Women and men working together towards equality
At Techint Engineering & Construction, we are committed to achieving gender equality and equal opportunities and conditions at each of our projects.
Allies are people who work together as a team to bring about significant changes in their daily environments, whether it’s their homes, workplaces or social relationships. The objective of working together is to dismantle the gender stereotyping and inequalities that still persist in these shared spaces.
According to statistics from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), over 2 million men around the world, including presidents and corporate leaders, have pledged to make gender equality an institutional priority. But in order for this to be possible, it’s necessary to make concrete commitments so that we can truly change the rules of the game applicable to society, the workforce, home life and future generations.
However, although there has been significant progress towards equality, much remains to be done, as there are still many gaps:
* Women’s representation tends to fall behind in managerial and leadership positions.
* There are still gaping income disparities between men and women.
* Gender stereotyping continues to undermine women’s access to professional career paths in STEM disciplines.
And what are we doing about this?
We asked some referents from different areas to tell us what they thought about the subject and this is what they told us:
Guillermo Pires de Mello, General Director of Techint E&C in Brazil, points out that “we have evolved as a company and we have undergone a process of cultural maturation. We don't have all the answers yet, but we are working on it as there’s still some way to go.” He adds that, “I think one of the biggest challenges is getting more women into leadership positions. We must reflect and work together to create an environment that encourages women with leadership profiles to develop their talent.”
For Jorge Portilla, a Social Worker of Ecuador, being an ally for gender equality is about “promoting equal opportunities and treatment between men and women, as well as creating safe spaces, leaving fears and prejudices aside." In addition, he highlights the importance of uniting our efforts and committing to make gender equality a reality at work, fostering collective awareness in recognition of everybody’s unique particularities and individualities.
According to Martín Scalabrini Ortiz, Corporate Processes Manager, “in our area we have a monthly space where we sit down to chat with the work team about gender and diversity. We show a video of a situation or case which is about gender or diversity issues and then we talk about it.” He also adds that, in the process area, almost 50% of the staff are women, so these meetings are extremely important, if not essential, to foster a good working environment. They also open up a space for debate about the workplace context, where people can raise issues about daily situations and be updated about progress in the implementation of initiatives designed to promote greater gender equality.
Julio Comoglio, Corporate Project Manager, reflects that, “A great deal has been done and we have evolved in line with society in general. The challenge we have to overcome is that gender should not be a limitation when it comes to choosing a candidate for a particular position.” He goes on to observe that the opportunities for growth on the horizon as the company gears up to tackle large-scale, complex projects, makes this exactly the right time to step up action in this area.
How else can we contribute to bring about this change in our environments?
Let's seek out learning opportunities: Allies are committed to engaging on key issues related to gender inequality.
Proving things with concrete facts: We need to encourage allies to ensure their support is translated into concrete, honest and coherent actions.
Encouraging other people to participate: We need to be democratic about how we share knowledge and involve everyone in our initiatives to achieve gender equality.
Active listening to foster empathy: We must listen to and respect women's stories, recognize their experiences and make their achievements visible.