84% of the women who participated in the first edition managed to re-enter the job market.

The programme includes a work experience placement at Santander, and a training and coaching series aimed at generating value and improving the employability of the women involved.

Madrid, 07 March 2023.
Santander launches the second edition of its "Reencuentra" programme, an initiative aimed at women who have taken a break in their professional career to take care of their family or deal with various family matters and now want to re-enter the job market. 

The programme aims to raise awareness in society of the difficulties these women face when re-entering the job market after years spent looking after their children or dealing with other family matters. There is a direct link between employment and maternity leave - according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the employment rate of women reduces as the number of children that they have increases, while the opposite is true with men. 

Out of the 100 women who participated in the previous edition, 84 have successfully re-entered the job market. Ana Alonso, one of the participants in the first edition, who stopped work in order to help her family, says, "Taking part in this programme meant leaving my comfort zone, but I know that, even though it has been an effort, the pay-off is completely worth it. It's like finding yourself again; not being part of the labour market is a bit dizzying. This programme has given me back my self-confidence and helped me see that I have a lot to offer and that I am able to work in areas that I am already familiar with as well as in areas that are new to me".

Another participant, Nuria Vallejo, who took time out of her career to take care of her son, explains, "Reencuentra gave me a second chance; it was like picking up where I had left off. I hadn't worked for several years but it's like riding a bike - you never forget how to do it. It just comes naturally". 

The aim of this initiative is for the 25 women taking part in this edition to re-enter the labour market in companies in their field. As well as a work experience placement at Santander, bringing the women into the job market, the programme includes a series of training and coaching activities aimed at generating value and improving the employability of the women involved. The activities planned as part of the programme include a training package that features an online MBA and an office software refresher course, as well as employment coaching.

Applicants must satisfy several requirements in order to take part in the programme. These include: holding a university qualification in any speciality; having at least four years of professional experience in business; and having been unemployed for at least three years. Enrolment is open from 8 March until 28 April 2023. To sign up, visit: www.santanderreencuentra.es.

Creating an inclusive work environment

Santander is committed to creating an inclusive environment for its employees. In aim of achieving effective equality, the Bank has launched various programmes and initiatives that aim to eliminate any salary gaps among its professionals, drive the training of female leaders and female talent, and increase the number of women in layers of the organisation where they are under-represented. 

The commitments made by the entity in this regard include undertaking to increase the percentage of female members on the board of directors to at least 40% by 2025 - an objective that it has already achieved and which puts it ahead of many large listed companies across Spain and Europe. In 2022, Santander continued to update and strengthen the structure of its board, ensuring balance in terms of its skills and diversity. Women make up 40% of Santander's board members, meeting the objective of 40 to 60% of each gender; 2 thirds of its members are also independent directors.

The entity has also raised its target percentage of women in management positions from 30% to 35%. In this regard, Santander closed 2022 very close to meeting this target, having achieved 29.3%. Diversity and inclusion also continue to be a priority for Santander, which promotes equal opportunities for all, regardless of gender, culture, sexual orientation and disability.

Reflecting its excellence and commitment to equality, for the second year running, Santander has achieved the top score in the financial sector and the second-highest score of all companies analysed by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

In order to achieve its diversity and inclusion objectives, Santander has launched initiatives such as: providing obligatory training for managers on diversity and inclusion and unconscious bias; reviewing all HR processes to guarantee meritocracy; creating the role of Bias Champion, whose function is to work to eliminate unconscious biases affecting decisions about people in key processes; and supporting the internal Santander Women Network, which was created in 2018 and already has over 7,000 followers. In addition to gender diversity, Santander's strategy includes actions to ensure inclusion of other groups and to measure cultural diversity and the inclusion of ethnic minorities.

Santander, which works to achieve equal opportunities both within and outside of the organisation, has also joined the international #EmbraceEquity campaign to celebrate International Women's Day.