Soulsight
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Gender Action Plan

The global community stands at a pivotal juncture, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations in 2015. These goals encapsulate an urgent call to action for nations worldwide, emphasizing the interconnectedness of peace, prosperity, and sustainability for current and future generations. At the core of this framework lies the recognition that addressing poverty, enhancing health and education, reducing inequality, and fostering economic growth must be pursued simultaneously with efforts to combat climate change and preserve our natural ecosystems.

Central to the realization of these goals is the imperative of upholding human rights – a cornerstone of inclusive and sustainable development. Promoting and safeguarding human rights empowers individuals to advocate for equality and inclusion, catalysing transformative societal change. Within this context, the integration of gender perspectives into organizational practices assumes paramount importance, aligning with the overarching mission of Soulsight to drive positive impact in business, society, and the world at large.

Our commitment to gender equality resonates with the broader European strategy, which underscores the significance of gender-inclusive practices in achieving equitable transitions. The development of a Gender Equality Plan signifies a strategic tool to ensure the integration of gender considerations into our internal operations and external engagements. Moreover, it serves as a mechanism to raise awareness of the Gender Equality Strategy outlined by the European Union, aligning Soulsight’s efforts with regional objectives and priorities.

Building upon the European Commission’s Gender Action Plan III (GAP III), our Gender Equality Plan adopts a transformative and intersectional approach, recognizing the multifaceted nature of gender inequality and discrimination. By actively engaging with diverse stakeholders and challenging ingrained gender norms and stereotypes, we endeavour to address structural barriers and promote inclusivity across all facets of our work. Furthermore, our commitment to leaving no one behind underscores our dedication to addressing intersecting dimensions of discrimination, ensuring the inclusion and empowerment of marginalized groups such as women with disabilities, migrant women, and individuals facing discrimination based on age, sexual orientation, or religion.

The alignment of our Gender Equality Plan with the objectives of the EU Gender Equality Strategy underscores our commitment to advancing gender equality as a fundamental principle of democratic governance and societal progress. As emphasized by Josep Borrel,’the participation and leadership of women and girls are essential for democracy, justice, peace, security, prosperity, and a greener planet.’ Through concerted efforts guided by our Gender Equality Plan, we aim to accelerate progress towards gender parity, thereby enriching our organizational ethos and contributing to a more equitable and resilient society.

In light of these considerations, the objectives of this Gender Equality Plan are threefold:

  • to align with the European Union’s gender equality goals,
  • to serve as a catalyst for gender inclusivity within Soulsight’s practices, both internally and externally, and
  • to foster awareness of the Gender Equality Strategy guidelines and objectives advocated by the European Union.

By championing gender equality as a core value, we affirm our commitment to driving positive change and shaping a future characterized by equality, diversity, and shared prosperity.

a. Organizational commitment

At Soulsight, we recognize that fostering empowerment, inclusion, and equality of intersectional identities is not merely a moral imperative but a strategic imperative for driving meaningful change within organizations and society at large. Our unwavering commitment to gender equality forms the cornerstone of our organizational ethos and guides our actions and initiatives.
Our commitment to gender equality is rooted in a set of core values and principles that underpin every aspect of our operations. Firstly, we believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, irrespective of gender identity or expression. This foundational belief informs our organizational culture, fostering an environment of respect, empathy, and inclusivity.
Secondly, we are guided by the principle of equity, recognizing that achieving gender equality requires addressing historical and systemic injustices that have perpetuated gender-based discrimination and inequality. As such, we are committed to dismantling barriers and biases that hinder the full participation and advancement of women and marginalized gender identities within our organization and broader society.

Moreover, we uphold the principle of intersectionality, acknowledging the interconnected nature of social identities and experiences, including but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and socioeconomic status. Our approach to gender equality is intersectional, recognizing the unique challenges faced by individuals who occupy multiple marginalized identities and striving to address these disparities holistically.

