The participation of women at the managerial level within companies has shown positive changes and generates greater value mainly on issues such as innovation, environment, training and development, increasing profitability, however, there is still much to do to raise awareness in organizations about the importance of gender equity in decision-making.
The theme was captured during the Forum “Female Empowerment 2021”, organized by Capital Financiero with the support of Connectax, and the sponsorship of companies DIDI y 3M, in which the role that women play in successful business management was made visible.
Monica Chapman, member of the Board of Directors of Global Bank and of the Editorial Board of Financial capital, highlighted that in Panama, people with university studies are mostly women (54.7%), so preparation is no longer an impediment for them to occupy the same number of managerial positions as their male counterparts.
He stressed that, although Law 56 of July 11, 2017 seeks the participation of women in boards of directors of regulated public and private entities By establishing percentages to be met progressively, compliance has not been fully, according to a report from the Association of Directors of Panama.
In 2020 the law establishes that women must have 30% participation in the boards of directors. In the case of the public sector, in 2020 it reached 20%, while in the private sector it was 19.7%
The study indicates that women in directors are mainly in the financial sector: brokerage houses, banks, investment advisers, trust companies and insurance companies.
Chapman shared IFC’s “Trailblazer Portait of Female business leadership in emerging and frontier markets” report, which shows that companies with at least one female director perform better on their share price and ROE (return on equity), while less than 30% of women in leadership positions have been shown to increase profit margins and improve investor rates of return
The presence of women in business leadership is positively correlated with higher employee turnover, greater innovation, a deeper understanding of customers and markets and better environmental, social and governance standards and stronger corporate citizenship, he said.
He also made reference to the Harvard Business Review, which highlights that the incorporation of women to the “C-Suite Level” changes the way companies think: After women join the senior management team, companies become more open to change and less open to risk. In addition to presenting other interesting data:
- 55% of companies that appear in the Fortune 1000 index had 1 or 0 women in their JD (Woman on boards Analysis)
- Companies with percentages of 30% or more women on their boards of directors had 42% higher return on sales (Harvard School of Public Health Study)
- Companies with strong female leadership programs obtains ROE of 10.1% compared to 7.4% for companies without these programs (CFA Institute)
For Chapman, the balance in a board of directors brings diversity of perspectives, enriches deliberations and improves the quality of decessions.
However, consider that hThere are actions that go in the opposite direction, such as the elimination of what refers to parity in electoral reforms supported even by the female deputies themselves and the lack of equity that persists in many companies, this forces us to continue opening spaces for women.
Chapman concluded that dWe must continue to promote gender diversity in decision-making positions, this ensures both sustainability, such as the impact of these decisions on women, their jobs, their families and society in general, in compliance with the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5).
The second intervention corresponded to Paula Bernal, Director of Government Affairs of DIDI for Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, who argued that the company takes into account the participation of women because they play a very important role in the mobility of female clients who require security and confidence when moving to perform their tasks as professionals, a pillar of their homes and mothers .
Bernal assured that women find on the platforms a safe way to move at times, which previously did not move. For example, women take their children to school much more than men, so many times the journey is through to school to drop off the child and I go to the office, or I leave the office and stop to buy breakfast. And those stops are much more flexible and accessible on a platform than a public transportation system.
In most of our markets at least 50% of users are women, in many markets they are just over 50% of users. So the platforms have to understand that reality, that they address an audience that is not only male, which is equally male and female, and sometimes more female.
For the conducting partners there is also a great point of female empowerment pBecause women have many barriers about what careers they can have, then it is an opportunity to generate income for elderly women who no longer find employment or those who cannot fulfill a full-day job because they tend to their homes and find flexibility. on these platforms.
To close the forum, Enrique Aguirre, CEO of 3M Panama, stated that diversity, inclusion and equity are essential for innovation. “Embracing the different skills and experience of its people is what drives this company forward and keeps it relevant.”
“Equity is a competitive advantage for 3M, it stimulates creativity and new ideas, it helps us to better serve our clients, ”he said.
Aguirre praised that 3M has been nominated as one of the best places to work for women in 2021 in Central America and the Caribbean.
He detailed that gender equity has a very positive impact on the profitability of companies. Diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets and an extra 45% chance to experience growth in market share.
Inclusive cultures are 3.5 more likely to innovate and they are 35% more likely to outperform financially, and 50% decrease in turnover risk.
At 3M we are applying fairness in our workspaces, equity in our communities and in our business practices, he observed. “Our culture is diversity and inclusion ”.
In short, he thinks that eThe issue of equity is importantAs 3M we develop solutions, innovation and development, and we are very focused there, but in the end, those products and those solutions, where do they go? to the society that is the one that consumes them, and society is very diverse, therefore, we cannot make products with people who do not reflect what society is and for that reason, companies are seeing the need to have a diverse component of employees.
An example of our promotion of this equity is that last year we held the contest in Latin America “25 women in science” and we were fortunate that, of the 25 women, two of them were selected from Panama, two very talented women, one works at Gorgas and the other at an academic level, their jobs were related to science.
Finally, she cited the mission advocated by Woman Leadership of attract and develop leaders from all levels of the organization to accelerate inclusion and the advancement of all women.