Aliados por la Inclusión: A challenge focused on strengthening diversity

The road to a more inclusive and gender egalitarian society is brighter. Although there are glass ceilings to break and challenges to tackle, the new dynamics support the fact that diversity is a ‘win-win’ situation.

In this regard, it is important for organizations to contemplate inclusion in their business models, since it has been proven that the establishment of diversity strategies makes them more profitable, innovative and productive, besides the fact that they are considered essential and beneficial from workers’ perspective.[1].

Certainly, awareness of the value of vulnerable groups is a challenge, mainly by removing prejudices and ensuring a healthy environment in the workplace.

This longstanding imbalance should be addressed from a perspective focused on mutual growth; preventing the development of women, diverse groups and people with disabilities within the company will result in a loss of talent.

In Mexico there is a high disparity in women’s labor share, which has increased only three percentage points in the last four years [2].

Also, it should be stressed that 65% of workers in the LGBT+ community considered that  diversity and inclusion practices are required to achieve a supportive culture in the workplace[3].

Finally, it is worth to mention the hardships of people with disabilities, who maintain the lowest occupation rates with only 14%; therefore, this trend must be broken[4].

Making history

Wondering about the importance of this subject, Iberdrola México organized the  “Aliados por la Inclusión” (Partnering for Inclusion) program, which is developed as part of the activities of its Diversity and Inclusion Week 2022, aimed at strengthening integration in the company.

The ONGs that were recognized during this activity were: Cordem, which aims at achieving gender equity;  Ver Contigo, which works with people with visual disabilities; Yaaj, which is related to sexual diversity; and Fundación Guillain Barré, whose task is to improve the quality of life of people with this syndrome.  Looking to emphasize the importance of this subject, a donation was given to participating organizations, which will serve to promote various volunteering efforts.

In addition, we succeeded in setting goals to work on the implementation of volunteering activities with each of these organizations and achieved a reflection on inclusion and other subjects that are highly important for the working environment.

Andrea Terán, Development Director at Cordem, warned that promoting professional development is a priority to achieve equity. Therefore, she has endeavored to break the gender gap during more than 20 years in education.

Iván Tagle, founding partner at  Yaaj, told us that “we have a strong work component for young people, they are our present. We need to continue struggling to demand safe spaces managed under standards of inclusivity and respect”.

Then, Valentina Treviño, director of the Fundación Guillain Barré México, talked about the importance of creating an inclusive society  “that is capable of caring for all its members”.

Finally, Claudia Leticia Landázuri Aldape, director general of Ver Contigo emphasized the significance of adapting physical and technological spaces as well as raising awareness and training schools, working or public spaces to incorporate signage,  toe-touch sensitive floors and electronic devices, as well as adequate programs to perform their duties.

It should be stressed that any activity arising from “Aliados por la Inclusión” will be aimed at consolidating, building and expanding a safe and healthy working environment for any person.

Regarding these actions, Enrique Alba, CEO of Iberdrola México, stressed at the event the importance of inclusion for companies’ growth. “A business needs talent to thrive and talent is diverse”, he pointed out.

As a company, listening to our talent’s life experience will help lay the foundation to translate efforts into the empowerment needed from employees: a big challenge though not impossible if we keep moving forward down this path.

On this day, our voice must be raised from many different angles. One of the most important is to give visibility to the efforts of women who fight for equal opportunities in various fields, including work and education.

[1] Workplace, Q. (s. f.). Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace [New Research]. https://www.quantumworkplace.com/diversity-and-inclusion-in-the-workplace

[2] Uneven parity, Women Matter Mexico 2022. (August 2022). McKinsey & Co. Retrieved on February 8, 2023, de https://womenmattermx.com/document/Uneven%20Parity.pdf

[3] Statista. (January 25, 2023). Opinion on diversity and inclusion importance in work culture U.S. 2019, by community. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1195846/us-worker-opinion-diversity-inclusion-workplace-importance-community/

[4] ¿Cómo fomentar la inclusión laboral de las personas con discapacidad desde los servicios públicos de empleo? (September 2, 2021). BID. Retrieved on February 17, 2023, from https://blogs.iadb.org/trabajo/es/inclusion-laboral-de-personas-con-discapacidad/

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