Entries on Tendencias EN

Closing the gender gap, Sophie van Gool’s mission (MBA 19)

According to the Annual Report on the Global Gender Gap published by the World Economic Forum, the main countries that are cnearby closing the gender gap are Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda and Germany. Although the numbers are favorable since the gap has been quietly reduced by 0.6% worldwide, there is still 31.4% to achieve.

Sophie van Gool (MBA 19), is the founder of Moonshot Diversity and Inclusion, a startup that does analytics strategy and training to help companies become more diverse and inclusive. Moreover, she is also the co-founder of Salaristijger (Salary Tiger), plus influences the public debate by writing columns at the Dutch Financial Times and creating podcasts at “I’m Speaking”.

Sophie van Gool was motivated to work to close the gender salary gap because when she started working in the corporate world, she was surprised to see that there’s still a huge gender gap: in power, influence, and also in salaries. “There was a very small number of women in positions of power, and a lot of women in the lower ranks. I noticed that a lot of people talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion, but at the same time, there was very little meaningful action and progress”, Sophie stated.

“The pandemic is increasing existing inequalities and problems”

Sophie considers that there are a lot of reasons for the salary gap: women face a lot of hurdles when they move up the career ladder, they are still responsible for the majority of the unpaid (household) work, but also, sectors that employ a lot of women pay lower salaries and women are being paid less for the same work.

Because of the pandemic consequences, there are even more issues that increased the gap: “Research shows that the pandemic is increasing existing inequalities and problems. Women are more likely to lose their jobs and to take (unpaid) leave to take care of children and family, because schools and childcare are closed. Women are also more likely to have insecure jobs or flexible contracts, so they are hit a lot harder by the crisis”, explains.

Finding inspiration

The Esade Journey inspired her to move from her safe corporate job to entrepreneurship: “I used my MBA to learn more about gender inequality and I learned a lot from my classmates from all over the world. I realized the problem was even bigger than I thought, and that it exists in every country in the world, in pretty much every industry and organization. My time at Esade also showed me that many people want to change it and that it is possible to make a change. After my MBA, I decided to quit my corporate job and be an entrepreneur”.

Nowadays she advises and analyzes organizations on the salary gap: how big it is, what are the main reasons for it, and what can they do to close it.. And she also gives a lot of workshops and keynotes on the topic.
On the other side, she supports employees in their salary negotiations: “We create more transparency, help employees with a peer review of their salary, so they know what they can ask for and what are their rights. We also offer to coach and do role-plays to help people prepare their negotiation”.

“I want everyone to get a fair salary for their work! Regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability”

She could explain plenty of experiences she has carried out to guarantee the diversity and inclusiveness of an organization. For example, there was one that implements an unconscious bias workshops for all employees, to introduce the concepts of diversity & inclusion, racism, sexism, discrimination and bias.

In this respect, Sophie recommends that women know their rights: “Do your research so you know about your rights and know what you can ask for, and then ask for it. And ask for help, how other people do it, or seek professional advice. But be warned, this advice is not just for women: I want everyone to get a fair salary for their work! Regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability”.

April 7, 2021 4:31 pm

Expanding Frontiers Through Digitalisation

Cellnex successfully clears the 700 MHz band in Spain The radio spectrum is like a motorway along which radio, television and telephone signals travel. Use of this space – which is regulated by governments – has evolved in tandem with needs and innovations, with extra lanes being added and traffic being rerouted to facilitate circulation.... View Article

January 28, 2021 3:51 pm

Esade Alumni Stratup Day

The ninth edition of Startup Day was organised jointly by Esade Alumni and Banc Sabadell to commemorate the vitality of the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem during a year dominated by the pandemic. At the event, the Best Startup of the Year Award was presented to Psious. Patricia Valentí (MBA ‘03), Director of Esade Alumni, delivered the... View Article

December 21, 2020 9:39 am

Alumni Involved in Social Investment Projects in Africa

Impact investing strives to create a net positive impact based on financial, environmental and social returns. These impacts should be intentional and measurable to be able to guarantee their positive contribution to society. Oryx Impact is an impact investing fund with a strategic focus on Africa that aims to increase livelihoods and thus reduce forced... View Article

December 21, 2020 9:41 am

Rethinking Business Strategy in Times of Crisis

The tourism crisis that has enveloped Spain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the industry – and hotel chains in particular – to seek out alternative lines of business. This is the case at Gallery Hoteles, which has reopened its hotels – which had been closed since the declaration of the state... View Article

November 18, 2020 5:27 pm

Advanced analytics and smart buildings

Machine learning, a sub-area of Artificial Intelligence, has come to change our lives. The capacity to handle and to analyse large volumes of data in the wake of the technology advances of recent years is making paradigm shifts possible while increasing our capacities in practically all industrial sectors. The great impact IoT can have on... View Article

November 18, 2020 5:37 pm

Participate in the next ‘Startups Outlook’

A very important number of people are committed to innovating in daring, creative and original ideas that end up being successful and that at the same time generate new jobs, contributing to the improvement of the global economy. For this reason, in the next e-Magazine in October, entrepreneurs and startups have the opportunity to publicize... View Article

October 8, 2020 2:56 pm