Camelia Ilie-Cardoza, Executive Education Dean and Chair of INCAE’s Center for Collaborative & Women Leadership with Cargill President Xavier Vargas during the launch of the "2017 Study on the Social Progress of Women in Latin America".
It has been two years since INCAE Business School relaunched its Center for Collaborative and Women’s Leadership (CCWL) with Cargill as a founding partner in a cooperation agreement.
Women’s progress is social progress, and social progress is women’s progress is the slogan of INCAE’s drive to promote women inclusion in the workplace, at senior management level and in decision-making as a society. This vision is shared by Cargill, a company engaged in nurturing and developing communities in the region for more than 50 years.
"For INCAE this is a vital agreement allowing it to create a project with concrete action in partnership with a multinational company with regional impact. By 2019, we will be carrying out joint activities and assisting Cargill in reviewing its action plan to maintain its effort toward gender equality," said Gabriela Lucke, Director of INCAE's Collaborative and Women's Leadership Center
"Data show that companies with gender diversity in leadership perform better financially. For that reason, we are honored to collaborate with Cargill. Cargill understands that promoting women's leadership is not about doing justice but about being competitive. In addition, Cargill is a regional pioneer in relation to this topic," said, INCAE Professor and Academic Director of the Cargill Project Susan Clancy.
"To ensure economic and social development around the world and particularly in Central America in times of instability and uncertainty, the focus on gender parity remains urgent. It means recognizing the potential from combining men’s and women’s skills in daily life, family life, at work, and in political and social life. We still find many barriers to achieving that equality. For this reason, the Center for Collaborative and Women’s Leadership plays a key role in providing information, training leaders, conducting research, and offering support to push the agenda at an educational, professional, cultural, political, and civil level by influencing a large number of leaders in our region," said Blanca Villela, Regional Communications Manager and Counselor of the Women's Support Network of Cargill Central America.
According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum on the 2019 Gender Gap, Latin America and the Caribbean are still 74 years away from bridging this gap. Women’s political and economic involvement are required to achieve parity, which implies creating opportunities for women’s leadership, growth, and entrepreneurship. As per the same study, this is only achieved through men’s commitment and involvement, too.
Villela added, "Cargill is committed to inclusion and diversity. Therefore, this partnership to promote gender parity and create tools and spaces to make it a reality is key to our corporate strategy. We are very happy with progress so far and we hope to continue meeting goals and inspiring other organizations to do the same in order to achieve development in our region. "
Cargill has gone from word to action by not only investing in researching its own status on gender issues in 2018 but also in training its own employees. In addition, it has remained involved in public-awareness activities. "INCAE celebrates this demonstration of Cargill's commitment to the region. We commend and share it as it reinforces INCAE's mission of promoting development in Latin America. To CLCM, it is extremely important to have allies attempting to foster equal opportunities for executive women in the public and private sectors, as well as women entrepreneurs through collaborative leadership between men and women," said Lucke.
To learn more about INCAE’s Center for Collaborative and Women’s Leadership and the upcoming activities in partnership with Cargill, click here.