The Women Economic Forum (WEF)

The Women Economic Forum (WEF) was held from 6 to 7 November 2020, through a digital environment with more than 24 hours of duration that went beyond the limits of knowledge, interactivity, and learning, where networking boosted user interaction. 45 countries, more than 200 world-class speakers, and global leaders participated. There were 5,000 people connected remotely worldwide. Without a doubt, it is Latin America’s most important forum for women.

Bogotá, ColombiaWEFWE, November 2020. The process of change and reactivation implied by the post-covid scenario implies challenges in all economic sectors, not only with regard to the adaptation of institutions to new dynamics of biosafety, but also in the face of women entering the labor market under a new approach to women’s economy. From this perspective, the second Women Economic Forum Latin America (WEF) promotes an inclusive space that brings together all the country’s economic sectors in one space (private sector, public sector and civil society) in order to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem around women’s economy.

Under this line, companies play an important role, since it is from the work and work that they carry out day by day, that an entrepreneurial and social culture is promoted in which equal opportunities between women and men are privileged, paradigms are changed, stigma is broken, good practices are made visible and female leadership is promoted. Such is the case of Avon, Mastercar,d and Kotex, which integrate programs and initiatives that emphasize women’s empowerment and leadership, as well as inclusion in roles and sectors that had been relegated to men.

Nadia Sánchez, Director of WEF Latin America and President of She Is, said: "Gender equality, in addition to being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve sustainable societies. Empowering women and girls is a pending task that starts from the simplest actions and from all sectors of society, therefore; we seek to address from the WEF multiple spaces that integrate the language of women as the new normality".

These companies have appropriated women’s issues through the institutionalization of discourse and report on the dynamics of collective action within the framework of equity.

  • Avon - #AisladasNoSolas

#AisladasNoSolas is the initiative of the Avon Foundation for Women, through which they accompany and inform society about the tools available to assist in a first listen to a victim of gender-based violence, in order to contribute to the tension not to increase in moments of preventive isolation and, to give time to make decisions to activate the route of attention. In addition, it highlights the implementation of the telephone line and the #AisladasNoSolas chat through which, a psychosocial team performs emotional containment and direct attention to victims.

  • Mastercard - Girls4Tech

Girls4Tech is a Mastercard program that since 2014 offers activities and a curriculum for girls from 8 to 15 years around the world. In addition, it incorporates technology and innovation to enable girls to discover a range of STEM careers - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics- and develop the critical 21st century skills they need for their studies and career success. In 2019 the initiative reached its goal of educating one million girls and by 2025 it is expected to reach five million.

  • Kotex - #NoMoreEstigma

NoMoreEstigma is Kotex’s campaign that demolishes stigmas and myths of the period and invites to generate a wave of female empowerment in the face of what being a woman really represents. Thus, Kotex defends the freedom of women to be what they want to be and reinforces that the period should never stand in the way of what each one proposes.

As part of the Women Economic Forum 2020 and in the form of a disruptive makeup masterclass, Avon and her Women’s Foundation joined the WEF to build a symbol alongside its Director, Nadia Sanchez, using makeup as a tool and together make inequity visible. According to the latest UN Women report, only 50% of women of working age are represented in the global workforce compared to 86% of men and according to the report of the International Labour Organization "Women in business management", the three main obstacles to women’s leadership are family responsibilities, gender stereotypes, and male entrepreneurial culture.

The Masterclass was made by Margarita de la Hoz, professional makeup artist and therapist, and Nadia Sánchez, president of She is and director of the WEF Latin America who only had half of her face made up, why? as a symbol that the world is not complete without including that 50% of women who still cannot find a place in the labor market.

43% of women with children have to quit their jobs because of the lack of flexibility in schedules (Ernst&Young), 54% of companies in the world do not easily find the talent they need (ManPower) and 9.8% is the rate of unemployed women in Latin America, the highest rate in the last 10 years (ILO). This shows that opportunities are not equally distributed between men and women, even if there is talent.

For this reason, SheWorks, the innovative platform that uses technology to close the gender gap led by Silvina Moschini, established a partnership with the She Is Foundation to resolve the shortcomings of the labor system, through women’s access to and connection to digital education, talent’s access to the cloud, the ability to count on an array of employers, and the opportunity to work remotely.

"The present alliance that was born in the framework of the second WEF Latin America will encourage the economic reactivation of the country and seek to give more flexibility to women through remote work. Employers will also be able to connect with the talent available, directly reducing the unemployment rate in the country. The realization of the alliance will be evident in the development of the SheWorks & She Is Certified Talent Marketplace, the management of remote work through technology platforms and the launch of academic training and certifications, through digital ACADEMY, "said Silvina Moschini, CEO and founder of SheWorks.