Ana de Anca: “Women have to learn to be less hard on themselves”

It was 1983 and Ana de Anca was a young woman with a degree in Chemistry with a professional career to embark upon. What she never imagined was that it would begin in Minneapolis (Minnesota, United States) learning how to maintain the Spanish electricity control centre system that was being designed and developed at the time. Her commitment to field of high voltage electricity and transmission has led her to become one of the longest-serving managers in the Company.

 “ASELÉCTRICA was looking for people who wanted to leave for two or three years to work in Minneapolis, where the electricity control centre that would later be implemented in Red Eléctrica was being designed and developed. No previous experience or advanced technical knowledge was necessary” because, as Ana describes, nobody knew anything about it and my task was to learn how to do it.

All that was needed was desire and Ana didn't think twice before packing her bags. But that trip would not be taken alone, she would be accompanied by her husband, not her accompanying him. "Some colleagues seemed somewhat surprised by the fact that it was he who accompanied me." Something had clicked and the roles, for once, had been reversed.

In addition, Ana became a double pioneer: she was the first female professional with a university degree who became part of the Red Eléctrica workforce and also the person that, in 1988, was the first to try out one of the most widespread measures for balancing work and family life: a reduction in working hours.

Three decades later, Ana believes that women "have to learn to stop being so hard on themselves" because over the years she felt "overwhelmed" and "more limited", although "over the years, I started to realise that this sensation was actually no longer the case."

She confesses that she was afraid at first that this decision could cost her dearly in terms of her professional development“ but in the end it didn’t turn out like that”: today she is the Manager of the IT Systems Area of Red Eléctrica, the huge IT engine that drives and allows the management of electricity  transmission and operation.

Women at Red Eléctrica represent...

of the staff
of the managemment team
of the Board of Directors