There are large gender gaps in the business world of Latin America and the Caribbean, where women hold only 15% of management positions and own only 14% of companies, according to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The study, entitled "An Unequal Olympiad: Gender Equity in Latin American and Caribbean Companies" (available in Spanish), also reveals that only in one out of ten companies is the main manager position held by a woman.
According to the report, the participation of women in leadership positions, the level of training of the workforce, the use of advanced technologies, and a favorable business culture are the main factors that affect gender equality in companies in the region.
“Gender inequality, particularly in the labor market, has hampered economic growth and social development in the region for too long. That is why investing in female leadership and promoting women-owned businesses is essential to drive strong and sustainable growth throughout Latin America and the Caribbean”, said IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone.
Gender equality is one of the five pillars of "Vision 2025 ", the IDB's plan to achieve a sustainable recovery and economic and social development in the region. This strategy includes the design of incentives to finance initiatives and companies led by women, as well as improvements in access to financial systems.
The study was based on interviews with women entrepreneurs and a survey of 1,015 companies from 20 countries in the region on female participation in their organizations, policies towards their employees and the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.