C-suite representation

Why are there so few women in the boardrooms of Latin America’s leading tech companies?

Example after example can be cited to argue that it is women who have led Latin America’s fintech revolution. Indeed, the region has produced five times as many female-founded fintechs as the global average, more than 40% of the region’s fintech founders are women.

Among many innovative startups, Kaynua – founded by Inma Canadas – stands out for its focus on helping secure digital transactions through verified mobile e-signatures. The startup, like others, is well placed to take advantage of both an uptick in the region’s banked population and increasing smartphone penetration which in Latin America is projected to reach 80% by 2025.

The director of a technology company based in Mexico explains, “The field of technology continues to be dominated by men who consciously or unconsciously continue to exclude women, there are even significant situations of harassment, there are also women excluding themselves from the field, there is a lot of pending work to attract female talent to the field of technology and stories of inspiration.”

“The field of technology continues to be dominated by men who consciously or unconsciously continue to exclude women…”

Director, technology company, Mexico

In the same way, although there are more and more women involved in STEMs, they are still a minority, only a third of those dedicated to STEM are women.

Fortunately, there are more and more mentoring programmes and there are more and more women scientists and technicians who are transferring knowledge to other women and more support networks among professional women.

Reversing these numbers goes far beyond mere parity, it is necessary to build a favourable work environment for the insertion of more women: from opening spaces to decision-making, equal pay for equal work, labour flexibility, all those things that are required in the labour market to attract a female workforce, but in this sector it is even more urgent.

Of course, the same disadvantage or privilege that exists from households to support the education of women in STEM areas is similar to that in other professions, families are more likely to finance the education of men in more “complex” careers and little to finance women, this disadvantage is transferred equally in access to credit and financing, so access to large funds as for a unicorn, although it would not have to do with the gender of the person who presents the project, but the project itself is also more complex.

Indeed, if there is not enough female presence in technological studies, it is statistically normal that there is no female presence commanding technological companies, entrepreneurs in the area.

On women-led startups receiving less funding an Argentina-based businesswoman and professor explained, “Social and cultural barriers are some of the many obstacles that women in Latin America must overcome. There are some numbers that are quite symptomatic. Companies run by women in Argentina that use bank financing for investment are less than half of those that use this type of financing in companies run by men.”

“Social and cultural barriers are some of the many obstacles that women in Latin America must overcome… Companies run by women in Argentina that use bank financing for investment are less than half of those that use this type of financing in companies run by men.”

Executive and professor, Argentina

A major challenge is that too few women in Latin America study STEM subjects, more graduates in this area will inspire others to follow suit – few things more effectively gender inequality than aspiration.

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