Publication

The future of leadership in the region? Women are ready

April 30 2018
Executive Education INCAE

Gender equality went from being a pending challenge to an urgent task. From all areas, around the world, women are raising their voices to demand greater equal opportunities. And the world is listening. In the workplace, this translates into ending sexual harassment and closing gender gaps in the areas of participation, equal pay, and leadership.

In the area of ​​women's leadership, Latin America and the Caribbean have stood out, especially in the public sector. The region is the only one in the world that had six female heads of state practicing simultaneously (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, in 2014). Today, several women hold the Vice Presidency of the Government in Panama, Argentina, Nicaragua, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and soon in Costa Rica. Furthermore, Latin America and the Caribbean is the second region with the highest number of women parliamentarians.

However, progress has not been even in all countries and some have even experienced setbacks. Is there a critical mass of women ready to take on this challenge? My answer is correct: yes, the leaders of the future are ready. I know it and I know them.

This April 27, the graduation of the first class of the Emerging Public Sector Women Leaders Program, In Panama. This initiative is promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and promoted by the Government of Panama, with academic support from INCAE Business School

Since we launched the program on October 24, 2017, I have seen 30 Panamanian women leaders grow, representing five ministries - Foreign Relations, Economy and Finance, Government, Agricultural Development and Security. I have been able to verify his impetus, talent, ability, passion and commitment to the progress and growth of his country.

Why in Panama? In Latin America and the Caribbean, women hold about 25% of the seats in Congress, but in Panama the figure is higher, 29%. In addition, in the country there are more women graduating from universities than men, but they are not absorbed by the labor force in the same percentage.
I am pleased to see that the participants in this program are developing their careers in government sectors that are not traditionally led by women, like Security and Economy.

"The program has helped me to internally evaluate myself as a professional, valuing the importance of effectively communicating ideas, efforts and achievements with my team and superiors," said Nereida Pérez, from the Ministry of Agricultural Development. 

Farrah Urrutia, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shared the following: “The program has helped me identify how I exercise my leadership within the organization and how to position myself to be more effective in achieving my professional goals… and I hope that this program continues to forge leading women in the country ”.

The program for Emerging Women Leaders of the Public Sector, which was also held in the Dominican Republic and will soon be launched in Peru, is inspired by the IDB's Emerging Women Leaders Program. The program was carried out among Bank employees in six editions, with 162 graduates and the seventh program will be launched soon.  It is a pride to share that more than 50% of the graduates have been promoted, and many have taken on new professional challenges, positioning themselves as the leaders we need at the IDB and in our region.

The time to advance and accelerate women's leadership is now. They are ready. We must continue to work in a concerted effort from all sides to advocate for their promotion and continue to lead the way.

Article published on blogs.iadb.org/, by Victoria Cárdenas Simons, Chief of the Division of Leadership and Employee Development in the Human Resources Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
 

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Women's Executive Leadership Program

Dates: From November 26 to December 30, 2018.
Location: Biltmore Hotel, Miami
Country: United States
More information  

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Women Entrepreneurship Program 

Dates: From November 26 to 29, 2018.
Location: Biltmore Hotel, Miami
Country: United States
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Center for Collaborative and Women's Leadership (CLCM)

It is the Impact Center of INCAE that promotes equal opportunities for women in Latin America and facilitates that both men and women develop collaborative leadership that generates value for their organizations and societies through research, education and community impact.

More information

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