Female presence in companies still faces myths to be overcome
The result obtained in 2018 by EDP Brasil, with the graduation of the first class of the electricians’ school created by the company exclusively for women, is more than symbolic. It may even seem obvious, the initiative taken by the energy sector company, but it only became reality after overcoming some obstacles.
“The first difficulty we had was to convince, even internally, that there would be demand for the school,” he said. Fernanda CarsughiVice President of People & ESG at EDP Brasil, at the ESG Summit, Estadão. In fact, some indicators helped to corroborate the myth that women would not be interested in being trained in the area. But a closer examination of the matter quickly identified the real problem.
In the structuring phase of the program, Fernanda explained, it was understood that there were some rules in the tender notice that impeded the participation of more people. “There were technical prerequisites that many women, because they had not studied in the area, did not have. Another issue was that we removed the requirement for candidates to have a CNH at the beginning of the process. Then, during the course, we made it possible for them to obtain the document.”
Around 800 candidates enrolled in the school’s first class in 2018. Of the class held in Mogi das Cruzes, with 16 students, 7 were selected to work in the company itself. “We had to take some steps back, but it was important to solidify the model”, said Fernanda.
Affirmative actions to increase women’s participation in the corporate world are already showing some tangible results, according to Carolina Figueiredo, Director of Strategy at Philip Morris Brazil. The company’s goal for this year is to arrive in December with 40% of the company’s leadership positions held by women. “Now, we are very close, with 39.6%”, explained the company executive at Summit ESG. If the target is not met, the executives’ year-end bonus will be affected.
“We also have several development programs for female leaders, both junior and senior”, he said.
In the case of Neoenergia, which even started to support women’s football in a country where, for 38 years, between 1941 and 1979, the law prohibited women from playing soccer, the gender issue is in line with the company’s main discourse, aimed at for the energy transition, towards a more sustainable world, and the low carbon economy in general, according to Laura Porto, the group’s director of Renewables. “It’s a cultural change that is underway. ESG is treated as a real agenda and not a theoretical discourse.”
What does not mean, according Maristella Iannuzzifounder of CMI Business Transformation, that the concern, for example, in hiring people over 50 years old is consolidated in the corporate world. “Ageism is still a very discreet issue in companies. Despite the gender issue having advanced, agendas such as 50+, LGBTQIA+ are still very incipient,” said the consultant.