The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region is full of diversity and contrasts.
Its population boasts 645 million people of which more than half are women, approximately 70 million have some form of disability, one in four is of African descent, and 8.3% are indigenous.
Despite its riches, LAC is still not making the most out of its diversity. This region has the fewest women in senior positions, Afro-descendants are underrepresented in the labor force, and people with disabilities face more barriers to entering the labor market.
According to a study by McKinsey, companies with greater gender diversity have 15% higher profitability. Racially diverse companies have a return of more than 35%. In short, diversity is good business and companies can make the most out of the talent and market opportunities this diversity provides.
Why is having a gender equality strategy good for business?
An annual GDP growth opportunity of US$2.6 billion for the region’s labor market in 2025 is forecast if women participate in the market economy to the same extent as men.
Women influence 80% of household purchases. In 2014, 54% of the women in the region were in the workforce--an increase of 44% since 1990--and Caribbean women had the highest participation rates.
There are between 1.2 and 1.4 million micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the region owned by women, representing 40% of the total. However, female business owners face higher barriers to accessing financing and often obtain less attractive conditions than men.
At IDB Invest, we work with our clients to narrow some of these gender gaps and to find new business opportunities.
At IDB Invest, we have made a simple and clear promise: we are 100% committed to gender equality as well as diversity and inclusion.
We help companies identify the economic opportunity gained by integrating a strategy of gender equality, diversity, and inclusion into their business. We work with various sectors offering finance products and consultancy services to help them create more inclusive companies.
We help companies:
1. With their human capital strategy to attract and retain the best talent through human resource policy recommendations, diversity and inclusion training, and mentoring programs.
2. With their market strategy to uncover potential opportunities and segments through market research, product and service development, and sales force training.
3. With their value chain strategy, procurement policy and service contracting recommendations as well as suggestions for a more inclusive value chain, and with supplier training.
At IDB Invest, we believe that inclusion in the broadest sense enables companies to create inclusive work place atmospheres where all workers, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or physical ability, feel respected and included and can perform to their fullest potential, helping businesses thrive.
Human talent, when diverse and inclusive, benefits companies because it boosts innovation and the discovery of new markets as well as improves financial results. IDB Invest gives advice on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion through innovative financial and non-financial solutions, producing positive results for our clients and society at large.