It is estimated that achieving gender balance in decision-making positions will take more than a century of work. What factors are slowing down this change and what are companies doing today

The presence of women on boards continues to be a pending issue in companies. Although the numbers have improved, everything indicates that at least more than a century will have to pass to reach the long-awaited parity in decision-making positions.

In Argentina and in the world there are “glass ceilings, a sticky floor. If we look at the glass half full we see the path traveled and the actions to make this happen, today the companies have concrete actions that did not exist a decade ago. But, if we look at the glass half empty, what we see is, in soccer terms, that we are playing on a sloped pitch, so everything costs more and the speed of change is slow,” says Andrea Ávila, CEO of Randstad for Argentina and Uruguay.

“For example, if you have directories made up of ten people, it is mostly seen that nine, eight or at most seven are men. How much time do we need to reach parity?” asks the Human Resources specialist.

In this sense, Alejandra Brandolini, president of the Argentine Forum of Women Entrepreneurs (FAME) and of the consulting firm ABCOM, points out that “in recent years, much work has been done in Argentina for gender equality within organizations. It was something that happened before 2020, but the inequality that fueled the pandemic made it even more necessary to do so. In addition, more and more companies think of themselves in terms of sustainability, and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5 speaks specifically on gender equality.

“By this I mean? That their presence on the agenda is not necessarily the problem. The issue to be resolved is that it does not always translate into actions,” argues Brandolini.

We are still far from reaching parity. And this is due to various points, such as culture, history and the role of women in motherhood, which has always been associated with child rearing or domestic chores. : them as the main managers and the man working outside”, explains Florencia Godoy, Senior Associate of Glue Executive Search.

We owe ourselves as a society to be able to review the role of women in society. “A strong help to start thinking differently was brought by the pandemic, which showed that teleworking is possible, as well as the distribution of tasks within the home,” adds Anadón.

“Currently, in Latin America we are a generation behind: the women +30 who occupy leadership positions, are pushing the changes that will be seen in the generations that today are studying or starting in the labor field. This change can take up to 10 years, betting on a strong business action in terms of diversity and equality, accompanied by educational policies at key moments. From experience we can say that we are building good foundations at this time, but achieving the final objective is multifactorial”, says Amelia Bálsamo, CTO of wali.

If we look at the countries with the greatest gender equality, among which Iceland, Finland and Norway are in the top positions, “we can look at where we have to go. The index that puts them in this place looks at economic participation, educational attainment , health, survival and political empowerment. As long as women enter the productive world, study and train, and actively participate in leadership roles, we will be closer to equality”, analyzes Mariana de Dios, CEO of Traditum.


The lack of flexibility and professional development stand out as the main reasons that affect the flight of talent in general, and are factors that acquire greater weight on the decisions of female talent. So what happens when women decide to be mothers.

“Maternity, and the scope of flexibility and softlanding policies continue to be a crucial point on which we focus at Itaú. The implementation of extended paternity leave is part of these proposals, since it favors the possibility of equalizing between gender care tasks”, says Viviana Valdés, Manager of Talent and Culture, Itaú Argentina.

In this sense, Érica Zamora, vice president of the people area of ​​Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes, observes that “policies change realities, in our case we implemented Extended Maternity Leave (the first 3 months of leave with pay and the option of return with greater flexibility), Godmothers Program (Mothers who voluntarily accompany new mothers), Extended Paternity Leave, Adoption Leave, In Vitro Fertilization Leave, Nursery and Egg Vitrification, among others. This increased the reincorporation of women who were mothers: 3 years ago only 62% of mothers returned and today 100% do”.

And she adds: “we also have policies for cases of gender violence and domestic violence where we seek to amplify and personalize the complaint channels and psychological and legal support is provided, 14 days of leave and the advance payment of two salaries.”

Lucila Canónico, manager of Human Resources at Natura and Avon, states that “there are multiple social obstacles, other cultural ones and various biases, so we must collaborate to improve our care systems to support those who want to start a family, as well as promote a cultural change to encourage co-responsibility in tasks”.

This implies having initiatives such as: “setting up a lactation room, having flexible hours or providing support for paying for nurseries or care services, or offering extended paternity or maternity leave. In the case of mothers, in Natura and Avon, they have five paid months of leave (the first three in charge of Anses and the following two in charge of the company). At the same time, internally we have the flexibility to replace these roles during the absence of the professional. Because it is a fact that women are primarily responsible for domestic chores and family care in the Latin American countries where we operate and it is necessary that we generate policies to accompany them,” she lists.

