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News Article

Role of Women Increasingly a Priority in Workplace

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 10:20

The fourth industrial revolution is not only bringing technological advances, it is also springing a wave of companies that increasingly are prioritizing the role of women in the workforce, said Maria Guadalupe Garza, Chair for the PPG’s Women Leadership Council Latin America, in her presentation “Bridging the Gender Gap: Women Revolutionizing Mexico’s Main Industries” at the Sheraton Maria Isabel hotel in Mexico City on Thursday.

“Women are significantly impacting the industry and its direction. Approximately 80 percent of all sales decisions are made by women,” Garza said. Industries like automotive have incorporated strong female leaders into high-level positions due to the positive effect it has on companies.

Automotive News and Deloitte interviewed 300 women in top positions to understand how they acquired those positions and to find tools that can continue to promote these changes. “The study found that women are quite loyal and committed to the industries they specialize in. When asked if they could change their source of employment, 71 percent of women stated that they would come back to the same industry.”

When it comes to women that do leave, the study found the main reason is a lack of work-life balance. “Other reasons involve the relationships among peers and co-workers due to the stereotypes that exist about women and their ability to work well in the industry,” Garza said.

The questionnaire showed that a large percentage of women believe that female talent is underused due to stereotypes and low expectations among men.

The World Economic Forum released a study that analyzed the relationship between salary and health among other rubrics to find the level of gender equity in countries. “It found that Mexico is expected to improve considerably from 2015 to 2020,” she said. “The study estimates the country to be increasingly more educated and women are highly prepared. Iceland was found to be the country with the highest level of gender equity in the world.”

When it comes to changes in the future, the country needs to prepare itself to manage the new information that will be generated by the fourth industrial revolution. “Women are asking for flexible work hours and companies need to see the benefit of these type of structures. Home office is proven to improve productivity and most people are so motivated by the scheme that they even work extra hours,” she said.

Interfunctional skills will also be key, along with negotiating skills and emotional intelligence. “These are all skills that women dominate thanks to their ability to multitask and their sensibility to their environment.”

The employment of the future is related to the Internet of Things and retention. Said Garza: “As the top four trends of the workforce, we have identified the redefinition of skills, mobility, collaboration with academic institutions and last but not least, taking advantage of the female workforce.”