I reflected the other day on the importance of International Women’s Day and its impact after the tragic fire in which 123 textile workers died in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York, since then women have been fighting tirelessly to win spaces in all the areas of life, on an equal footing with men, in society and in their integral development as a person.
In 2016 we, at Ipsos Ecuador, conducted a study promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which aimed to provide relevant and reliable information to develop and propose alternatives to increase the participation of women in senior management and the directories of companies in the country.
The study demonstrates the importance of gender diversity in management positions. In general, the fact that a woman fulfills an important managerial position represents for a company the increase in competitiveness:
- higher profitability,
- better customer satisfaction rates and even,
- greater degree of loyalty of the collaborators in said institutions.
The main findings of the study were:
- At the country level, 65% of the largest companies in Ecuador do not have specific policies for the participation of women in directories and managerial positions, more accentuated in family businesses.
- 8% of companies in the country do not have women at managerial levels, more evidenced in the city of Guayaquil, especially in family businesses.
- Only 26% of the total managers are women, the most common trend is to find only 2 female managers per company.
- Of those managements found almost half is within the administrative, HR and Commercial area of the companies.
- Of the General Managements, 90% are occupied by men and only 10% are occupied by a woman.
- 10% of companies do not have women on their boards and only 27% of all directors are women.
It is fundamental that as a society we work in the empowerment of women, that women should be free to choose what they want to be and to pursue their dreams. In Ecuador, 60% of citizens believe that if the mother works then the children suffer – which is not the case when they are asked what happens if the parents worked – the children will suffer? – There are already multiple studies that show that the children of working mothers are equal or even more successful in their lives than the children of mothers who do not work (they are more independent, more recursive and more sociable).
Likewise, 40% of women think that if they earn more than their partner then this will bring problems in their home – who in their right mind wants to have problems? – Women renounce their professional development before giving up their jobs.
In my case, I am an entrepreneur, Regional Manager of Ipsos in Ecuador, the only woman as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Guayaquil and member of the directory of the Ecuador Productive and Sustainable project in 2030 and I am also a mother of Alejandro, my 3 years old son and my absolute priority. I will not say that it is always easy, but you can achieve a successful career and a family life in balance as long as the roles are shared and it is not the woman who carries the full responsibility.
About the Author:
Cristina Paez, Regional Manager at Ipsos, Ecuador