Gender equality, one of the cornerstones of sustainability at Abadía Retuerta

The publication of the latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report reveals the painstaking efforts made by the company in recent years in terms of equality. Ana Hernández, head of Personnel and Organisation, explains that Abadía Retuerta has always been one step ahead of what’s required by law.

Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine created its first Equality Plan in 2016, five years before companies of such size were legally required to do so. «We have moved forward out of conviction,» says Ana Hernandez. She was the only woman on Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine’s management team when she joined the company in 2015. Now there are four.

«In 2017, we created the salary register and a salary structure procedure, which determines a job-based salary remuneration and salary bands outlined in our map of positions. It is an unbiased system designed with a set of measurable and well-defined guidelines, thus ensuring fairness when it comes to making decisions about hiring and promotions. Our priority is the person, his or her qualities, skills and values; we do not make any gender distinctions,” she explains.

The scope of action, however, goes beyond the salaries or even the company’s area of activity, as it includes an active work-life balance policy, as well as campaigns to prevent harassment, both sexual and in the workplace, and against gender-based or co-responsibility violence. There is even a non-sexist language communication protocol. Ultimately, the aim is to internalise all these values.

Cultural transformation

According to Ana, things are moving forward. Although wineries continue to be somewhat male-dominated, especially when it comes to farming and production, we are seeing more and more women filling these positions. «Our most recent logistics worker, for example, is a woman.”

Now, the goal for the future is cultural transformation, which, at Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, means sustainability. This implies a commitment to our co-workers in terms of equality and work-life balance, while also promoting their professional growth and development. The next step is to obtain the EFR (Family Responsible Company) certification, a European seal which, once again, goes beyond the minimum legal requirements or those laid down in collective bargaining agreements. «It is based on the personal and professional growth of the individuals (in 2019, Abadía Retuerta allocated 0.5% of its total turnover to the training plan), the quality of the work, temporal and spatial flexibility, support for their families and equal opportunities», explains the head of Personnel and Organisation.

Recognition has arrived with the award «Equal opportunities in business for women and men» presented by the Provincial Council of Valladolid and the Óptima Castilla y León distinction for gender equality in the workplace. «We stand out for our work and commitment to the human capital,” said general director Enrique Valero in the preface of the CSR report (100 pages!). For Ana, the support of the management in this whole process is of vital importance.

She is particularly proud of the remote work programme organised in February, before the pandemic and independently of it, which has since been updated and improved. Based on flexible schedules and targets, it was chosen by 33 team members who, thanks to this initiative, are able to successfully balance their professional, personal and family lives.

«It is based on a principle of responsibility; it is the individual who decides where to work within the national territory in a responsible manner. In work-life balance, the key is trust and setting goals, as opposed to focusing the work on following a schedule,” Ana points out. «There are other elements with little economic cost which are greatly appreciated on an emotional level, for instance, giving people the chance to have a half-day off on their birthday, or on their children’s birthday,» she adds.

Other CSR milestones

Undoubtedly one of the most important CSR pillars, equality has received a major boost in 2019. Another notable achievement was the Wineries for Climate Protection certification (the only one that is specific to the wine sector in terms of sustainable and environmental development) and the Starlight Hotel certification, as a destination free of light pollution. And, of course, the 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

This is all part of Abadía Retuerta’s commitment to its historical legacy and natural surroundings.  Enrique Valero sums it up perfectly when he says: «We focus on the values that prioritise respect for the environment, our culture, history, society and our co-workers, rather than being guided by the pursuit of short-term results».

The 2019 CSR report can be downloaded here.