Without gender equality, no sector in our society makes sense. Therefore, companies and institutions are making gender diversity a core tenet. At Santander, we strive for equal opportunity between men and women within our organisation and in society. That’s why we wanted to share in celebrating International Women’s Day and support this year’s theme: #ChooseToChallenge. 

Female Boss Gives Presentation To Team Of Young Businesswomen Meeting Around Table In Modern Office

To make equality a reality, we have several public commitments to fulfil by 2025. They include having between 40% and 60% women board members by 2021. Women currently make up 40% of our board, which is much higher than at other large companies listed in Spain and Europe. According to the CNMV in July 2020, annual corporate governance reports from 2019 showed that, on average, 27.5% of directors at IBEX 35 companies in Spain were women. 

We also aim for women to make up 30% of senior management (currently 23.7%).

We have various responsible banking programmes to promote equal opportunity among our employees in the countries where we operate. Throughout 2020, we launched initiatives on work-life balance; implemented global standards for maternity/paternity leave; promoted recruitment, career development and equal pay; and raised awareness. 

In 2020, we set a minimum standard for maternity and paternity leave for group employees. It extends maternity leave in Argentina, Mexico and the US; and adds four weeks to paternity leave in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Portugal, Poland and Uruguay. We will phase in these measures across our markets by 2022. 

Also, because of our commitment to gender equality, the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index has ranked us among the top 10 leading companies in the world.

Equality initiatives  

Santander supports many global entrepreneurship initiatives that promote women’s talent and leadership:


  • Mujeres con S. This mentoring programme propels women’s careers through professional and personal development based on shared experiences. Santander puts high-level professional mentors and their mentees in contact with each other and provides them with the tools they need to form a social network for six months. “Mujeres con S” first occurred in 2019 in Extremadura and Murcia, and subsequently launched in the Basque Country, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. A new nationwide programme launched on 8 March. 
  • "Reencuentra” programme: This initiative is for women who put their careers on hold for their families and are facing obstacles to re-entering the job market and proving their talent. In its first year, it has worked with 100 women between 38 and 46 years of age, selected from more than 3,000 applicants. Participants have been of out the job market for five to ten years. So far, 40% have already re-entered the job market.  


  • Banca Woman. This is a proposition to provide financial services to women entrepreneurs who own SMEs or are professionals. In Argentina, women can have access to managerial training, financial portfolio management, loans at special rates for women entrepreneurs, and many other services, with new perks for purchases.


  • Tuiio. This programme provides low-income, underbanked people with services and products that have a high digital component. They include custom loans, savings products and insurance. Tuiio currently operates through 85 branches and has more than 72,000 customers in the communities it serves. 90% of its customers are women.  

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