Recent studies reveal the growing incidence of women heading businesses in Latin America. According to the World Bank, over 70 million women have joined the labor force in Latin America over the past 20 years, playing pivotal roles in both micro and small enterprises – indeed women are huge participants in both the formal and informal economies across the region, to key positions in the corporate world.
This is not limited to the business world. Latin American women have been empowered for decades, playing critical roles in reducing poverty and influencing decision-making at every level. Latin America, for example, elected female presidents long before other regions did –nine since 1974. The ‘feminization’ of business has also taken place in the past few years in the region, with a flurry of female CEOs and among the top management of both local and multinational corporations in South and Central American countries.
Gains in women’s involvement in society, politics, and business can be attributed to better access to education, especially at a tertiary and graduate level; maturing democratic processes, and the cultural changes of the role of women. This has offset, to a large extent, the region’s traditional culture of ‘machismo’, especially among the middle and upper income segments. However, there are still many challenges to overcome through the region in order to narrow the gender gap in all things business. READ MORE