In engineering careers, the percentage of women is around 20%. In software or data areas, it rises to 30 and 40%. These were some of the data shared yesterday at the Amazing Women of CALA virtual event, organized by Amdocs and Convergencialatina. Nevertheless, in promoting the study of STEM careers in girls and adolescents, one must not only look at traditional careers. Self-taught talent and new skills are consolidated as one of the bastions to ensure greater female entry in technology, with new types of jobs that generate vacancies in Latin America can be used with a renewed gender equity approach and that contemplates a balance with family and domestic life.
In a virtual chat moderated by Mariana Rodríguez Zani, director of Convergencia Research & Convergencialatina, Nayura Rojas Herrera, Deputy VP of Entertainment at AT&T Mexico, explained that STEM careers open a solid framework to break through at work, develop critical thinking and use of knowledge adapted to different situations. “In my case, STEM helped me get started, it gave me the basis for my further development, which was towards other activities such as sales and now entertainment,” she commented.
From Amdocs, Carla González, VP CBE, called to "not be afraid, the telco world is exciting, don't stop, and get trained." She pointed out that for today's world of work it is necessary to complement the specific study of technologies with other knowledge: financial, marketing, customer service. All of them form the "back" to access key positions in technology and communications companies.
The Costa Rican government supports the entire life cycle of women in technology careers through programs. As described by Paola Vega Castillo, Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, encourages interest in STEM careers, then the instance of university education (that they graduate), job placement and decision-making in these positions. Within a 10-year policy and a five-year action plan that is currently applied, there is a marked emphasis on the research field, to add more women in this area.
Self-Taught. Nydia Cano, CLO and co-founder of Pronto, was the strongest speaker in the call to become self-taught and leave behind the cultural mandates of traditional careers. “For example, today there is a lack of specialists in careers like CRM. There are no women in Latin America in these work spaces. So we want to promote the self-taught. Girls who begin to be self-taught, then earn more. It is something we see in Mexico, in Colombia, in Costa Rica. If it is not promoted, it is a labor field that India and the United States will end up taking,” she said.
For Cano, Latin American women should not wait to be 100% trained to embark on a path: “We can raise our hands to assume responsibility. We must learn to prepare ourselves on the road.”
Militancy also for men. In the field of work after that preparation, there is still much to do. As Sonia Agnese, Senior Principal Analyst at OMDIA for Latin America pointed out, there is only 18% female leadership in telecommunications companies. And in the boards the presence of women is still very low.
Among the exceptions, Agnese mentioned AT&T and América Móvil. Precisely as a representative of the Claro subsidiaries in the region, Verónica Rudolph, director of Claro Uruguay, participated in the talk, retelling her own experience since she joined the firm in 2004. “One of the greatest pillars is the family, because if I want to grow up, the rules about housework have to be even. It is essential to have the support of your partner and children. That allowed me to go out to the market to fulfill my dream. I think you have to seize opportunities, without fear. At one point I was lucky and seized the opportunity, but you have to visualize it and make it happen. Along the way we find a lot of obstacles and stereotypes that we must overcome.”
The only man in the conversation, Sebastián Cabello, CEO of SmC+ Digital Public Affairs, recognized that one of the challenges for the male gender is to deconstruct themselves and find the elements that allow them to make the necessary turnaround. “Adding the gender perspective brings a lot to the workplace. Female leadership adds a lot of flexibility and empathy to companies,” he admitted. That is why he called on men to "be in this militancy to promote gender equality."