Achieving equal opportunities for men and women
António Jorge Pedrosa, Altri’s director of People and Talent, acknowledges that recruiting women is not yet as easy as they would like. Over the last five years the Group has started to build a diverse and inclusive environment which has made teams stronger, by increasing the rates at which they attract and retain young talent.
The Altri group is the result of an acquisitions policy which brings together different realities and cultures with different organisational traits. In industrial companies, the majority of production and maintenance jobs have traditionally been and still are done by men. Women have gravitated more towards jobs in administration and other more qualified areas, such as environmental and laboratorial jobs, for example.
We spoke with António Jorge Pedrosa, Altri’s director of People and Talent, to find out what progress is being made by the Altri Group in terms of gender equality.
How many women in a year, on average, apply for jobs at Altri?
We are monitoring the number, but we have fewer women applying. Whenever job opportunities arise in operations, in production for example, with its round-the-clock work, such jobs attract virtually no women at all.
Our industrial units operate 24h/ a day, and until very recently the job market offered us no alternative but to hire men for operational duties round-the-clock.
This sector is less appealing than information technology or services. But by adopting policies and actions in the area of personnel management, namely in recruitment, and in projecting the groups’ values, we aim to turn this around.
How important is it for Altri’s business operations to have a work environment that is heterogeneous?
Having a diverse and inclusive environment at Altri is key. This will make our people feel more involved in the various different activities and projects. I can tell you that in five years we have managed to create a different reality, a more diverse environment which has made our teams stronger, where people contribute and where we have increased our ability to appeal to and retain young talent.
We have a long way to go, but we are taking very solid steps forward.
The main goal of Altri’s Plan for Gender Equality currently in force is to contribute towards ensuring equal treatment and opportunities for men and women, by promoting the eradication of gender-based discrimination and encouraging a healthy work/life balance.
What tools have been developed to help and support equal opportunities?
In reference to last year, we focused our efforts on revising the equality plan that was in force, which was a very generic document but which had some excellent guidelines. Our revision followed the guidelines set out in the Guide for the Preparation of (annual) Equality Plans, provided by CITE – Comissão para a Igualdade no Trabalho e no Emprego [Commission for Equality in Labour and Employment]. The plan currently in force was therefore developed by the managers of the Personnel and Legal departments, validated by the Sustainability managers, and of course, included the valuable contributions by our Ethics Committee.
This plan differs specifically from other equality plans in that it covers five different dimensions and sets out 17 specific measures for implementation in Altri group companies.
Also in 2021, Altri signed up to the TGE (Target Gender Equality) initiative, a programme by the United Nations Global Compact, to speed up promoting gender equality within organisations and in corporate leadership. In addition to the tools provided, we place emphasis on accessing experts in the field, as well as the opportunity to get in touch with peers working towards the same goal.
During this initiative we were invited to perform a self-assessment of our performance on matters of gender equality, and this assessment allowed us to identify our weaknesses and areas which needed improvement.
In terms of gender equality, do women today have the same career development opportunities as men at the Altri group?
Yes, even though we still have some steps to walk. The main goal of Altri’s Plan for Gender Equality currently in force is to contribute further towards ensuring actual equal opportunities for men and women, by promoting the eradication of gender-based discrimination and encouraging a healthy work/life balance, resulting in our employees feeling even more committed to the company.
Which of the commitments made by Altri do you consider to be the most ambitious?
Without a doubt the 2030 Commitment, where we set a very ambitious target in this sphere: “To double the number of women in leadership positions from 19 in 2018 to 38 in 2030”. This number currently stands at 24.
On the issue of salaries, do women at Altri earn the same as men doing the same job?
Men and women doing the same job and with the same level of seniority earn the same basic wage. We have also made advances in this area.