How large companies fight gender inequality in LatAm?

CEO in Latin America shared some measures they have taken to reduce inequality in companies.

In the first Women’s Forum Americas, the CEOs in Latin America of three large corporations talked about the measures they have taken within the companies they lead to combat gender inequality.

The CEOs of Facebook, Danone, and DuPont in Latin America shared some measures they have taken to reduce inequality in companies.

Women’s Forum Americas 2019

The Women’s Forum Americas 2019 brought together 1,500 leaders from the region and the world to share the paths they have taken to motivate women and promote inclusion in the modern world. The event was held in Mexico City on May 30 and 31, bringing together leaders in business, governments, global institutions, and NGOs

One of the tables of this forum brought together Xóchilt Balzola-Widmann, director of Facebook in Mexico; Silvia Dávila, president for Latin America of Grupo Danone, and Claudia Jañez, general director of DuPont Mexico. Executives talked about how women can break the glass ceiling to achieve leadership and what measures they have taken within the companies they lead to allow more significant gender equity.

Breaking the glass ceiling

Of the 500 largest companies listed by Fortune in 2018, only 24 had women in management positions. In the same year, only one in four senior positions were filled by women, with technology industries where there is a less female presence, according to the Grant Horton’s report Women in Business: Beyond Policy to Progress.

As for the wage gap between men and women, this is partly due to the lower presence of women in management positions, which are usually the best paid. This difficulty of moving forward along the professional career is traditionally known as “glass ceiling.”

Elena Terol, Director of ExcellentSearch, mentioned for El País that among the reasons that block the promotion of women are their insecurity about their capacity; not indicating on their achievements; not showing interest in better positions, and doing little networking.

At the Women’s Forum Americas, the executives said that the so-called “glass ceiling” is broken from the moment women dare to recognize their abilities and skills to raise their hands, make things happen and not wait for their talent be discovered. “

How do companies fight the gender gap?

The CEOs of Danone Latin America, Facebook Mexico, and DuPont Mexico boasted some of the schemes they have implemented in their companies to address the gender gap and achieve equity in the labor market.

In Facebook, the company grants four months of maternity or paternity to women and men at all levels of the organization; It encourages women and men to help promote important issues for women, and ensure that half of the people interviewed are women. Balzola- Widmann stressed that in “In Mexico, we are 50% and 50%”.

In Danone, the search for equality goes from recruitment. At least one woman must be considered each time a new position is opened. With the analysis of metrics of each country in Latin America, they look for programs that aim to promote equity. Finally, the UN-Women alliance has allowed them to use a methodology to develop work pillars that make it possible to level the opportunities between men and women.

In Dupont, Claudia Jañez stressed that the company promotes that all its workers have the possibility of doing home office; seeks inclusive hiring; gives financial support for daycare centers and lactation room; establishes work by objectives and open spaces.

According to the Mercer Study, “When women progress, businesses progress” in 2017, women’s participation in companies was stagnating. However, Latin America is one of the regions with the most encouraging data.