Diversity and labor inclusion: Latin American leaders share their experiences

In a panel of experts, executives from Nissan, Alsea, and PwC discussed their experience in promoting diversity and labor inclusion within companies.

In a panel of experts promoted by Computrabajo, executives from Nissan, Alsea, and PwC discussed their experience in building a space that allows for diversity and labor inclusion within companies.

Diversity and inclusion within companies bring tangible benefits, such as increased productivity and the promotion of creativity. Previously, this space shared the experience of Gupy, a Brazilian company that helps manage diversity at work. On this occasion, experiences are shared in three important companies with operations in Latin America: Nissan, Alsea, and PwC.

On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, in a panel of experts organized by the Latin American employment portal Computrabajo, leaders in management and talent attraction met: Gabriela Bustamante, manager of purpose and inclusion at PwC; Dulce Ramírez, senior coordinator for attracting talent at Alsea; and Luciana Herrman, communication manager at Nissan. The panelists shared their experiences in implementing policies to promote diversity and inclusion in their workspace.

Barriers to diversity: problems are not always in companies

The group of panelists stressed that, when seeking inclusion, the problems are not always in the companies, but in cultural problems.

For example, Gabriela Bustamante observed that although a company may have facilities for a woman to prosper, if within her family, with her partner, or in the environment they do not support her, she may decide not to take these facilities that are offered to her.

For this reason, it is necessary to work with the cultural environment to transform the conditions that prevent certain groups from growing within the company.

Leaders: a key factor for diversity and inclusion within companies

According to Gabriela Bustamante, each company has its own organizational culture that is fraught with biases. The PwC executive mentioned that a challenge for companies is to find ways to generate engagement. In this process, the work of the leaders is vital so that these changes begin to be observed.

Bustamante stressed that leaders must lead by example because, sometimes, inclusion policies exist, but people do not take them because it is frowned upon within the organization. Luciana Herrman commented that at Nissan they have established training so that people understand the biases they sometimes have and identify the factors that block the attraction of diverse talent.

The panelists stressed that leaders are often an example for teams and therefore it is important to convey to them the importance of inclusion. What they do will impact the entire pyramid.

Policies to create a diverse environment

The panelists highlighted a series of policies that promote the creation of a diverse environment, such as labor flexibility. Bustamante mentioned that allowing remote work or flexible hours allowed people with disabilities or children to join the company’s talent.

Dulce Ramírez commented that at Alsea the focus has been on creating inclusive processes, but not only in attracting talent but also within the company. It is necessary that diversity is reflected in the teams and observe the results of these teams.

Ramírez also mentioned that in Alsea Sea they have promoted disruptive interviews, where the interviewer focuses more on people’s skills and their ability to learn, instead of the technical knowledge they should have.

Both Bustamante and Ramírez emphasized the need for companies to have open, secure, and anonymous communication channels to make complaints.

Diversity does not require barriers

Alsea’s social responsibility coordinator, María José Martínez, summarized the most important points to achieve a diverse and inclusive environment within companies:

  • Non-discrimination policy.
  • Anonymous reporting channels
  • Consequence code.
  • Alliance with experts to know how to deal with certain challenges
  • Culture of respect.

In extreme cases, where conflicts cannot be solved, it is necessary to consider the dismissal of people.

To conclude, the moderator of the panel stressed that diversity needs everything, fewer barriers so that companies have the responsibility to ensure that everyone feels included, as well as to promote diversity in the environment in which they develop.