BIVA Rings Bell for Gender Equality
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BIVA Rings Bell for Gender Equality

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Sofía Hanna By Sofía Hanna | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Thu, 03/09/2023 - 08:50

Today, Mexico’s Institutional Stock Exchange (BIVA) carried out the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" ceremony, which aims to motivate companies to commit to equal pay. The event was held with the support of various associations, organizations and institutional investors. Over 30 women's associations joined the event in solidarity. 


"Despite the efforts to add more women to the economy, in Mexico, women's economic participation rate has ranged between 40% and 45% in the last 17 years. The conditions today are still not optimal. The low participation of women and the lack of similar conditions in the labor market are holding back the economic potential of our country," says Maria Ariza, General Director, BIVA. 


The integration of women into the labor force has been advancing in recent decades, although progress remains uneven across regions and sectors. The global economy is in a recessionary phase. Mexico has been under a robust inflationary effect that has affected women the most, especially considering that by having lower salaries than men, women find it harder to cope with price increases. "One thing we learned from the pandemic was to highlight the need to address the gender gap at home and work to ensure that women have equal opportunities," adds Ariza. 


The global gender pay gap has narrowed only slightly in recent years and, at this rate, it will take 132 years to close it, according to the World Economic Forum's Gender Pay Gap 2022 report. Women in Mexico earn on average 14% less than men. One of the main steps that must be taken to attack this gap is to promote salary transparency within companies, which is the basis for BIVA’s initiative. Each year, the group surveys many companies to measure progress in gender equity policies. This year's results show progress as more companies are willing to share their data. The stock exchange recognized the efforts of Fondo de Fondos, SURA Asset Management Mexico, PGIM Realestate, ALTUM Capital and Afore XXI Banorte with the BIVA Women 2023 Award. 


"No company can truly succeed in an unequal society. Although Mexico has taken significant steps in recent years to promote equality, we continue to face challenges that do not allow us to eliminate gender gaps completely," says Galia Borja Gómez, Deputy Governor, Bank of Mexico (Banxico). According to INEGI, a woman in Mexico spends an average of 47 hours a week on domestic and care work, which reduces her available time for paid work and may impede her from accessing positions with greater responsibility. This could be the reason why many women take informal or self-employed jobs that better fit into their schedules. 


Banxico found that the loss of employment during the initial phase of the pandemic affected both genders similarly, but women and men recovered at sharply different rates. Women took longer to reenter the labor market, which may have been partially influenced by the closure of economic sectors with higher female participation, such as restaurants, lodging and the informal sector. On the other hand, the number of women who said they would not take a formal job increased by 1.5 million, which may be related to the caring role that women took on during the pandemic, according to Borja. 


The wage gap is only the tip of the iceberg of inequalities. "We are in a context of multiple crises, so there is a sense of urgency to address them and we are sure that the private sector has all the tools to attack them," says Lourdes Colinas, National Program Officer, UN Women Mexico.

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