Central to our commitment to gender equality is the formulation and implementation of our Gender Equality Plan (GEP), which serves as a roadmap for integrating gender-inclusive practices into all aspects of our organizational structure and operations. The objectives of this GEP are encompassing:

  1. Cultural transformation: We aim to foster a culture of inclusivity and belonging where individuals of all genders feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents.
  2. Leadership and accountability: We are committed to promoting gender diversity and representation at all levels of leadership within our organization, holding ourselves accountable for advancing women and marginalized gender identities into positions of influence and decision-making.
  3. Policy and practice: We strive to ensure that our policies, practices, and procedures are gender-sensitive and responsive, promoting equal opportunities for career advancement, professional development, and work-life balance for all employees.
  4. Education and awareness: We are dedicated to raising awareness of gender equality issues and fostering a culture of allyship and advocacy within Soulsight and broader community.
  5. Partnerships and collaboration: We recognize that achieving gender equality requires collective action and collaboration across sectors. As such, we are committed to partnering with like-minded partners to amplify our impact and drive systemic change.

b. Gender balance in recruitment and promotion

We are dedicated to cultivating gender balance across our recruitment procedures, promotional pathways, and decision-making bodies. Despite not adhering to fixed roles, offices, or hierarchical structures, we operate within a horizontal organizational framework where leadership is based on meritocracy and legitimacy. Our approach prioritizes individual strengths and contributions over traditional markers of hierarchy or seniority. This ethos ensures that individuals are empowered to lead based on their expertise and abilities, rather than gender or any other arbitrary criteria.

In our recruitment practices, we prioritize diversity and inclusion, seeking candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. We actively promote gender balance by ensuring that our hiring processes are free from bias and discrimination, and that all candidates are evaluated based on their skills, qualifications, and potential contributions to Soulsight’s mission and goals.

In keeping with our horizontal organizational structure, Soulsight operates on a model where promotion opportunities are not structured in the traditional sense. Instead, we emphasize meritocracy and demonstrated performance as the primary factors guiding career advancement. We firmly believe in providing equal opportunities for all team members to grow and develop, regardless of gender identity. While traditional promotions may not occur, we recognize and celebrate milestones in expertise and contribution. Our emphasis lies in fostering a collaborative environment where all team members have the opportunity to learn from one another and contribute to the collective success of our projects.

Moreover, our organizational culture encourages flexibility and adaptability, allowing team members to explore different areas of expertise and contribute to various initiatives in Vision, Culture, Innovation, and Research projects. This fluidity enables individuals to pursue areas of interest where they see the greatest potential for personal and professional development, thus maximizing their talents and skills within Soulsight.

Furthermore, decision-making bodies within Soulsight are diverse and inclusive, comprising individuals with varying perspectives, expertise, and backgrounds. While our co-founders include one woman and one man, and our CEO is male, our commitment to gender balance extends beyond formal titles or positions. We actively encourage and support the participation of women in leadership roles and decision-making processes at Soulsight.

c. Equal pay and benefits

We are deeply committed to ensuring equal pay for equal work and addressing any gender and age pay gaps that may exist within our company. Our dedication to equality extends to the fair distribution of benefits and opportunities, ensuring that all Soulsight employees are treated equitably regardless of gender or age.
To uphold our commitment to equal pay, we have implemented measures to systematically evaluate and address any disparities in compensation based on gender or age. Our compensation policies are designed to be transparent, objective, and merit-based, with remuneration determined by factors such as job responsibilities, skills, qualifications, and performance, rather than gender identity, age, or any other discriminatory criteria.
Moreover, we conduct regular reviews of our compensation structures and practices to identify and rectify any instances of gender or age bias or discrimination. Through data analysis and benchmarking against industry standards, we strive to ensure that our pay scales are equitable and reflective of the value and contributions of all employees, irrespective of gender or age.

d. Work-life balance

We prioritize the well-being and work-life balance of our team, recognizing that a healthy balance between professional and personal responsibilities is essential for sustainable success and fulfillment. Soulsight internal policies and practices are designed to provide flexible work arrangements, comprehensive parental leave policies, and support mechanisms that enable employees to effectively manage their work and personal lives.

