Women Empowerment And Leadership In The Rising CEOs And Business Of Colombia
“Women, over time, have always aspired and longed for the freedom of equality, to be positioned on an equal pedestal, and to have equal opportunity in both social as well as financial aspects of life.”
Women’s empowerment has been identified as a critical factor in deciding their role in the day to day life. But at the same time, women play an important part in families, society, as well as social growth. Gender inequality and discrimination against women have been an ugly truth of society for centuries. Women’s empowerment has emerged as one of the many pressing issues of the twenty-first century. Women are clearly harmed by numerous social ills such as several concerns at women’s legal status, gender discrimination at the workplace, etc. Although significant development has been witnessed over time, it is undeniable that there is yet a lot of discussion and conversations are to be held about female entrepreneurship in the present times.
Colombia, widely perceived as the “gateway to South America” because of its location in the northwestern region of the continent, where South America meets Central and North America, has witnessed substantial progress in the number of women-owned or led businesses and startups, in addition to women in a significant as well as influential positions such as CEO of the companies. Over the years, the Colombian government has also demonstrated a consistent and constructive approach in promoting women’s fundamental rights, equality, enhancing the window of opportunities, and achieving economic parity for them. Several factors, including access to education, culture, social conceptions and beliefs of entrepreneurs and encouraging entrepreneurial environments, and willingness to take measured risks, have contributed to the success of the cause with the aid of the government.
According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2020, 21 out of every 100 working-age females in Colombia are entrepreneurs. Here are some remarkable instances of Colombian women-led businesses or entrepreneurs.
Jimena Flórez, a successful Colombian entrepreneur, wanted to establish rural farmers’ agricultural sustainable development programs. Consequently, a Bogotá University invited her to build a curriculum for young farmers to learn about sustainable methods. The Education Ministry further funded this initiative, which is being used for training groups in the Santander department in northeast Colombia. Chaak Healthy Snacks, which exports to the United States its product, i.e., healthy foods, is also founded and headed by Jimena. In addition, Flórez is reshaping the food habits of 90,000 Americans a month by encouraging the support of sustainable farming by Colombian producers.
Angela Maria Tafur is the co-founder and president of Give to Colombia and the founder and CEO of NaiTafur Corp. “Give to Colombia” is a model of strategic philanthropy that aims to boost foreign funds to support Colombia’s populations who are in immediate need of financial aid in the areas such as health, education, or even environmental and economic aspects. Her efforts have received notable awards like the Latin American BID-FEMSA Water and Sanitation Award, among others.
Paula Mendoza is a Colombian jewelry designer and the founder who created the Paula Mendoza Jewelry brand. She was previously the first creative director of Cano Jewelry. Her distinctive circular shapes have been a trend in her jewelry for over 17 years and an approach to her business ever since.” All I am achieving now is owed to the infinitely great team that I have in Colombia,” she was quoted. Owing to their exceptional quality standards of jewelry pieces, her products are marketed in exclusive stores in Latin America, Europe, and Australia.
These are just a few of the numerous names from Colombia’s many lists of successful female entrepreneurs and CEOs.As per the Future of Business survey, which collected responses from business owners between the time period of December 2017 and January 2018, “55 % of women stated they wanted to establish their own enterprise to be more independent.”
According to stats from Bogota’s Chamber of Commerce (BCC), women comprise 38.7% of the organization’s legal representatives, and with the aid of the BCC, started 5,074 businesses between 2016 and 2018. According to a Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2020, Colombia is ranked 14th overall in Latin America, with a score of 66.31 points. Furthermore, in one of the categories used to compile the overall rating, Colombia came out on top of the 58 surveyed. Furthermore, Colombia made it into the top in women’s progression outcomes, with a score of 66.2, owing to significant participation of female business leaders, i.e., 57 percent out of total women specialists and technical employees, i.e., 54 percent out of the total, and women entrepreneurial engagement and participation rate, i.e., 21 out of every 100 working-age females are entrepreneurs. As per the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2020, Colombia has 57 percent of women running businesses, putting the country in the top run.”These figures indicate a remarkable milestone, as women in leadership roles have historically been underrepresented, owing to draconian laws and hidebound or conservative societies.”
Nevertheless, it is witnessed that Colombian women are currently striving for economic self-reliance, which has been proved to significantly reduce sexual harassment or domestic violence. As a result, owning these firms or holding a strong position in the companies such as the CEO can be an essential tactic to help create a more harmonious nation with much more balanced responsibilities in both household and workplace. Amidst the pandemic Covid 19, although the circumstances have emphasized the pressing need for corporates and government to function collaboratively to gain knowledge and skills, provide the necessary facilities and resources and broaden the reach of Colombian women of both virtual and financial efforts.
In an attempt to encourage the accomplishments of women, an enhanced understanding of the business environment, excluding the cultural biases of society as a whole, also is crucial in the present times for women.