The gender gap in Colombia remains, according to DANE the unemployment rate for women increased to 19.4%.

The gender gaps in the country continue to widen. Although the economic reactivation led to around 1.07 million jobs being occupied by women and according to figures issued by DANE in the 13 main cities of the country, there is evidence of a growing gap, where unemployment for women is 12.4 % and that of men 17.7%.

Today women have made great progress in the world of work, in fact, in 2021 it was reported that 157,000 women left the unemployment situation, however, compared to the male gender there is still a significant gap. According to the figures issued by DANE, the unemployment rate for women is 19.4% and that for men is 11.2%, this means that only one woman left unemployment for every 10 men, a rate of 8.2 percentage points.

Equality starts from home, housework does not correspond to a gender.

Claudia Londoño, director of the consulting area at the firm Talengo, an expert in inclusion and diversity programs, states:

“Although the DANE data reveal that unemployment has decreased compared to 2021, there is a figure that continues to attract our attention and that is the unemployment of women, because contrary to what is sought, the gender gaps continue to widen, since than the female population, continues to register twice as much unemployment as the male population. We know that for every three men who got their jobs back, two women got theirs back, a situation that becomes even more acute when we look at the rural areas of the country.” Read here: 5 trends in home decoration, back to the local and handmade)

Precisely the labor sector continues to be an area where inequalities are notorious, from the profile of a vacancy, even in the process of hiring a woman; On many occasions, job opportunities are limited based on gender by segmenting a job as appropriate or inappropriate according to sex. This is a behavior that can occur consciously or unconsciously in companies, but it directly affects the employability of women.

All these figures and time comparisons show us the progress and the challenges that women continue to face:

Position yourself in new environments

Women have managed to position themselves against their peers in different economic sectors, one of them has been the business environment where little by little they have gained ground, adding key presences in companies for decision-making, Londoño affirms:

“Women have overcome many challenges in the work environment, one of them is the fact of positioning themselves in managerial positions, although there is still not the same representation -not even close- in these positions between women and men, we have the presence of more women directors and in committees compared to other years”.

As reported by the expert, currently of the 200 largest companies in the country, the participation of women on boards of directors is 16.9%. This is an advance compared to later years, but it implies a reduced participation of women in these positions or corporate environments.

Work at home

Gender inequality starts at home. Housework involves time, effort and many sacrifices when recharging one person, they are activities that have been incorrectly related only to women, in fact, they are the ones who usually dedicate around 8 hours a day to these activities, according to figures issued by DANE in 2021; It is currently one of the main debates in society, since these household chores can be distributed by all the members that make it up and involve shared efforts.

Claudia Londoño affirms that this is an additional job, which overloads women, because after a working day away from home, they arrive and continue with activities that require more effort, since this is a burden that continues to weigh heavily on them. However, there are currently responses that can make these responsibilities fairly divided:

“In this we have made progress, today we speak of new masculinities, where men also begin to assume domestic responsibilities that were traditionally imposed on women. To the extent that men contribute, women can free up spaces to continue climbing the leadership of organizations”, says Claudia Londoño.

Equal Competitiveness

Women tend to have a higher education rate than men, as has been well shown in reports from the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), which is why the salary and employability gap that exists is paradoxical between genders. At present, parity is spoken of with much more responsibility in work environments, understood as the balanced participation of men and women in an organization; For this, women should also be considered in management and operational positions, mainly assuming roles that were considered masculine, spaces where little by little the role of women takes on more force.

Precisely this type of bias is generated from educational environments, where some careers tend to have a greater presence of men, such as engineering, therefore, those who graduate and apply for vacancies are also usually mostly men. One way to mitigate this type of behavior is to think from the companies that the positions do not require a special skill that differs between men and women, since they have the same capabilities.

Londoño considers that for this it is appropriate to develop programs that support women to assume managerial or operational positions, where the members of the organization encourage equitable participation and promote fair competitive environments:

“On many occasions, vacancies are opened for managerial positions, but in the shortlists there are no women who are competing, since they have not had the same possibilities of staggering in a company. These programs prepare women to be ready for opportunities, not that they will be chosen because they are women but because they have the necessary skills. It is not having women to meet a quota, it is having a fair representation of both genders”.

Women in Colombia have overcome various challenges, but efforts must be joined from the academy, companies and the government, to make this gap an egalitarian environment.

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