MIUC´s Marbella campus was all abuzz Wednesday evening during the Spanish-language round table talks with prominent local women entrepreneurs, university professors and politicians, who came to discuss the topic of a future of equality.
Those presenting were Cristina Mintegui Cano, lawyer specialised in urban planning and President of the Association “Red de Emprendedoras de Marbella; Lucía Prieto Borrego, PhD in History and Professor at the University of Malaga; Ana Leschiera, councillor of Equality and Diversity in Marbella Town Hall, who led the round table; Blanca Fernández, First Deputy Mayor, Councillor of Public Works and Infrastructure, and Councillor of Sports in Marbella Town Hall; Gema Midón, archaeologist and responsible for Education, Culture and Heritage in Marbella Town Hall; Verónica Pérez, General Secretary of the PSOE in Sevilla, member of the Executive in PSOE-A and First Secretary and member of the Andalusian Parliament.
The opening remarks were made by MIUC´s own Maria Blanco, followed by a speech by Marbella´s Mayor José Bernal, who expressed his support for this initiative as well as mentioning his own interest in his administration´s “Equality and Diversity” working group.
The presentations focused on exposing the disparity, evident still today, despite the great stride made by this country in the years since the Civil War until today, in salaries and ability to cap the glass ceiling.
Also of some import were the issues of sensitizing our society as a whole to the issues of combining family and work life in such a way that women, and indeed families, need not be placed in distress.
There were discussions about facilitating both maternity and paternity leaves, adjusting working hours to correspond more with the needs of women with families, of bridging the salary gap, and mobilizing the media to focus more attention on the current issues of equality, to create a better future for all.
During the discussions, it was mentioned that women often turn to entrepreneurship as means of solving the problems, partially brought on by the economic crisis, which often precludes being able to leave a badly-paying or indifferent employment. The leader of [Red de Emprendedoras de Marbella, Cristina Mintegui Cano, reminded the audience that they are they to assist and guide those choosing this option.
Industry came under criticism for not having solved these issues yet, as did Universities, where much work remains to be done, to bridge this disparity, with many women graduating but not necessarily practicing their chosen profession.
A lively Q&A period ensued, followed by an elegant cocktail in MIUC´s Marbella campus reception area.
MIUC extends their heartfelt appreciation to our participants and looks forward to hosting more of these important debates touching upon the heart of today´s global issues.