The world is changing: the CEO, president, general secretary, commissioner … a hundred titles have migrated to its feminine namesake in a gradual process, but steady takeover.
So it was for Monica Flores, director for Central America and Mexico Manpower Group, who recalled that the process to become a CEO is a path of corporate excellence, but also a process to afford shine on a personal level; a path where what matters is detached from the complex perfection, be humble, asking for help and do not carry the burden alone.
For her personal balance, not only equity in family time and work, but includes a third spectrum, “the time you spend you to you.” One of his biggest regrets was not having sufficiently taken while growing professionally.
Interestingly the biggest challenge of Monica Flores is also the main challenge for women to ascend to positions of leadership, considered by UN Women, Manpower, Women’s Business Development Center and INCAE Business School, which their experts agreed that being female leader it is not capacity, but breaking schemes.
Inclusiveness gender and women empowerment go beyond an issue of equity; according to the regional director of UN Women, Anna Coates, the fact that women leaders have a direct impact on the economy of a country. This is because you can take advantage of talent 100% instead of 50%, contributing both business success and economic development of a State.
Manpower confirmed three interesting trends on women’s participation:
- During the international economic crisis companies had women on their boards they were more resilient.
- Women contributed their work to 30% eradication of extreme poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- In the US, companies with women on their boards reported 45% higher results.
Monica Flores adds, “women decided 60% of spending on global consumption and decided 90% of spending on education and health of families, then take that knowledge is put gender perspective, because you have the voice of the consumer within your team”.
The world needs
“We must talk about talent rather than gender, age, religion, culture, origin or discrimination factor you want. The good news is that all organizations globally have trouble finding talent. At Manpower we have a talent shortage survey and 34% worldwide are having difficulty filling vacancies, so now have to return to see groups that were out of their pool of talent.Women we are becoming increasingly attractive, we are more prepared, we are more than 51% of graduates in master ‘sand graduate and have on average more years of schooling than men , “said Flores.
It has been tested with statistical data from Manpower that women are more committed to their work, at least in Latin America 83% of women who work still does to some extent during holidays also are more communicative, charismatic, collaborative and have a number of unique features that print their workplaces.
However there is still a disparity and a filter to get there, a rough road under the skirts of success which numbers leave no lie. In political terms, while in Europe 20% of parliamentary seats are held by women, in Latin America this figure barely skims 10%.
In business terms INCAE Business School confirmed that although women remain a majority when they graduate from college and enter the job market, graduate programs and senior management in companies women represent less than 50% .
Manpower also revealed that in Latin America only between 1% and 2% of companies have a CEO who is a woman, while in the US the figure is just 4% of the 500 companies of Fortune.
In the same country only 15% of all jobs in the executive branch are being developed by women, even though 60% of university bachelor degrees are being delivered to women and 50% are female doctorates.
“We know that women work hard, we know they have the academic preparation, we know that they can cope with multiple processes at once Speaking of home, family and work, we know they have been for quite some time in the workforce. Fundamentally the problem is then summarized in that do not have adequate network and a proper support system, “he said Emilia Di Menco, president and CEO of Women’s Business Development Center.
On the opposite spectrum, Latin America is still fighting his own ghosts, these three mirrors of the same problem filtered feminine possibilities:
Gender roles. All experts agree that the main obstacle lies in women as mothers and recharge in charge of the house, which generates a double workday.
“We have evidence today that 90% of this work falls on women and obviously a woman who is working in the house so you do not have the opportunity to access better positions in the labor market, training opportunities, to ascend when you can do in higher positions, “he concretized Anna Coates, UN Women.
For her Monica Flores, society is challenged to accept new families with different gender roles, besides being healthier and encourage male participation, enable personal and professional development of women.
According to Anna Coates there is still a “glass ceiling” ( glass cealing ) in the access of women to decision making, this is evidenced by the fact that there is still a significant number of women in management positions , and much is because, in his view, lack of friendly policies a balance between professional and personal life within companies.
“The schedule is expected of a woman or a man to reach managerial positions is not convenient when you also have responsibilities at home. It is very important to note that this does not mean that you have to create personal balance policies solely for the benefit of women. Changing policies is for families, is for men too, because unpaid work should be distributed. “
The “Bias” brains
Carmelia Lie, Dean of Executive Education INCAE Business School, notes that there are prejudices that are in the collective subconscious in decision-making, also called “bias brains”. These affect women’s access to better jobs and, therefore, prevent the advancement of women in management levels.
The “bias” is harmful because potentially the woman to whom he was denied hiring does not have children and do not plan them, however, it is anticipated that it will.
Its top detractors believe that the gender quota system reinforces the idea that the woman came to leadership without its own merits.
The experts seem to agree that they can be a short-term measure (as affirmative action) to resolve the issue of inclusivity, but in the long term should consider other strategies to change the functioning of society in general.
What made me CEO
The mystical aura of the CEO seems to be the recipe for success among superwoman and super executive of the few able to identify the secret ingredient, however, they themselves say not only are not super women, but reaching leadership possible, feasible and it will be a tendency for many other hundreds of women.
For Emilia Di Menco, president and CEO of Women’s Business Development Center, the ascent starts a process of reflection that looks first in the domestic labor circle and questions: Who can I trust? “There are many smart people who work hard, but you surround yourself with people who can support your back during difficult times,” he says.
Meanwhile, Monica Flores says that the female gender should be empowered, breaking paradigms, leaving the cultural theme of guilt, create support networks that include men and women, and be more aggressive in the good sense of the word, this is infers to raise his hand to ask for a raise and “grab the egg” as they say in Mexico because culturally women are more discreet to be proactive.
The CEOs today only load on his back his intelligence, his wit and his merits, beyond that have decidedly left behind in the first step of his professional start, the old paradigms of who should be.
They are leaders, have authority and are in the crosshairs of global talent, they can never wear a pair of heels and never need maternity leave, or they can do both and be equally successful, then challenge their own limits still a force awakening, list to reclaim its global role in the hierarchy of decision making as a voice of weight, which he exceeded that gaps and made history. That is the image of the new leader, a woman who challenges herself and challenges society.