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News Article

Labor Unions in Mexico Need to Push for Gender Parity

By Pamela Benítez | Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:23

Representatives of Latin America, the US and Canada met in an effort to discuss the need to establish gender parity in Mexican labor unions, as the Labor Reform includes parity as an obligation, since only five percent of its leaders are women.

In the forum “Women, the New Face of Trade Unionism in Mexico and Latin America”, organized by the Confederation of Equity and National Integration (CONFEDIN), union representatives discussed the lack of women leadership in unions in Mexico, given that only 60, out of the 1,200, are represented by them.

"The numbers are surprising, as half of the economically active population [in the country] are women. Sixty-five per cent of economic decisions are made by women and this is not reflected in the companies or in the unions. Incomes have not yet been equalized, since salaries are still 30 percent lower than those of men," said Judith Guerra, the representative of Businesswomen in Mexico at the CONFEDIN’s forum.

The forum had as an objective, amongst other things, to discuss the Labor Reform that includes gender parity in the Executive Committees of Labor Unions as an obligation. If unions fail to assure gender parity, the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) could remove their registries. In addition to this, the Mexican congress and the US government will be monitoring the compliance of the Labor Reform so sanctions against Mexico can be avoided.

Lourdes Galán, General Secretary of the CONFEDIN, indicated that the preoccupation around this issue is given because there is a lack of knowledge between unions and employers regarding how to comply with the new laboring obligations. Galán also sees this situation as an opportunity for companies and Labor Unions to work hand in hand to guarantee the well-being of the employees.

Union leader from the US, Angelica Kuri, mentioned how joint work with Mexico, Canada and the US, will be promoted to push for more participation of women in jobs that require 4.0 technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, “the Vice President of the United States [Kamala Harris] gives all the support to achieve a change in culture, which must be accompanied by training.”

Another industry that faces a gender parity issue is the mining sector. Ana María González, President of WIM Mexico, told MBN that one of the main barriers women face in Mexico’s mining sector is the macho culture, however, their efforts are set to build an industry that is completely egalitarian.

“The biggest challenge we face is our macho culture, where it is thought that only men can perform certain jobs or tasks. This has made it difficult for women to imagine themselves in a hostile environment such as mining. It is also thought that men should be in charge, not women, and this has made it difficult for women to occupy or even aspire to higher positions. We have to change this mentality, especially in men, so that they understand that women can perform their tasks as well as men”, says WIM’s president to MBN.

The forum was assisted by the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) director, congresspeople and senators, as well as personnel from the STPS, union leaders from Argentina, Colombia, Canada, the US and other countries. Corporate leaders, academic researchers, specialists in labor relations, both nationally and internationally, assisted as well. The First International Virtual Forum "Women, the New Face of Trade Unionism in Mexico and Latin America" took place at the Bankers Club in Mexico City this Wednesday, Sept. 22nd.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, El Economista, Latitud Megalópolis
Photo by:   Yanalya, Freepik
Pamela Benítez Pamela Benítez Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst