Madrid, June 25th, 2020 – The efficiency of teleworking, the prioritization of tasks and the loyalty of employees as the main ambassadors of brands with purpose are some of the lessons learned during the last three months by women leaders in Spain. The global innovation firm Opinno, in collaboration with Thinking Heads and Weber Shandwick, brought together six women leaders in a new edition of their #OpinnoTalks to discover what we have learned during confinement and how to apply these lessons from a new leadership where empathy, humility, innovation and resilience were highlighted as some of the characteristics of the new post-covid leader19. To these characteristics, Doris Casares, Global Communications Director in Opinno added the generosity of all the speakers in acting as a launch pad and giving visibility to other women who have already become references both in Spain and internationally.

A different kind of leadership 
The director of the Women and Sustainability area of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Gabriela Uriarte Taberna, highlighted that the crisis “has allowed us to confirm the existence of a different, successful and more than necessary leadership, not only in the public sphere, but also in the business sphere, which is female leadership. This is not exclusive to women and is neither better nor worse than male leadership. It is simply complementary”. For Alice Fauveau, CEO of Focus On Women, a travel agency that shows destination countries through the eyes of local women, “the crisis has reminded us what we must prioritize and that the family is one of the most important things. You also have to know how to lead within your own family. At the business level we have to completely change the priorities, the concepts, we have to think about the employees. We have to be flexible, we have to be quick and know how to reinvent ourselves. We are in a completely different era, we have to change all the companies internal systems, how we take care of our employees, how we set their goals or their performance”.

Rose de la Pascua, CEO of Weber Shandwick Spain and Executive Vice President of Weber Shandwick Europe, pointed out that “the crisis has shown us that when communication fails in an organization, especially when it comes to the leader, there is demotivation, frustration, loss of talent, and externally, there is a loss of reputation and market value. What we have experienced has been a grotesque social experiment that has also left good things behind, such as knowing that employees must feel that they are important to the leader”.

New post-Covid values  
The webinar also highlighted values such as humanity, empathy, affection for employees and also for customers. Celia González Cruza, Managing Director of Montblanc Iberia noted the importance of being in contact with employees: “despite the distance, digital tools have allowed us to go further”. For her, leadership is an accompanied learning, not an imposition: “teams must understand what you want, be in permanent communication and be tolerant. We are all people, we all have children, families. We have been at home and we have adapted”. Edelmira Barreira, Director of Consulting at Thinking Heads, highlighted the advance of conscious capitalism, “which is the entrepreneurial awareness, which has been expressed through different currents of solidarity, very much in first-person in the case of business, putting values and personal convictions at the service of the common good, without losing authenticity”. Mercedes Wullich, Founder of the “Top 100 Women Leaders”, noted that “we have to be more attentive, have a wider and more diverse view, look at the world in a different way, because it will never be the same again, it has to make us better, wiser and facilitate a redistribution that helps things to be done in a different way and that this different way proposes a world, a planet, a globe, the place where we live, to be better for those who are going to succeed us”.

Digital by default
On the new modality of telework, the speakers agreed that “it requires family reconciliation and people and teams management and the bad manager of people in the digital will also be probably in-person. Blanca Gómez, Chief People Officer in Opinno also highlighted that the pandemic has helped us to focus on what is important, to get to know each other better and to discover things that we did not expect. We have also been more informed than ever and now we are certain that it is impossible to control everything that happens around us. On the other hand, this “digital epiphany” has shown us, employees and companies, that you can work remotely and you can lead well remotely, “we have realized that there is much to learn and that we must take the reins of our own learning”.