Our official office hours are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, with a one-hour break for lunch, and until 3:00 PM on Fridays. However, we embrace a 100% flexible approach to work scheduling. At Soulsight, we believe that productivity and growth are not measured by hours spent in the office but by the quality of work and outcomes achieved. Therefore, employees have the autonomy to structure their workday according to their individual preferences and productivity patterns. Whether it’s starting early, working remotely, or incorporating personal activities such as exercise or learning during the day, employees are empowered to take ownership of their projects and workstyles. However, the office closes at 7:00 PM to ensure a healthy work-life balance for all.

Our telecommuting policy allows employees to work remotely without limitations. Whether from home or any other location, employees have the flexibility to work outside the office environment as long as it does not hinder collaboration with their team or client interactions. While individuals are responsible for managing their projects independently, collaboration and mutual respect for team members’ schedules remain paramount.

To innovate work-life integration, the second and last Fridays of each month are designated days off. These days are marked on the Soulsight Calendar, allowing our team to plan and prioritize personal activities, hobbies, or relaxation time. By deliberately scheduling time away from work, we encourage ourselves to rejuvenate, explore new interests, and engage with the world around us, fostering a holistic approach to personal and professional well-being.

We provide employees with 22 paid vacation days per year to encourage rest, relaxation, and exploration. Spanish employees are entitled to a legal minimum of 30 calendar days (which is 22 or 23 working days) of paid annual leave per year. This quota applies to full-time employees.

Additionally, Soulsight serves as a platform for continuous learning and personal development. Rather than traditional career advancement, we emphasize inward growth, leadership development, and self-directed learning. Employees are encouraged to set their own learning objectives and participate in internal learning initiatives such as Soul Tapas and Wander Masterclasses, which provide opportunities for connection, conversation, and intellectual enrichment outside of traditional work settings.

e. Integrations of gender dimension into design and research

We recognize the critical importance of integrating gender dimensions into our design and research processes to ensure inclusivity, diversity, and effectiveness in our collaborative projects with clients. Leveraging our expertise in social impact qualitative studies, engagement strategy development, value proposition creation, co-creation practices, agile transition, and strategic design methodologies, we employ a multifaceted approach to integrate gender-inclusive methodologies into our project workflows.

  1. In the initial phases of our projects, we prioritize diversity of genders in our preliminary studies to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the societal, cultural, and gender-specific factors at play. Through qualitative research methods, such as interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic observations, we gather insights from diverse gender perspectives to inform our project strategies and interventions.
  2. In our co-creation sessions with clients and stakeholders, we actively promote gender and age diversity and representation to foster inclusive dialogue and decision-making. By creating a collaborative environment where individuals of all genders and ages feel empowered to contribute their perspectives, experiences, and ideas, we enrich the creative process and enhance the relevance and resonance of our solutions.
  3. We integrate gender-inclusive methodologies into our design and research practices, ensuring that our projects address the diverse needs, preferences, and experiences of different gender identities. This may include employing gender-sensitive language and imagery, conducting gender-disaggregated data analysis, and considering the intersectionality of gender with other social identities such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and socioeconomic status.
  4. Our agile transition and strategic design methodologies are tailored to accommodate gender-inclusive practices and principles. By embracing flexibility, adaptability, and iterative development, we create opportunities for ongoing reflection, feedback, and refinement, enabling us to incorporate diverse perspectives and adapt our strategies in real-time to meet the evolving needs of our clients and stakeholders.
  5. In crafting value propositions for our clients, we consider the diverse needs and preferences of target audiences across gender lines. By conducting thorough market research and customer segmentation analysis, we ensure that our value propositions resonate with and address the unique challenges and aspirations of different gender demographics, thereby enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of our client solutions.

f. Prevention of gender-based discrimination and harassment

At Soulsight, we uphold a steadfast commitment to fostering a workplace culture that is free from gender-based discrimination and harassment. Recognizing the importance of creating a safe and respectful environment for all employees, we have established a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of gender-based misconduct.

