“Women for Tomorrow” Aims to Bridge Gender GapBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 03/16/2021 - 17:39
WeWork has launched a program to promote women-led startups with the mission to create a more equal future for men and women, announced the company’s official website. Through the program “Mujeres para el Mañana” (Women for Tomorrow), the company plans to allocate US$5 million to businesses in Latin America and the US. WeWork will also offer flexible workspaces that have the Biosafety Bureau Veritas certification to ensure that winning startups have a fully safe work environment.
In Mexico, this initiative operates in collaboration with Softbank, the Mexican Association of Entrepreneurs (ASEM), Endeavor and Victoria147, a business academy for women. Together, these companies also plan to offer exclusive mentorships to guide, promote and support business development in the country, according to Forbes Mexico. “Women for Tomorrow aims to not only to raise awareness about a critical issue that has largely gone unnoticed during the COVID-19 crisis, but also to drive significant and lasting change for women in the workforce," said Liliana Mendez, WeWork Director for Mexico City, to Forbes Mexico.
WeWork explains that the program was born due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on female workers. “The COVID-19 crisis has deepened gender inequality: women face an overload of unpaid work and care, loss of income and jobs are overrepresented in poverty,” explains a report published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). According to the report, titled “Gender gaps in the labor market and the effects of the health crisis in the women's economic autonomy,” in Latin America women had a 46 percent participation rate in the labor market during 2020, while men had a 69 percent rate. This represents a decrease in both genders’ participation rate, which was 52 percent and 73.6 percent, respectively, during 2019.
“The answer to the crisis requires a gender perspective that allows for transformations towards an environmentally sustainable development, which allows for job creation and technological innovation that does not leave women behind. It will also be key to promote labor insertion in sectors of high productivity and education in STEM,” reads ECLAC’s report.
The importance of a gender perspective in economic development was also highlighted by Anna Raptis, Founder of Raptis Group and Amplifica Capital. She argued that investing with a gender perspective should be seen as an economic growth strategy so more capital flows towards companies led by women or that serve the needs of women, reported MBN.
Initiatives like these generate more tools to bridge the salary gap between men and women. However, it is not only a matter of jobs and companies, “education [also] needs to be fostered so girls know that they can perform in leadership roles,” said Claret Uribe, Disruptors and Fintech Growth Client Partner at Facebook Mexico, during the webinar “The Gender Pay Gap in Mexico” organized by Runa and Latinas in Tech, reported MBN.