On International Women’s Day, opticians Specsavers Ópticas is an example in Spain of a company with diversity in its workforce and offering flexible working
Out of its nine stores in Spain, four have female store directors, and several have female store managers, with women making up nearly 60% of the overall workforce. For International Women’s Day, the optician is highlighting just a few of its fantastic female team members and celebrating their achievements.
Nerea Galdos-Little is the store director of Specsavers Ópticas in Marbella. Nerea, originally from San Sebastian in Spain, moved to the UK in 1996 to complete a Masters degree in International Relations, Politics and Law at Sussex University and completed two degrees. After graduating, Nerea started a successful career in banking in the City of London, but decided on a change of career after a decade in the job. It was then she set her sights on becoming a Specsavers store owner in Spain, climbing the ladder until she could become Director of her own store and return to Spain.
‘It is gratifying to be able to create jobs in Marbella. The optical industry is a great career choice, as people will always require the services of an optician. While being a female business owner has its own challenges, I have been very happy with the way that I have been received into the Marbella community and how Specsavers as a brand has been accepted and I’d definitely encourage any women with dreams of owning their own business to be brave and step up to the challenge. It’s definitely worth it!’
Sheymae Hansali,(above) optometrist at Specsavers Ópticas Fuengirola, has definitely seen a positive change in the number of women working in the field. ‘In our Fuengirola store 70% of the staff are female and we also have a female store director. The profession has changed considerably and I’m glad women can play leading roles. At school I always enjoyed maths, physics and biology. I originally wanted to go into medical school but I also knew that a career in optometry will allow me to have a better work-life balance, while working in a field that I am passionate about.
‘Now that I’m a mother, that balance is even more important for me, as I want to continue my career development and also be at home to support my young family. I feel like women can have it all. Although it is difficult, with focus, hard work, determination and a little sacrifice you can achieve what you want. I feel empowered by being a working mother and think that working definitely makes me a better mother and motherhood makes me a better worker”.
Like Nerea, Shaymae would also encourage women to go for it and follow their dreams and not let being a woman, or a mum, hold them back. She says that ‘the recipe for success is to work smart and hard, prioritising what matters to you and focusing on your goals. Don’t give up, make it happen and don’t forget that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.’
Store director, Judith Borland adds: ‘My advice for young women wanting to climb the ladder and become either a Manager or Director of a business is to seize every opportunity that you can. If you are offered an opportunity to learn more, take it. If you are offered more responsibility, carry this out to the very best of your ability. Ican honestly say that I have never been held back by being a woman. Although there have been challenges at times with the demands of having your own business and a young family, I feel that these challenges have been worthwhile and have helped me to fulfil my potential.’
Find your nearest Specsavers Ópticas store at www.specsavers.es