Dalia Empower was invited to participate in the most recent Women’s Day at Procter & Gamble. This yearly event is dedicated to promoting women’s professional growth working within the company, and also generate a more inclusive work environment.
Ingrid Medina, Consultant Specialist in Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Co-Creator and facilitator of the program ‘Women in Leadership’, gave a talk titled “Women beyond P & G”. Facing 200 participants, Ingrid presented an overview of gender equity in the business sector, both in Mexico and the world.
The talk’s objective was to sensitize the audience regarding women’s current situation in Mexico. Where, although there seems to be a progression (as in parity with the Mexican Congress), there’s still much inequality. For example, the fact that in the private sector women currently occupy only 14.6% of top management positions and that in the manufacturing and services sectors women receive 20% and 7% less salary respectively, than men for doing the same job.
It’s striking that men have a working participation rate of 80% vs 48% of women. Many Mexican women face significant obstacles which prevent them from participating fully in the labor market. These include the burden of unpaid work (each day, Mexican women face 4 hours of unpaid work in comparison to men); the traditional gender roles; and the lack of reconciliation policies between work and family life, especially the insufficient supply of child care services and flexible work practices.
This situation of inequality influences women’s opportunities and professional development. Worldwide, only 5% of CEO positions in global companies are women. Admirably, P & G has reached parity at managerial levels, but it’s not the case at a directive level where they reach an 18% female participation, so it’s important to keep working on equality.
P & G is recognized for its attractive and efficient human resources practices. But like many other multinationals in Mexico, it’s also affected by losing part of its female talent while climbing the leadership ladder, whilst due to this same lack of equity they decide to look for other work choices halfway through their careers.
The attendees asked many questions. For example, they were highly interested in how they can reduce the equality gap. To which, it was advised to practice the behaviors of the inclusive leader. That is, make sure that employees who are a minority are treated equally, and that there are no preferences from bosses towards employees.
The youngest were interested in knowing why in some cases exists lack of support among women? To which Ingrid advised to continuously promote education on the subject as a global problem. It’s important that women in companies understand that there’s a problem of lack of equality that affects half of the world’s population, in Mexico, in their company, in their country. And also, that together we women and men are working so that the company’s environment allows female leadership behaviors to be as welcome as the masculine ones are today.
There’s still a long way to go so that companies’ directives become more sensitive to the advantages that their management teams bring to the table, which also mirrors the Mexican society. It’s always better to be leaders than followers, because equality and diversity are strategic advantages and differentiators which lead to market gain and positioning within the competitive world in which we live.
This entry was a collaboration between Ingrid Medina and Nicole Figot.
Ingrid Medina will impart a workshop on ‘Team Management in Times of Change’ within the ‘Women in Leadership’ program at Dalia Empower.