Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Corporate Inclusion

Latin American women are finally reaching the upper rungs of the corporate ladder—and the results are showing up in the bottom line.

In addition to traditional ways of thinking about corporate social responsibilities, businesses are also recognizing the internal dimensions of CSR. Management and market considerations are beginning to drive the greater representation of women in high levels of corporate decision making, and the results are showing.

Women now occupy more than 50 percent of entry-level management positions in Latin America’s corporate world. A research project conducted by the Simmons School of Management’s Center for Gender in Organizations and Ernst and Young showed that in 2006 in major sectors of the hemisphere’s economy, you are as likely to find a female department or section head as a male.

That’s remarkable progress even in just two years. The first such biennial survey, titled “Women on the Verge: Corporate Power in Latin America,” in 2004, anticipated the explosion of female representation in the hemisphere’s once tightly guarded male preserves of business leadership. The biennial surveys, based on information from 172 companies in six countries—Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru—show that women managers are also moving beyond the traditional job areas with which they have been identified, such as human resources and customer services, to financial services, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.

In some countries, the picture looks even more encouraging. Women in Argentina and Colombia, for example, have already advanced to the top of the corporate ladder as presidents or vice presidents of media companies and financial services firms. Colombian women have achieved greater representation in senior management than in any other country in Latin America…


Tags: Corporate glass ceiling, Corporate inclusion, Gender and diversity, Latin American Women, Sylvia Maxfield
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