An important point to bear in mind is that, in many cases, “women are masculinized in order to be able to occupy the position that was once held by a man. A masculine vision in decision-making is expected of women as much as they are masculinizes to be able to occupy the position. The challenge is not only in hiring but also in validating the tools and talents that women can bring to a team”, highlights Maia Martínez Mornaghi, Talent Business Coach & Partner at Co.Education.

Today we see that this is beginning to change. “Mainly because not everything depends, ultimately, on the place they give us women or the quota legislation, but also the way in which women appropriate the spaces plays in favor. The new generations of women they are running from the traditional role that was assigned to them, and today they go out to occupy new and more spaces. That is why we speak of movement. If we do not occupy the place, naturally we leave the space for someone else to occupy it, “Martínez Mornaghi completes.


For some years now, companies have begun to combat the gender gap by providing equal opportunities. “According to the World Economic Forum and its latest report made in July 2022, it concludes that this year the global gap has closed by 68.1%. Specifically in Latin America, the 72.6% inequality of women in the workplace,” says Estefania Bravo, People Program Leader North & Latin America.

“For our part, we have also made it a priority, so that, within our human resources objective in Latin America, is to increase the percentage of women leaders. In turn, for years we have had various volunteer groups, one of them is HP Elevate Woman, where meetings of professional women who share their experiences seeking to empower new talents and those who wish to develop within the company are promoted and generated,” Bravo details.

In relation to gender equality, Leandro Maggi, Director of People & Culture at Massalin Particulares, maintains that one of the main issues to address is the salary gap between men and women. “Therefore, we are proud to have been the first global multinational to obtain the Equal Salary Certification in 2019. It is a double merit that Massalin Particulares, a local affiliate, has been the third affiliate in more than 90 countries to undergo an evaluation externally and successfully certify that men and women are equally rewarded for performing the same tasks.

“This milestone signified a step forward in the initiatives we are carrying out to create a more equitable organization with a more inclusive work environment that celebrates diversity and is supported by different perspectives. The certification process requires a great deal of humility and openness because there are always opportunities for improvement when you do these reviews,” Maggi added.

“Although at a global level it is estimated 132 years to achieve gender equality according to the World Economic Forum, at Newsan we decided to be agents of change through our +MUJERES program, with which we promote the access, development and permanence of more women in the industry”, highlights Marcela Cominelli, Senior Manager of Legal, Public Affairs and Sustainability of the company that produces electrical appliances.

Thus, between 2020 and 2021, the number of women in offices and permanent staff increased, reaching almost 2,000 people who identify with the female gender: 35% of the total workforce.

We are looking for more and more women to access, participate and develop in the industry. Likewise, we identify women with high potential, working on replacement cadres and promotions, in order to reduce the participation gap. We are working on a leadership laboratory, so that women have personal and management tools for their personal and professional performance”, adds Cominelli.

At Nissan we believe that diversity plays a very important role in making better decisions and being stronger as a company. When working on succession plans for management positions, we make sure that in all cases there is a female option. In In recent times, women have demonstrated our ability to solve challenges, and we have exhibited numerous skills that are often of great importance for daily work. Recognizing and highlighting female talent is important in all organizations”, adds Mariana Moules, HR Sr Manager Nissan Argentina.

Maria Elena Diaz Vergara, Head of Legal Department at Accor Hispanic Countries, highlights that “one of the main challenges in the short term is raising awareness of the issue at the public and private levels. That is why we seek to promote internal talks with experts in the field in order to reach to all our collaborators and continue sharing and exchanging knowledge. At the same time, we reiterate our commitment to the public-private association for gender equality, motivated by the government of Argentina”.

“Without a doubt, we find ourselves culturally evolving towards gender equality in managerial positions with the consequent paradigm shift. However, the path is arduous and it will not be achieved in the blink of an eye. In order to achieve this, it is essential that women have the same opportunities as men in the world of work and access leadership positions”, concludes Mónica Etcheverry, Director of Internal Control and Compliance at BBVA Argentina.


In 2021 in Argentina, the proportion of women in senior positions was 31%, 7 percentage points more than the value of 2020. “All in all, gender parity has suffered a setback of a generation due to the COVID pandemic -19 2 and the weak recovery does not make up for it The inequity that women face in the labor market is even more accentuated According to our research What women want (at work), they have left the force at alarming rates,” warns Luis Guastini, General Director of ManpowerGroup Argentina.

To find out what can be done to accelerate progress towards parity, this Human Resources consultancy conducted a survey of 39,000 employers in 40 countries in order to find out how they are measuring gender equality at work.

“When analyzing the data, it is observed that, although it has been shown that companies that have women in leadership positions obtain better results, only 24% of Argentine organizations are focusing on what percentage of women they have in Senior Management. In addition to this, half of the companies listed on the stock exchange in Argentina do not have a woman on their Board of Directors,” Guastini highlights.


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