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How to promote the participation of women in the industry? Central theme at the International Women's Leadership Forum

Colombia. The ASOPARTES women's committee, within the framework of the Expopartes Fair in Medellín, held the International Women's Leadership Forum on June 4 at the Marriott Hotel, where Aftermarket International was present.

Members and stakeholders of the association met to discuss strategies and discuss success stories in promoting women's participation in the industry.

The main panel was attended by:

  • Norvy Barreiro, CEO of Netpartes and president of the national women's committee at Asopartes.
  • Patricia Vega, representative of Messe Frankfurt for Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
  • Carolina Arregocés, international relations manager for AutoCare Association.
  • Pamina González, How2go partner and director Colombia and Peru of IFEMA Madrid.

"Why do we need to talk about women? Because there are still many obstacles that female talent encounters in the industry. To the extent that there is still a wage gap with men doing the same work, we have to continue talking about gender inequality," said Pamina González, explaining that according to figures from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), women earn 23% less than men, on average. 

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And that's just in Latin America. In Africa, and according to figures from the African Development Bank, women earn 30% less than men. These figures are even more discouraging in India.

However, the wage gap is not the only thing that prevents women's participation in the sector. According to the Autocare Association's WOMEN study, 63 percent of women have left a job that limited their growth, 84 percent have experienced bias in their workplace, and 100 percent of women want to be respected for their skills and not their gender. This is how Carolina Arregocés explained it.

"Closing the gender gap is a moral imperative and an economic opportunity, in addition, at this time it is a necessity, because there are not enough personnel to fill the jobs that are free."

In addition, the meeting was also attended by men from the industry, since currently the auto parts sector is led, mostly, by men.

Juan Fernando Ruiz Campuzano, commercial manager of ELLIN SAS, explained that as men they have roles both in the present and in the future in the industry and in life. "As parents we have roles in our home and with our children, understand that there is no difference between boys and girls. And taking into account that there is no women's work in the house, but there are tasks as a family. This cannot be a burden for women, and if we do not start to change that concept as men, it will not be possible."

She also stressed that "women deserve space in this and many industries because they have the capabilities and even give more results than men."

Likewise, Carlos Pineda, director of Asopartes, explained that including women in the industry is everyone's responsibility. "As companies, they can have gender and inclusion policies and know that the inclusion of women from leadership can not only make companies grow but also make companies more productive, efficient and profitable."

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The Expopartes Fair in Medellín will be held from June 5 to 7.

Laura Restrepo
Author: Laura Restrepo
Editora en Latin Press, Inc.
Comunicadora social y periodista apasionada por las letras e historias. [email protected]

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