In Argentina, only 16% of company boards are made up of a woman, according to a survey by the firm KPMG. Of the more than 6,000 companies surveyed, moreover, only 6.55% are headed by a woman.
The vision of women in decision-making about the direction of the economy is limited not only in Argentina, but also in the rest of the world. Different associations, which participated in a virtual meeting organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, gave their vision on how to work to include more and more women in decision-making positions.
“In eight years we have managed not to have to fight for a place at the negotiating table in any field,” said Alicia Jakob, from the Association of Business and Professional Women (AMEP) and an entrepreneur from Tandil, during the meeting. The association is part of a multisectoral council in which they work for the participation of women in business. “We managed to convince the bank managers that women were eligible to obtain a loan,” Jakob said. “Ten years ago we were going to ask for them and they asked if your husband was going to sign as your guarantor,” she explained.
In the virtual meeting, which started from the question “How to influence the political and social dialogue?” The speakers presented data on Germany and Argentina in terms of gender equality in companies, and concluded that, apart from the differences in legislation and development, the reality of women is very similar.
“Argentina still has a lot to learn and to do on issues of gender equality, but obviously it is a global issue,” said Jakob. The businesswoman warned that, although progress in recent years is significant, much remains to be done. “We must continue looking for opportunities through individual development to influence the social mandates that limit us,” concluded the businesswoman.
“Sometimes they ask us: ‘When are you going to be satisfied?'” Almut Bühling, co-chair of the International Commission of the Association of German Entrepreneurs, expressed in the same vein. Bühling affirmed that in Germany the situation is similar to that of Argentina, although a generational change is noted. “I see that for the younger generations equality is something more natural”, but precisely for this reason it is necessary “to keep awareness of these issues active”. The German businesswoman warned that in the last twenty years “nothing has changed in terms of the leadership positions held by women” and that “the gap between the intention of change and its implementation” continues to be “very large”.
For this reason, the businesswomen warned, the great challenge for the future is to achieve recognition of the idea that equality is an advantage for all.
“It is proven that companies that have more women in decisive positions are more sustainable and sustainable,” said Bühling,
Joint work at the association and international level is the key, the experts pointed out. “We have many more points in common than we think, and despite the geographical distance”, added the representative of Germany.
Legislation and how to influence it was another topic of debate. Bühling clarified that, although the rules do not solve the underlying problem, they should be seen as a necessary means to achieve equality.
Making the voice of women heard in other spheres is part of the same path. “Thanks to the existing statistics, which show that women pay more than men because we are more cautious when it comes to investing and taking risks, we managed to convince the banks to give us loans at subsidized rates,” she said. the referent of AMEP.
We also managed to get the municipality to listen to us and that every time they are going to make a decision or promote a regulation, they call us to ask us what we think about it,” added Jakob.
The speakers concluded on the need for a woman’s perspective not only as an objective of equality, but also as a long-term benefit. “We feel differently, we think differently, and we act differently,” said the businesswoman from Tandil. “That does not make us less or more than men, what we need to warn is that the two visions must be heard.”
To generate social growth, changes are needed at the individual level. “We are convinced that the personal growth of each one of the women makes us more free”, summarized Jakob.