March 8: Hear the Women Shouting for EqualityBy Adriana de Villa | Mon, 03/08/2021 - 15:53
March 8 is not a celebration for women just because they are women. It is a commemoration of each small or big achievement in the fight against gender inequity, which is why we celebrate every demythification of our “weaknesses.”
According to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), there are 126 million inhabitants in Mexico. Of those, 64.512 million are women. Of the 48.3 million employed population, 19.175 million are women. That represents just 39.7 percent of the working population.
In the latest publication, Men and Women in Mexico 2019, developed in conjunction with the National Institute of Women (INMUJERES), the level of income of 59.1 percent of working women was no more than twice the minimum wage and only 2.4 percent received more than five times the minimum wage versus 3.9 percent of men.
And according to INEGI numbers from the first quarter of 2019, more than a half of working women had children but 53.71 percent of them did not have access to a nursery or any maternal care, which means that many women cannot maintain a formal job.
Source: INEGI. Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo. Tabulados Interactivos. On: www.inegi.org.mx (september 10th, 2019)
That makes total sense when you read the column by Rodrigo Rojas (saludario.com editor) that included an analysis of the 254,057 women working with the Mexico Social Security Institute (IMSS), most of them in the nursery area, which explains the inequity in terms of opportunities at the managerial levels of the institution. As Rojas explained: “This is only a reflection of all the health system.”
According to Cynthia Corral, executive search leader at VON DER HEIDE México, at the biggest 20 pharmaceutical companies worldwide, only 17 percent of leadership teams are women and make big decisions within the company, but only three of these companies have women in a director position.
When I was working in an accounting office, it was impossible for my colleagues to believe that a woman could climb the ranks within the company without having an “affair” with one of the senior managers. It was disappointing that I had to listen constantly to these kinds of comments.
When I changed to the medical devices industry more than 12 years ago, the situation was not very different. I remember attending medical congresses and watching how the booth with beautiful ladies in short skirts were always full while I was wearing my jeans and corporate t-shirt trying to explain and demonstrate how the quality of the equipment that I promoted were far better. You can imagine who sold more.
Year after year, however, I noticed how the gender mix among physicians was changing; many women started working inside the hospitals; specialists in many fields started to address conferences and have a voice within the universities and medical associations and, of course, they forced the industry to change the way they attracted customers. This new generation of women felt insulted by the companies that used beautiful young women as a hook to sell their products, so the companies in the field started to make sure all the promoters dressed appropriately for business and suddenly you also could find men working alongside women. And the industry started to change.
Yet, even though we, as a gender, have taken big steps to ensure we are not used as objects, we are still not in an equal position regarding the management of companies. Normally, women receive less income for the same position as men. Normally, we are minorities within the leadership teams and normally, we accept all of that. And that is the most important point: We have normalized being a minority, having less income and having a weaker voice inside our companies when we should normalize being equal and speaking at the same level.
Today, the healthcare industry is changing but it is still difficult to demonstrate our skills and we are highly judged for any errors just because we are women; but gradually, we are gaining ground and positions.
No matter your gender, no matter your color, no matter your preference, we all are normal humans and each normal human’s brain acts similarly to others.
So, let’s celebrate March 8 for all the achievements of the women throughout history, for all the female warriors who made it possible for me to write this article that you are reading. Celebrate for every one of us who is fighting every day for us and our baby girls and all the following generation of women.
Be proud to be a woman, be proud to be part of the change that we all deserve.
Cheers to gender equality in the healthcare industry!