Our policy encompasses activities that may be construed as serious misconduct under prevailing laws, treaties, or agreements, including discriminatory practices, sexual harassment, exploitation of children, or violations of human rights. The legal framework includes the Organic Law 1/2004 of December 28, titled “Comprehensive Measures of Protection Against Gender-Based Violence”, as well as the Gender Equality Law of 2007. The Workers’ Statute in Spain, which enforces equal treatment and non-discrimination in the workplace, also contributes to tackling gender-based misconduct and discriminatory practices. By adhering to these laws and regulations, we unequivocally condemn such behaviors and are dedicated to preventing and addressing them promptly and effectively.

To ensure compliance with our zero-tolerance policy and to provide mechanisms for reporting and addressing incidents, we have implemented procedures and channels for reporting grievances or concerns related to gender-based discrimination and harassment. Soulsight employees are encouraged to report any incidents they witness or experience through our designated reporting channel, which guarantees confidentiality and impartiality.

In the event of a report, our designated contact person for the present policy serves as a point of contact for employees to seek guidance, support, and assistance. They can be reached via email at info@soulsight.es or by phone at (+34) 915 71 86 09. Additionally, employees may opt to communicate their concerns via postal mail to the address provided: Soulsight Design Strategy, Calle Castelló 34, 1º izquierda, 28001 Madrid.

Upon receipt of a report, we undertake prompt and thorough investigations to assess the validity of the allegations and take appropriate action as necessary. We are committed to ensuring that all reported incidents are addressed promptly, impartially, and with the utmost sensitivity to the well-being of all parties involved.

Furthermore, we recognize the importance of providing education and training to all Soulsight team on the prevention of gender-based discrimination. Through awareness programs, we strive to promote a culture of respect, inclusion, and accountability, where every team member feels empowered to contribute to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace environment.

g. Inclusive language and communication

At Soulsight, we recognize the power of language in shaping perceptions, fostering inclusivity, and creating a supportive work environment. As a consultancy committed to diversity, innovation, and social impact, we prioritize the promotion of inclusive language and communication practices that respect diverse gender identities and contribute to a culture of belonging and acceptance.

Our approach to inclusive language and communication is grounded in our expertise in vision and innovation practices, which emphasize the importance of diversity, empathy, and collaboration in driving meaningful change. We understand that language plays a crucial role in shaping the way we perceive and interact with the world, and as such, we strive to use language that is respectful, inclusive, and affirming of all gender identities.

In our internal and external communications, we promote the use of inclusive language that acknowledges and respects the diversity of gender identities within our team and beyond. This includes using gender-neutral terms and pronouns where appropriate, avoiding assumptions about gender identity, and refraining from language that reinforces stereotypes or marginalizes individuals based on their gender.

Moreover, we integrate inclusive language and communication practices into our client engagements, workshops, and co-creation sessions, ensuring that all participants feel valued, respected, and heard. By fostering open dialogue and creating a space where diverse perspectives are welcomed and encouraged, we harness the collective intelligence and creativity of the Soulsight team and clients to drive innovation and positive change.

h. Parental and caregiving support

We recognize the importance of supporting our employees in balancing their caregiving responsibilities, whether it be for children, elderly parents, or other dependents. We understand that achieving a healthy work-life balance is essential for the well-being of Soulsight team members, and we are committed to providing comprehensive support to help them navigate the demands of both their professional and personal lives.

The legal framework for parental leave in Spain is primarily governed by the Workers’ Statute (Estatuto de los Trabajadores) and the Organic Law on Gender Equality (Ley Orgánica de Igualdad Efectiva de Mujeres y Hombres). The Workers’ Statute, as established in Royal Legislative Decree 2/2015, of October 23, outlines the rights and obligations of employees and employers, including provisions for parental leave. Article 37 of the Workers’ Statute specifically addresses the entitlement to parental leave, stating that employees have the right to a leave of absence from work for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. The duration of this leave is set at 16 weeks, which can be extended in the case of multiple births or adoptions.

Furthermore, the Organic Law on Gender Equality, as enacted in Organic Law 3/2007, of March 22, aims to promote effective equality between men and women. This law reinforces the principle of non-discrimination and includes provisions related to work-life balance, including parental leave. It emphasizes the importance of ensuring equal opportunities for men and women in the workplace, particularly regarding family responsibilities.

