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News Article

Study Reveals Underrepresentation of Women in Federal Institutes

By Pamela Benítez | Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:47

The IMCO reports there is an underrepresentation of Mexican women throughout government entities particularly in educational, scientific, and technological institutions, where there is gender disparity in managerial positions, since only 35 percent of the general managers are women.

"This research provides information that identifies key gender gaps in selected education, science, and technology institutions […] the goal is for each federal institution to detect gaps in positions, areas, and income," according to the study powered by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO).

The report highlights that low female representation in top positions impacts the salary gap. Even in the institution that holds the highest number of women that have middle manager positions, which is the University of Open and Distance Education of Mexico (UNAD), there is a 22 percent salary gap.

The experts that conducted the research reported that within the 54 selected educational, scientific and technological institutions only 20 are head by women, one of them being Delfina Gómez, Head of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP). 

However, there are no women in charge of any of the SEP’s unit heads, and in middle management positions, only 40 out of 100 are led by women.

Based on these findings, experts concluded that there is a higher gender parity present in undersecretaries but the parity disappears in senior and middle management positions, where important decision-making processes take place. This could be considered an obstacle for women working in these institutions to develop, practice, and gain important skills.

Expert recommendations include: the government to publish the gender and the position occupied by each federal worker to facilitate the development of more precise and up-to-date gender indicators. This information will help each institution identify the existing gender gaps in its organizational structures.

Experts also advised the federal administration to publish more announcements of open positions for senior and middle management positions, given that these are less occupied by women. 

The IMCO study on parity in federal institutions is part of an effort to comply with the constitutional amendment approved by congress, which was initially proposed by lawmakers and feminist activists to aid the country's advance in gender parity matters. This initiative, which is known as #ParityInEverything, obligates the three federal branches to maintain gender equilibrium. 

However, the lack of gender parity is not only a problem in federal institutions. Experts from the business sector discussed the importance of integrating diversity into leadership positions at the 2021 Mexico Talent Forum organized and hosted by MBN.

Courtney Devon, CEO, and Founder of Runa, mentioned that diversity inclusion goes beyond gender. “It also regards socioeconomics, sexual orientation or gender identity […] Most offices have focused on gender equality but this is not enough. Leadership directories in Mexico only show a seven percent of women in them,” said Devon at the forum. 

The Ethics and Business Integrity Manager of Sanofi Mexico, Jorge Garduño, mentioned the importance of including employees in the diversity discussion. “One of the fundamental steps to begin breaking the ice on inclusion is being able to ask people what makes them more comfortable, simple things such as ‘what are your pronouns?’”

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, El Economista
Pamela Benítez Pamela Benítez Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst