Women workforce rising: Latin America

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education
category - society
category - workplace
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Market Focus
Focusing on collective empowerment and development, initiatives across Latin America are helping women to foster skills and independence in their own way

Drivers: what’s happening

Being a woman in Latin America can be a tough experience – especially where work and careers are concerned. Facing sexism and systemic barriers to personal growth, women across the region have long faced a fight for their rights and respect at work and as entrepreneurs.

A collective shift towards women’s empowerment is taking place, however, as women find among themselves the support and opportunities that society and companies have not given them. They are boosting their careers and personal finances through shared endeavours and goals – and ways to leave a legacy for others.

Seeking to deconstruct Latin America’s patriarchal societies, women are turning the chessboard of social injustice in their favour to seize their own futures through training, development and support of others.

Published by:

30 March 2022

Author: Carmela Vecchione at Box1824

Image: Aquí Siempre featuring Djali Brown-Cepeda by Spotify for Latinx Heritage Month

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Women For Tomorrow by WeWork in partnership with Women’s Global Empowerment Fund is providing selected women-led businesses with £3.8m ($5m) worth of workspace and mentorship for a year in Latin America

Case studies: what’s new

Financial literacy uplift

According to a 2021 study of domestic and family violence against women by Brazil’s Federal Senate, financial reliance on a partner is one of the reasons why 46% of Brazilian women who suffer domestic violence do not report it to the police. Elsewhere, Argentina has the largest gender gap in financial education in Latin America (source: Mujer Financiera). Aiming to fix this are local initiatives offering financial education for women. At the end of 2021, The Government of the City of Buenos Aires launched a free finance course for women and the LGBTQ+ community, providing training opportunities to alleviate inequalities. Focused on support for Black women in particular, especially those in low-income, informal or self-employed roles, Grana Preta is a project that teaches financial awareness to foster independence and boost confidence.

Life-long development

With men historically leading the business environment in Latin America, women are now stepping up to create systems that place the needs and development of the women workforce front and centre. Brazilian femtech company Theia, founded by Paula Crespi and Flavia Deutsch Gotfryd, helps to ensure women and their employers can better balance pregnancies with professional life. In Mexico, Mujeres en Finanzas (MEF) is creating gender equity in the country’s finance sector through the pillars of networking, resources and tools that close the gender gap and increase awareness of women in the industry. Founded by 16 professional women, its ambition is to increase women in positions of leadership through career development programmes.

‘Knowing one’s own history and one’s potential is liberating. Knowing that all the power we seek is within us – and that we can be anything we want – is transformative’
Mônica Costa, founder, Grana Preta
 
 

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