Soulsight’s parental leave policies provide for a length of leave that meets and exceeds the statutory requirements, allowing parents to take the time they need to bond with their new child and adjust to their new family dynamic.

We understand that arranging childcare can be a significant concern for working parents, which is why we offer assistance and resources to help alleviate this burden. Soulsight provides flexible scheduling options to accommodate childcare needs. By supporting parents in accessing quality childcare, we enable them to focus on their work with peace of mind, knowing that their children are well cared for. Whether it’s attending school events, doctor appointments, or caring for a sick family member, Soulsight employees have the flexibility to manage their schedules in a way that works best for them and their families.

In addition to parental leave and childcare assistance, Soulsight recognizes the importance of caregiving support for employees who may be responsible for caring for elderly parents or other dependents.

In Spain, the normative framework for caregiving support for employees who may be responsible for caring for elderly parents or other dependents is primarily governed by the legal provisions related to work-life balance, non-discrimination, and social welfare. The following references provide the normative framework for caregiving support:

  1. The Dependency Law (Ley de Dependencia), established through Law 39/2006, of December 14, recognizes the rights of individuals with dependency needs and establishes a system of social services and benefits to support them. This law outlines the rights of dependent individuals and the responsibilities of public authorities to provide care and support services. It also addresses the rights of caregivers and the availability of respite care services.
  2. Spain has comprehensive legislation aimed at preventing discrimination in the workplace, including on the basis of family responsibilities. The Organic Law on Gender Equality (Ley Orgánica de Igualdad Efectiva de Mujeres y Hombres) and the General Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and their Social Inclusion (Ley General de Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad y de su Inclusión Social) are key legal instruments that promote non-discrimination and equal treatment for individuals with caregiving responsibilities.

By considering the legal provisions outlined in the Dependency Law, and non-discrimination legislation, Soulsight includes comprehensive caregiving support policies that align with the normative framework in Spain. This approach demonstrates the company’s commitment to the well-being and success of its employees at all stages of life.

i. Monitoring and evaluation

Soulsight recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure the effectiveness of our Gender Equality Plan (GEP) and to track progress towards our gender equality goals. We are committed to developing mechanisms that enable us to collect relevant data, assess the impact of implemented measures, and make informed decisions to further advance gender equality within our team.

To monitor progress towards our gender equality goals, we have implemented various strategies, including the launch of questionnaires and research initiatives focused on gender equality and inclusivity. These efforts have provided valuable insights into the current state of gender equality within Soulsight, identified areas for improvement, and informed the development of our comprehensive GEP.

The implementation of questionnaires and research initiatives focused on gender equality and inclusivity by Soulsight aligns with GDPR norms and data protection ethics and legal framework. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides the overarching legal framework for data protection and privacy in the European Union, including Spain. Additionally, the Organic Law on Data Protection (LOPDGDD) ensures the protection of personal data and privacy in the context of research initiatives and questionnaires.

In addition to formal data collection methods, we recognize the importance of fostering ongoing dialogue and engagement around gender equality and inclusivity. We are committing to regularly engage our team members in discussions and co-creation sessions on gender equality improvement and internal culture innovation. For example, during some of our weekly status meetings on Mondays, we will allocate time for dedicated co-creation sessions focused on gender equality, where team members will be encouraged to share their ideas, experiences, and feedback on how we can further enhance our gender equality initiatives and foster a more inclusive work environment.

j. External collaboration and advocacy

At Soulsight, we recognize that advancing gender equality requires collaborative efforts and advocacy both within our team and in the broader community. We are committed to engaging with external partners, networks, and stakeholders to exchange best practices, collaborate on gender equality initiatives, and advocate for gender-inclusive policies and practices.
Drawing upon our rich foundation of research, expertise, and data developed through various initiatives, we actively seek opportunities to collaborate with external partners to drive positive change. For example:

