"Women in leadership should be the norm, not the exception"


Hamburg / 8 March 2021

An interview with Marta Jimeno

Today’s International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. We caught up with Marta Jimeno, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Siemens Gamesa. Read about her professional journey and how she advocates for a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Head of Sustainability Communication
Marta, what is your role and mission as Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Siemens Gamesa?
In my role, I am responsible for the implementation and governance of processes and policies that foster diversity and inclusion throughout the company. 
Today’s International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women

As diversity and inclusion are present in everything we do and say, that includes a wide range of topics, such as recruitment, team behavior, leadership and corporate culture. My function leads the topic from top-down perspective, meaning that I develop the global strategy and action plans as well as mechanisms that we use to improve the way we hire, advance pay equity, provide learning and career development opportunities, report and measure KPIs, and establish employee resource groups. Action plans and mechanisms are then adopted by our local HR organizations around the world.

What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in your career and how did you overcome them?
I chose to build my career in a male-dominated sector - renewable energy - first at Iberdrola and for the past 18 years at Gamesa and Siemens Gamesa.
Throughout my career, I have encountered colleagues and managers of all genders who were not able to see beyond the fact that I am a woman. However, I have also met allies – the majority of people – who judged me based on merit and competence, not solely gender.
As I progressed in my career, I actively sought out people who promoted gender equality. The longer I've been with the company, the more I realize the importance of creating a work environment that is free of prejudice and stereotypes, where we can all participate equally and receive the same respect and opportunities.
Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to female top managers?
I believe that leadership styles are stereotyped, still today. But it is fact that different people lead in different ways, which is not to be frowned upon necessarily. From my own experience, diverse leadership styles in a company’s management and different perspectives create strong management and decision-making structures. Surrounding ourselves with only people who think the same, have similar cultural backgrounds and life experiences will unlikely create change for the better.
We still have a long way to go to become truly inclusive
I also believe that leadership styles in general have evolved over the years due to employee’s changing demands. The new generations entering the workforce demand a more inclusive and diverse corporate culture supported by leadership. What is expected of every leader, regardless of gender identity, is that they have: merits and competencies relevant to the role, a recognized business and professional reputation, conduct themselves properly, respect and promote the dignity, privacy and rights of each individual, be open, honest and reliable and take their responsibilities seriously, and have the skills to build trust in the work environment and foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing a career in HR?
My advice for those seeking a career in HR or any other department would be to be ambitious and motivated to get ahead, while also being compassionate and empathetic to others. And be persistent. Be confident in your abilities and build on your strengths: every time you might receive negative feedback, use that opportunity to reflect and improve the next time. If you have never received negative feedback, you will never be able to grow and benefit from this learning opportunity.
What does the 2021 International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life?
To me, this means we still have a long way to go to become truly inclusive. Seeing women in leadership positions should be the norm, not the exception.
To achieve gender equity, we need to question our HR policies and processes

Not including women in leadership effectively silences the views and perspectives of women - who make up half of the world's population.
To achieve gender equity, we need to question our HR policies and processes to create a work environment that welcomes diverse talent - especially in those roles where women are still underrepresented in our workforce but we also need to question ourselves. Are we as individuals promoting inclusion? Or do we consciously or unconsciously exclude people with our language, our behavior, our comments? We just all need to do better.

In your opinion, how do our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets have an impact on creating lasting change at Siemens Gamesa regarding diversity and inclusion – and specifically gender equality?
We are what we say, how we behave, and how we approach other people. Each one has a huge impact on what kind of company we want to be, what kind of work environment we want to work in, and what kind of people we will work with. If our words and actions exclude those who are different from us, then we will not benefit as a company or as individuals from the richness of other perspectives and different ways of thinking.


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