Ecuador: FERRERE Leads Initiative For Equal Opportunities For Women, Joining The UN Women HeForShe Campaign
Last Updated: 10 May 2017

In line with its gender equality commitment, FERRERE joined the United Nations HeForShe initiative, a world movement seeking to build awareness in men and boys so that they become agents for change.

"It is an honor to have FERRERE as the first Uruguayan firm to join the initiative. It is an opportunity for the United Nations to be in contact with private sector companies who are absolutely relevant for development, sustained growth and social inclusion," said Magdalena Furtado, UN Women representative in Uruguay.

Verónica Raffo, a partner in the firm and member of its Diversity Committee, explained the importance to the organization of fostering equal opportunities. "We take action on this issue every day, but institutionalizing the specific program has the advantage of being able to spread it and to drive other organizations to take similar routes. We want to share our best practices," she noted.

Raffo pointed out that the firm sees mentoring as key in professional development, and that one of the chief barriers women face is difficulty in accessing senior male monitoring. Hence, the Committee has launched a project to engage men mentors to commit to guiding women in their professional careers. Those men join the HeForShe initiative, committing to be agents of change for the women they mentor.

Additionally, in Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay, the countries where FERRERE has a presence, the firm launched an Equal Pay Day initiative, to measure the gender pay gap as the number of days in the year that women work "for free." Based on a method used in 65 other countries, data are obtained by comparing average monthly income for men and women.

Agustina Sanguinetti, responsible for the Equal Pay Day at FERRERE, noted that in Uruguay the gender pay gap penalty could be translated as meaning that while women start working on January 1 they start being paid for their work only as of April 3, i.e., women can be seen as working 93 days for free in the country.

In Uruguay the gap is 26%, which puts it ahead only of Paraguay (27%), but behind Bolivia (20%) and Ecuador (21%). Another conclusion of the study is that Uruguay's pay gap is bigger for women with more years of education.

Finally, Nelson Mendiburu, a partner in FERRERE, underscored that in the latest Salary Board round there was a significant increase in agreements containing gender equality clauses. "This is a great advance. I affirm the firm's ongoing commitment to being better and to helping make a better country," he concluded.

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