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  • More diversity. More women in leadership

    DATE: 07/19/2019

    Published by: Horiens

    Odebrecht Insurance Brokerage (OCS) gathered its team in June to provoke reflection on diversity in the workplace. The panel’s conversation focused on empowering women in leadership positions.

    With the presence of the NGO Women In Leadership in Latin America (WILL Latam), which has taken up the cause of empowering women in the job market, the goal was to propose reflection on the reasons for the current scenario and the pathways to having more women in positions where they are responsible for strategic decision-making.

    The debate table was led by Silvia Fazio and Cris Amaral, representatives from the NGO, and Eduardo Damião, Insurance Director at OCS for the Chemicals and Petrochemicals industry. In addition to the team members from OCS, the event’s guests also included the team from Odebrecht Retirement Fund. The audience actively participated by asking questions and making statements.

    From left: Silvia, Damião and Cris

    Fazio, the president of WILL, presented numbers from recent surveys and called attention to the need to have more women in leadership positions, reinforcing that, until that occurs, men in leadership positions must be sympathetic to the cause, since often they do not perceive the inequality faced by women in the corporate world. “We must engage men in the debate, given that it is critical for a balance between the genders, especially since it already has been more than proven that diversity generates productivity gains and higher returns for the company,” he argued.

    Silvia and Damião

    Given this situation, Damião’s presence at the table was not by chance. He contributed and spurred the men to engage in the dialogue. He said that some advances are beginning to show signs of improvement in women’s presence and participation in the job market, but that there is still much to be done with regard to diversity in the corporate world.

    Another topic broached by the group was the choices that women are influenced to take between work and their personal life. According to Cris Amaral, director at WILL, many women still believe that they must postpone their dream of having a child to avoid being overlooked when it comes time for a promotion. “Women generally are the family member who sacrifices their career. However, business leaders are promoting initiatives to discuss the space for women in leadership and the concern with the returns generated by these leaders after returning from maternity leave.” Amaral noted that there already are stimulus programs at certain companies that begin before maternity leave so that the period is understood and accepted by the entire group, generating empathy so that women returning from leave are welcomed, which promotes greater engagement at work and makes them more productive for the company. According to Cris, “women feeling supported by their company during this period fosters a sense of gratitude and leads them to remain at the company for many years.”

    To Fernanda Antonelli, People & Communication Director at OCS and the mediator of the table at the event, the corporate world constantly needs to create a space for reflecting on the status of their practices and actions for promoting gender equality in their senior leadership. “Discussing this agenda is a positive consequence of the economic and political situations we experience. It leads us to deal better with this process of change and to tolerate uncertainties and ambiguities, which is a fundamental approach for the success of any company,” she said.

    The next encounter already has been scheduled, for August, to learn about Braskem’s Diversity & Inclusion Program. In this way, OCS is incorporating into its work environment and its relations with partners a dialogue on the topic and the practice of diversity in its most varied forms.

    From left: Fernanda, Silvia, Damião and Cris alongside Ruy Sampaio, Chairman of the Board of Odebrecht S.A., which also serves OCS. Ruy actively participated in the debate.

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