Corporate moms.

Author:Salazar, Juliana

Latin American companies are providing more space for women in middle and senior management roles, with Colombia and Panama leading the trend. But the percentage drops abruptly for those who make president or join boards of directors.

Not long ago, a Spanish organization called attention to motherhood and corporate life with the campaign "Being a Mother is a Plus." The piece showed a mother that, after a break of several years in her professional career, had little success in her search for a job. Even though her training and experience were relevant, it was hard for her to explain why she had been out of the labor market for so long.

One day, she decided to give her resume a twist and write about all the skills she had acquired via motherhood. She had developed valuable qualities such as, being well organized, taking the initiative when circumstances called for it, exuding positive energy, motivating people around her, knowing when to take risks, multitasking. Motherhood also allowed her to fine tune other qualities, including versatility, superb emotional intelligence and management potential.

Those skills were just what the companies that interviewed her were looking for.

Thanks to the fact that women had shown that being a mother is more of a plus than a problem, now more are rising in the corporate world, with the pride of being a mom at the same time of being a professional.

The study, Women Matter: A Latin American Perspective, prepared by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company last year, revealed a positive correlation in the results of companies with a combination of men and women at the management level compared to companies with only men (44 percent higher ROE and 47 percent higher EBITDA margin).

Many firms are aware of this. According to the most recent study from the International Labor Organization (ILO), the percentage of women in middle and senior management positions in Latin American companies is rising, and now stands at an average of 37 percent. There were 1,300 companies from 39 developing countries that participated, and if Jamaica (59.3 percent) and the Dominican Republic (38.6 percent) are included, the average goes up to 38 percent. After Jamaica, the leaders are Colombia with 53.1 percent and Panama with 47.4 percent.

Silvia de Torres Carbonell, director of the Initiative Center of the IAE Business School in Argentina, said the European project Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) revealed that in Latin America...

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