Last update: 17/02/2022

Gender diversity in the workforce of any company is one of the most valuable assets to society. However, on many occasions, we are faced with historical stereotypes about gender differentiation in sectors such as technology. To combat these stereotypes, at Santander we have created the Women In Tech (WIT) initiative.

The technology sector has one of the lowest rates of gender diversity: women account for only 26% of the total number of professionals. That is why we have created Women In Tech, an initiative in our Be Tech! with Santander recruitment plan that lays the foundations for a project to empower women in the field of technology. 

WIT seeks to promote the value of diversity, inclusion and equity in the technology sector, and to encourage greater female leadership in the world of work. This has been one of our commitments for some years, and thanks to this we have been recognised by, for example, Euromoney magazine as the World’s Best Bank for Diversity and Inclusion 2020

Female employees of Santander Group with a technology profile
Female employees of Santander Group with a technology profile

Equality in the technology industry 

The aim of WIT is to achieve equality in the technology sector. To this end, we are addressing the gender gap in this regard, to ensure that women have access to management positions, and to combat and overcome any gender barrier or prejudice in all teams.

At the same time, we believe it is a good opportunity to improve Santander’s employer brand in technology. For this reason, it is key to promote WIT, and to achieve this, we have the support of top-line directives of various functions in the field of Technology and Operations (T&O), such as Cristina Álvarez, recently appointed as Head of Technology and Operations of Europe, a role that adds to her current position as head of Technology and Operations for Santander Spain; Elisabet Pinilla, CIO and Chief Transformation Officer; Charo Vacas, Executive VP, Global Operational Excellence; and Mercedes Climent, head of HR for Santander Global Technology & Operations. In short, five great women who work at the Group and who serve as inspiration and examples to be followed.

What does Women In Tech involve?

The Women In Tech programme comprises various initiatives. The most important recent ones include:

  • International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The T&O team organised events throughout the week of 11 February, the date set by the United Nations General Assembly to mark this event. Natalia Capracci, head of Operations at Santander Global Tech & Operations, Rocío Calvo, leader of UX and accessibility specialist at Santander, and Verónica Moreno (@Veritechie), influencer and expert programmer, were among the women who took part; they are role models for women in the world of technology whose life stories are a source of inspiration.

  • FemHack. From 21 to 23 January 2022, we took part, as sponsors, in the first international hackathon for female programmers, in which Cristina San José, global head of the Models & Data unit and chief data officer at Banco Santander, represented us as a speaker, together with other leading women in the world of technology.
  • 1st WIT summit. On 16 November 2021, we held this event for the first time, organised jointly by Santander and the software company MongoDB. Female professionals and leaders from the world of technology, from outside and within the Group, addressed issues such as professional growth, inclusion and personal experience in the workplace. The event, which consisted of talks, debates and round table discussions, was attended by more than 400 people online.

  • Diversity diagnosis initiatives. By conducting in-depth interviews, an external specialist consultant assessed Santander Group’s Technology and Operations area with regard to diversity.
  • Insightful dialogues. We have organised seminars on the world of technology with female role models at Santander, entitled “Conversations for hacking stereotypes”.
  • Preparation of a study on gender diagnostics. This was carried out with the participation of sponsors and representatives from the Technology and Operations area of Santander Group. Its conclusions included the employees’ positive perception of the progress in diversity and inclusion.

Actions for equality

All the events organised within WIT have provided us with important testimonials and stories on how we can work together to improve. Many women are demanding a greater female presence, equal treatment and a less hierarchical way of working, as they believe this will help improve many aspects. At the same time, female professionals in the technology sector stress the need to improve the work-life balance for both men and women: an increase of resources to learn how to navigate career paths and flexiworking measures that adapt to an individual’s needs, among many others. 

At Santander, we continue to work to achieve this. Launching Women In Tech drives us to retain the perception of Santander as one of the most important contributors to diversity worldwide, as well as being a responsible bank in key values for society. One of the basic pillars needed for this to happen is achieving gender equality in this area. 

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