  1. Through our participation in the BeFlexible HORIZON project, we have developed a Gender Action Plan focused on fostering gender-balanced leadership and assessing the involvement of women and men within teams and activities. This deliverable serves as a blueprint for promoting gender equality in the energy sector and beyond.
  2. In the ReDREAM HORIZON project, we have integrated gender equality considerations into the UX qualitative analysis to enhance usability and engagement strategies for energy flexibility solutions. By incorporating gender perspectives into our research and design processes, we strive to create more inclusive and accessible solutions for the whole ReDREAM ecosystem.
  3. Our research and communication activities, including articles featured in the Soulsight Thoughts, such as «Women and energy. Why the energy sector needs more women,» delve into gender topics within the innovation sector. By sharing insights and best practices, we aim to raise awareness and spark dialogue around the importance of gender equality in driving innovation.
  4. Soulsight organized the «Beyond Energy» event, which deliberately focused on gender considerations in the energy sector. By inviting prominent women leaders in energy innovation to share their insights, we aimed to amplify diverse voices and perspectives within the sector and inspire future generations of leaders.
  5. At Wander, we have developed several proposals aimed at fostering women’s leadership and empowerment. Through leadership creative programs, we seek to empower women to reach their full potential and drive positive change in their communities and industries.
  6. We actively participate in CERV EU projects, preparing proposals on gender equality and care within our European research and innovation network.

Many of these initiatives are led by women and individuals with non-normative gender identities, underscoring our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to expanding our partnerships, sharing our expertise, and driving meaningful change towards a more equitable and inclusive society.

Further actions

  • Soulsight team should read carefully and be aware of these policies
  • New member of the team should sign the doc that they accept these policies
  • Soulsight’s clients should be aware of this GEP and respect it
  • After each update of the GEP, “acceptance” by the team should be repeated
  • MORE?

After completing the GEP, it is imperative to outline several further actions connected to its implementation and ongoing commitment to gender equality within Soulsight:

  1. Team awareness and education
    All Soulsight team members are required to read and familiarize themselves with the Gender Equality Plan (GEP).
  2. Acknowledgement and acceptance
    New team members are required to review and sign a document indicating their acceptance and commitment to uphold the principles outlined in the GEP upon joining Soulsight. This ensures that all team members are aligned with our commitment to gender equality from the outset of their employment.
  3. Client awareness and compliance
    Soulsight’s clients will be informed about our Gender Equality Plan and are expected to respect and adhere to its principles when engaging with our services.
  4. Regular review and reaffirmation
    After each update of the Gender Equality Plan, all team members will be required to reconfirm their acceptance and commitment to the revised policies. This ensures ongoing engagement and accountability among team members in upholding gender equality standards within Soulsight.
  5. Continuous improvement
    Soulsight is committed to continuous improvement in its gender equality practices. Regular reviews and assessments of the GEP will be conducted to identify areas for enhancement and to ensure that our policies remain effective and relevant in promoting gender equality in the workplace.

References

  1. Whistleblower Policy of Soulsight;
  2. Employee Handbook of Soulsight;
  3. EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025. European Commission;
  4. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations in 2015;
  5. Empowerment, Inclusion, Equality: Accelerating sustainable development with human rights. United Nations Human Rights. Office of the high commissioner;
  6. Inclusion’s next wave. A new trend report exploring emerging trends in inclusion, revealing a powerful role for brands. Wunderman Thompson;
  7. Gender Action Plan III: towards a gender-equal world. European Union External Action.

Laws:

  1. Organic Law 1/2004 of December 28, titled “Comprehensive Measures of Protection Against Gender-Based Violence”;
  2. Workers’ Statute in Spain (Estatuto de los Trabajadores), as established in Royal Legislative Decree 2/2015, of October 23;
  3. Organic Law on Gender Equality (Ley Orgánica de Igualdad Efectiva de Mujeres y Hombres), as enacted in Organic Law 3/2007, of March 22;
  4. The Dependency Law (Ley de Dependencia), established through Law 39/2006, of December 14;
  5. General Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and their Social Inclusion (Ley General de Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad y de su Inclusión Social);
  6. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  7. The Organic Law on Data Protection (LOPDGDD)