"50% of our juniors are women"

Six definitions about what gender and diversity mean, by María Laura García, Chief Human Resources Officer of Tecpetrol, at the Women Leaders cycle, organized by the Argentine daily newspaper La Nación.

"We don't like quotas or ticking boxes, we like to earn our place," stated María Laura García, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Tecpetrol, during the panel on Diversity, part of culture, included in the Women Leaders cycle organized by La Nación to examine female participation in companies. María Laura was joined by four other top HR executives: Gabriela Smud, director of Human Resources at Fiserv; María Eugenia Arata, director of Institutional Relations of the Acindar Foundation; Florencia Porcelli, People Director of Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes; and Marcela D'Assaro, director of Human Resources at Renault Argentina. 

Gabriela Smud (Fiserv), María Laura García (Tecpetrol), Carla Quiroga (LA NACION), Marcela D'Assaro (Renault), Florencia Porcelli (Quilmes) and María Eugenia Arata (Acindar). -

The panel, moderated by veteran journalist Carla Quiroga, was an opportunity to shine a light on the challenges of achieving diversity at leadership level in male-dominated industries, the biases affecting women in the workplace, the gender pay gap, policy execution on a day-to-day basis, and how female participation at the top can be organically incorporated into a company's culture.

Some of the main definitions:

A different future. "We’ve been working on our diversity program since 2018, when we set our long-term goals. We’re aiming at having 25% women by 2025, up from a baseline of 18%, reflected in a steady growth rate of one percent per year. Today, I can proudly say that 23.5% of our personnel at Tecpetrol are women, and that we have achieved parity at young professional level, as 50% of our juniors are women, throughout the company.”

Pillars of the +d program. “Although we launched the program with a focus on gender, due to the industry we’re in, our diversity program has five axes. These are: national cultures, because we operate in Latin America, LGBTQI, disability, and generational diversity. In relation to this last area, addressing the issue of generational diversity has always intrinsic to the Techint Group’s DNA, through the Young Professionals program.”

Against biases. "When we combine these different axes, we can create overarching initiatives with the power to challenge deeply embedded social misperceptions. We’re not only working with organizational culture, this has a broader societal scope. When I was younger, if someone my age wanted to go to a technical school or study engineering, they were inevitably told that it was a man's job. Now there are far more women—and I sincerely hope there are, because we’re going to need them!"

The movie. "We’re proposing a range of initiatives through our different teams, which are aimed at achieving goals in the long term. To do this, we have to make human resources processes more diverse, so that we can include women, or our younger members for instance, and promote and direct them towards growth, but without forcing this. Because we don't like quotas or ticking boxes, we like to earn our place."

Ambassadors of diversity. "To attract female talent, we’re working on a university relations program where our employees are proving to be the best ambassadors. We want women to be the ones to tell us what they do on a daily basis in the operations area, and tell us how they’re validated by their colleagues. We’ve all had to go that extra mile to be validated, and it's good to be able to talk about this in first person."

Benchmark, benchmark, benchmark. "At the Techint Group level, we’re working in secondary schools to encourage more women to choose STEM careers. A key point is that if they graduate from a technical school, they’re more likely to do so with better grades than their male peers, and then they have more chances of choosing a STEM university course and finishing it. That's why it’s so important to support them."

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