will not progress in terms of equality if it doesn't adopt European hours”

What will be a major advance towards equality between men and women in Spain?

There will be no progress towards conciliation without European working hours. Climate reasons? I'm not convinced. Greece, Italy and Portugal have similar climates but different working hours. Spain is an anomaly. We can't organise family life around classes that finish at 3pm. In Norway, up to the age of 10, pupils don't finish until 5pm. People want a continous working day [without a long break for siesta]. The hours make it impossible to have a compatible home and working life, apart from other problems.

What is your type of feminism?

It has never been victimhood. I don't identify with radical feminism, but with women and men having the same rights. I have worked with and for men all my life, often as the first or only woman in a team, and I have never felt a victim, discriminated against or bullied. However, it is a fact that in much of the world women do not have these equal opportunities and their talent, which represents 50 per cent in the world, is not appreciated. Women are capable of doing everything, in any sphere. They have a great deal to contribute.

In business management, for example?

Research shows that their presence in higher management helps to attract and retain talent. There are some female leadership values: the search for consensus, a more ethical, empathetic style, much more dedicated to collaboration than competition, more transparency, and a less hierarchical style.

But they sometimes also copy masculine styles.

Sometimes, in very masculine fields, they adopt those aggressive attitudes, more assertive and competitive, to make themselves count. They act in accordance with a male stereotype of success.

There must be things about Andalusian attitudes, including in business, which annoy you.

Change is slow. Some people are self-protective. I think they are afraid of change because they would lost status. In Norway it doesn't matter who your family are or what they did. You are judged on your own merits.