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What We Learned at Violeta Summit: Gender Equity in Ecuador
Insights from the Violeta Summit in Cuenca, Ecuador highlight the importance of gender equity in the workplace, and inclusivity through tech and education.
The Violeta Summit, organized by Ekos and Violeta magazine, took place on July 6th in Cuenca, Ecuador. The event brought together a diverse group of speakers to discuss the importance of gender equality in the workplace emphasizing the significance of collaborative efforts.
Cristina, my fellow recruiter, and I were eager to share our key takeaways from the event.
Family owned-businesses and gender bias
One of the key insights shared at the summit was that family-owned businesses in Ecuador often have a traditional gender bias, which can limit the opportunities for women in these companies. To address this issue, companies need to prioritize education and training within their boards, enabling women to have a seat at the table and voice their ideas.
Banco Pichincha is an example of a company that is committed to gender equality. The bank has implemented a zero tolerance policy for discrimination against pregnant women during the hiring process and provides lactation rooms in their offices to support women during their maternity leave. These initiatives have helped to create a more inclusive workplace for women at Banco Pichincha, while serving as an exemplary model for other companies in our country, where such discrimination is unfortunately common.
Teams with gender equality experience a remarkable 41% increase in company productivity.
Fostering inclusivity with tech
The previous statistic shared by another speaker, highlights the importance of fostering inclusivity within organizations. CNT, a telecommunications company in Ecuador, has introduced an invaluable application called "Junt@s" that is linked to emergency services. With just one click, women who are victims of gender violence can summon assistance from 911. Additionally, they have the ability to configure the application to notify trusted individuals, including their current location. This application proves to be an essential tool for enhancing safety and security for women in need.
She is—Pursuing dreams in STEM
Furthermore, the event provided an opportunity to meet six of the twenty-five girls who will be traveling to NASA as part of the Ecuadorian program, "She is." This program aims to support young girls in pursuing their dreams of becoming astronauts or scientists. Each girl shared her thoughts and aspirations, which were truly inspiring.
"The Violeta Summit was an incredible opportunity to know more about the reality we face as women in Ecuador. One quote that stuck with me was 'As women, we must acquire business knowledge in order to be effective in the business arena.'"
—Cristina Ordoñez, Tech Recruiter at Awana
The Violeta Summit was an eye-opening event that highlighted the importance of gender equality in the workplace.
However, what struck me the most was the realization that, despite many companies providing equal opportunities for men and women in their recruitment processes, women are still not applying for certain positions as frequently as men.
This can be attributed to companies not actively creating the conditions necessary to attract women to these roles. For positions that involve fieldwork, ensuring the safety and protection of women in remote locations or in the field is crucial.
For other positions, a more detailed analysis is required to determine the specific conditions that deter women from applying or responding to job offers.
As a team, it is important for us to thoroughly examine these conditions and actively work towards creating an environment that encourages and supports women in tech to apply and thrive within our organizations, truly creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all.