María Jesús García: “Sometimes, women believe we have to prove ourselves more than men in order to do the same job”

She was in charge of the Electricity Control Centre (CECOEL) the night Andrés Iniesta turned Spain into World Football Champions. That summer of 2010, she was part of the team that made ensure electricity reached all televisions nationwide. She did it like she had done for so many other nights since 1988 when she became the first female operator of the peninsular electricity system. Her name is María Jesús García and today she coordinates the Canary Islands System Operation Department.

María Jesús García was the only woman in a team of 12 people who began training in 1988 to become electricity system operators. They would be responsible for managing in real time that households had the electricity they demand at all times.

According to María Jesús, as it was a newly created team and everyone was new, nobody was surprised by the presence of a woman. "It was normal for everyone because we had been together since the first day of the training." She clarifies that "sometimes women think we have to prove ourselves more than men in order to do the same job" but she has never had "the feeling of having a glass ceiling." In fact, in 2005 she became the first woman in charge of the real-time operation of the system, a position she would hold until 2012. Furthermore, she comments that being a shift manager is not at odds with female talent.

Nevertheless, the old clichés of whether a female would be absent from her job more than men have been blown out of the water. As Manager of the Canary Islands System Operation Department, María Jesús underlines the importance of continuing to promote gender equality policies. "I hope that, in the future, it will not be necessary to celebrate International Women's Day," but admits that there is still a lot to do and that it is still necessary to "raise the profile of this situation."

Women at Red Eléctrica represent...

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