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How to Boost Women's Participation in the Industry? The main topic at the International Forum on Female Leadership

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

Affiliates and interested parties in the association gathered to contemplate strategies and analyze success stories in promoting women's participation in the industry.

The main panel featured the participation of:

  • 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, manager of international relations for the AutoCare Association.
  • Pamina González, partner at How2go and director for Colombia and Peru at IFEMA Madrid.

"Why do we need to talk about women? Because there are still many obstacles that female talent encounters in the industry. As long as there is still a wage gap with men doing the same work, we have to continue talking about gender inequality," highlighted 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 preventing women's participation in the sector. According to the Autocare Association's WOMEN study, 63% of women have left a job that limited their growth, 84% have experienced prejudice in their workplace, and 100% of women want to be respected for their skills and not for their gender. Carolina Arregocés explained this.

"Closing the gender gap is a moral imperative and an economic opportunity, and right now it's a necessity because there isn't enough personnel to fill the vacant positions."

Additionally, the meeting also had the participation of men from the industry, as the auto parts sector is currently predominantly led by men.

Juan Fernando Ruiz Campuzano, commercial manager of ELLIN SAS, stated that as men, they have roles both in the present and in the future in the industry and in life. "As dads, we have roles in our home and with our children, understanding that there is no difference between boys and girls. And considering that there are no women's chores in the house, but rather family chores. This cannot be a burden for women, and if we don't start changing that concept as men, it won't be possible."

He also emphasized that "women deserve space in this and many other industries because they have the skills and even produce better 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 understand that the inclusion of women in leadership roles can not only grow companies but also make them more productive, efficient, and profitable."

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The Expopartes Fair in Medellin will take place from June 5th to 7th.

Author: Latin Press, Inc. Editorial

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