10 actions for gender equity in the labor market

In Mexico, only four out of 10 women have or are looking for a paid job. This proportion of female economic participation in the labor market is below the world average and the Latin American region.

Despite the progress made to add more women to the economy, changes have been slow and they face unequal conditions in the labor market, a situation that slows down Mexico’s economic potential.

close the gender gaps It requires specific policies from the public and private spheres aimed at achieving optimal conditions for them to enter, remain and grow in the labor market.

What can be done to reduce inequality between women and men In the labor market? At the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO) we propose 10 actions as a guide to build a more inclusive countryand therefore more competitive.

at government level

» 1. Move towards an affordable and quality National Care System. A National System of Care is necessary to reduce the disproportionate burden of care tasks that falls on women and support their professional development. It must have the following characteristics:

  • That cares for children, as well as older adults and people with disabilities
  • Have trained staff
  • Ensuring safe and clean facilities
  • Have a sufficient budget.

» 2. Promote co-responsibility in households. Without equality in the home, it will be difficult to achieve equality in the labor market. Therefore, it is necessary to move towards a paternity leave, which is mandatory, non-transferable and financed by the State.

» 3. Promote flexible education alternatives for women. A higher level of schooling increases the probability of accessing formal jobs with higher incomes. There are flexible education options for women to acquire the skills that the labor market demands.

» 4. Generate information with a gender perspective. Data with a gender perspective is essential to identify and address the differentiated needs of women and men.

» 5. Measure and make visible the gender gaps in federal institutions. This is essential to design evidence-based policies that promote the growth of women within the public administration.

At the private sector level

» 6. Make data transparent with a gender perspective. Participating in data transparency platforms and initiatives with a gender perspective can help replicate best equity practices in the private sector.

» 7. Carry out self-assessments to measure gender gaps. Self-assessments are a useful tool for organizations with the aim of identifying the barriers that women face to grow in the different hierarchical levels and the areas of opportunity where they can influence.

» 8. Promote life-work integration policies. Policies that allow a balance between work and personal responsibilities are necessary to improve the quality of life of working women.

» 9. Expand paternity leave. Organizations can expand this benefit to which workers are entitled and be a benchmark for other companies. Currently, the Federal Labor Law establishes five days for paid paternity leave to which workers are entitled.

» 10. Promote the certification of labor equality. The Mexican Standard on Labor Equality and Non-Discrimination (NMX-025) is a voluntary effort to promote policies with a gender perspective and non-discrimination in companies.

The IMCO estimated the economic benefits of adding more women workers to the labor market. By 2030, Mexico’s GDP could be 15% higher than in 2020 if the government and the private sector implement actions to add to 8.2 million women to the economy.

To achieve this, co-responsibility between the government and the private sector is required to focus efforts and promote actions that can serve to build a more inclusive country and, therefore, more competitive, for this reason the IMCO proposes these concrete actions that serve as a guide to achieve the gender equity in the labor market.

*The author is Coordinator of the Inclusive Society of the IMCO (@fergarciaas)

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