Gender equality is critical to a prosperous society and companies, institutions and organisations are focusing on gender diversity as an essential factor for social progress.
Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a key factor in achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Despite this, data shows that in the workplace, women still earn 19% less than men, according to the Global Wage Report 2018/2019 of the International Labour Organisation.
A lot remains to be done. At Santander, we are aware of this and we are making every effort to apply various plans in the geographies in which we operate.
The gender pay gap is calculated comparing the salaries of men and women who perform the same duties and who have the same level of experience and job. We have already begun to reap the benefits of our work to redress the gender pay gap at Santander. In 2019, the gender pay gap among our employees fell to 2%, which is an improvement of 33% compared to 2018 (3%).
This reduction has been possible thanks to the methodology we have implemented, creating rigorous standards for promotion and succession, as well a talent pool to ensure diversity. In addition, we have supported it with notifications from management as well as mentoring and networking initiatives. Our firm goal is to achieve gender pay equity by 2025.
Ensuring equal opportunities at all levels is a priority for us. 55% of our workforce are women. However, this percentage is lower in management positions. In order to improve these figures we have established a series of objectives, such as increasing the number of women on the board of directors from 30% to 40%-60% by 2021.
We are very proud of what we have already achieved, because in this area and since 2017, the number of women promoted to the highest positions has doubled.
Work-life balance is essential and in order to ensure that our employees are able to balance their work with their personal lives, Santander has developed minimum standards for maternity and paternity leave in most of the geographies in which we operate. We have also created a system that allows our workforce to have more flexibility regarding their timetable and where they work from.
Our ambition is to become one of the top companies to work for in the world because our workforce is what we value most.