Women´s Forum Americas Day 2

Women´s Forum Americas Day 2, " GO AND BE GREAT", Eva Longoria, actress, producer, director, activist, and business woman.

Following with the coverage of the Women's Forum Americas, on May 31, the day 2 , there was the panel: Balance for better: Companies taking the lead for inclusion, the panelists invited were:

Maria Ariza, CEO, BIVA MX, Peter Burman, President, EF Education First, Fausto Costa, Executive president, Nestle Mexico, Gina Diez Barroso, Chairwoman, Dalia Empowerment.

Maria revealed us that because of lack of confidence and lack of ambition, women avoid taking leadership in different investment projects. Leaders of the companies should invest in women, there is any financial product for them in Mexico. She encouraged us to network with other females, ask for a piece of advice, mentor each other. Fausto mentioned that there is no way to have a better world without the participation of women. He was proud to inform us Nestlé´s policies:  Flexible time,  maternity leave extended for 6 months, nursing rooms globally, they care of gender gap.

Gina for the other side pointed out that success is not only being a CEO, but success is also what you want to be, keep your goals,  find your power in the world as women, we are the complement of the men, not their enemies.

The conclusions of the panel were:

  • Everything is possible, Invest in yourself
  • Being inclusive attracts talent in the companies, diversity is fundamental
  • Teach children the reality and give them hope that there is gender equality in the coming years
  • Let's break the macho culture

One of the most interesting talks during the day 2, was: Feminine Leadership: The Gender Paradox and the Future of Innovation by:

Gabriela Fitzgerald, Executive Vice-president & General Manager the US, Large Market & Global commercial clients, American Express,  Mia Pearson, CEO, MSL Canada, Gabriela Ramos, Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20, OECD, Kelli H. Wright, Executive, Special Projects, Lubricants Technology, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering company.

Where it was told that quotas of gender are necessary to start the change of equality, it is just a matter of time, it won´t last forever. The Ministry of Finances is where fewer women are in the Government, it are required new technologies we don't have today and education programs for women, for example for sciences, support women to study Math, technology and so on, and this fact doesn't mean they are less feminine, let´s make those sectors attractive. They can be scientists and looking appealing. It is important to focus on role models, women see themselves in those roles then they will know it is possible for them to succeed as well.

Now the companies must be family-friendly, it is mandatory to have family-friendly policies, for example offering flexible time, home office,  having spaces for caring kids. Recruitment practices must change as well, women do not apply for a job if they don't feel they cover the profile 100% men is the opposite, companies should have more inclusion a full inclusion,  recognize the value the women bring to the enterprises, use techniques in the meetings to participate men and  females equally, programs to make sure women are heard, change of culture, use your influence to embrace the differences between both genres.

The last panel was  The future of work we want: Thriving in the age of disruption by:

Yas Banifatemi, Partner, Head of International Law, Shearman & Sterling,  Anni Coden,  Associate Director, The Boston Consulting Group,  Gloria Maldonado, Executive director, Technological Innovation Center for Construction,  Jennifer Salinas,  Executive Director of IP Litigation, Worldwide, Lenovo and National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

The speakers told that companies have to provide soft skills training internally for the workforce, partnering with other organizations, the work ethic and skill set are keys to succeed, they remarked gender quotas don´t mean unqualified, it is still meritocracy, nowadays most of the jobs require digital skills as cyber security, computer science.

In this complex business environmental 3 different areas could help: women to excel: Social jobs (health, education) opportunity digital fluency, entrepreneurship, which has grown in the last decade.

There are things that must change: Reduce barriers, opening and closing firms, create incentives to invest in women for startups, explore new models of funding: focus on female funds, hire other women, promote successful females, continuous education and training programs, increase the presence of girls-understand digital fluency, access to network-women do business together.

Education and training are more important than ever, we need to change the world for our kids, with inclusion, gender equality.

The last collective talk was  Shift and scale: Transforming supply chains to empower women, the panelists were:

Luisa María Alcalde, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Government of Mexico,  Paula Santilli, CEO Latin America PepsiCo,  Elizabeth Vázquez, president, CEO, and Co-founder of WEConnect International.

Paula shared with us, that is not good to have bounded profiles in the recruitment process, because it limits the company to hire talented people, she also told that when you give opportunities to women, they shine. She proudly mentioned that 41% of the management positions in Pepsi are for females.

The speakers  pointed out that companies must understand the dual role women play in the society (family/work) so is required to have programs like paternity leave, flexible time, home office.

The government should offer an incentive for entrepreneurship for creating wealth for women, because women are a source for growth, when they have wealth they share it with their family and with their community, women in privileged positions should help other females to grow as well, embrace their power and use it. In the case of education gender neutral books, it is time to make women leaders.

Finally for closing the event,  the  actress, producer, director, activist, and businesswoman Eva Longoria was interviewed by Karla Martinez de Salas,  Editor in Chief, Vogue Mexico, and Latin-American for 20 minutes in front of the audience.

Eva warned us about the effect of social media, people have become addicts to them, comparing their lives with the ones of women they see on Instagram for example. Which is not healthy, it is unreal. She talked about the imbalance of power and clarified the movement ME TOO is not only for the show business, is for all women everywhere, but there is also an unsafe environment workplace, she encouraged us to continue working, mentoring girls. Mrs. Longoria commented the society has taught women that there is only one place for success, but this is wrong, there is place for all, women must help each other if you are a woman in power give the opportunity to another as she has done in Hollywood, she finally finished her participation in the Forum, with a big smile and a quote: "GO AND BE GREAT".