Note from BW of Brazil: Racial and social inequality are two of the most glaring characteristics of Brazilian society. And with an ongoing impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff (for many, a coup d’etat) leading to replacement with a more conservative, business-friendly government taking control of the country, the vast inequalities along lines of race, class and gender that are a deeply embedded part of the nation’s history are sure to amplified once again. 13 years of PT (Workers’ Party) governments led by Rousseff and predecessor Lula da Silva had implemented policies permitting access to the social ascension of millions of society’s excluded citizens, including Afro-Brazilians and women, but as such social inequality has been such a structural element of the society, it would take many more years to reach a more balanced level of representation. Rich, white men are the ones leading the charge against Rousseff (and a more socially balanced society) so it should come as no surprise that it is this demographic that also dominates senior positions of the nation’s top companies. Today’s report offers yet another example of just how deep inequalities really are.
Blacks and women hold less than 20% of the senior positions of companies
Only 4.7% of executive positions of the 500 largest Brazilian companies are held by blacks. Women are also a minority, with only 13.6% of the top posts
From the Newsroom of Fato Online
Only 4.7% of executive positions of the 500 largest Brazilian companies are held by blacks. Women are also a minority, with only 13.6% of the top posts. The figures are in a study on the social, racial and gender profile in Brazilian companies released on Wednesday by the Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento (BID or Inter-American Development Bank) and the Instituto Ethos (Ethos Institute). At the current rate of evolution of the participation of these minorities in the companies, balance on the table will only occur in at least 150 years, according to Jorge Abrahão, CEO of Instituto Ethos.
According to the research, the vast majority of companies don’t even have affirmative action to encourage the presence of women and afrodescendentes (persons of African descent). Of the 500 companies studied, only 3.9% have some form of affirmative action to increase the presence of afrodescendentes and 11% have this type of policy to increase the presence of women.
“The portrait of the employees of companies needs to reflect what the society is. But we don’t see it today,” said Jorge Abrahão, CEO of Instituto Ethos.
For the American Judith Morrison, of the Gender and Diversity division of BID, “companies are not considering the whole society.”
The material shows that the proportion of afrodescendentes in the labor market as a whole is also much lower than that of brancos (whites). To get an idea, in the portrait of employees, a superior category of only interns and trainees, the number of brancos is almost double (62.8% brancos and 35.7% of afrodescendentes). In supervisory positions, brancos are 72.2% against 25.9% of afrodescendentes. In supervisory positions, negros (blacks) are only 6.3% compared with 90.1% of brancos; in the executive profile, they are 4.7%, compared with 94.2% of brancos; and on the boards of administration, they are 4.9%, against 95.1% of brancos.
Women are also under-represented in the workplace, according to the study. In the workforce, the number of men is almost double that of women (65.5% men and 35.5% women). The trend intensifies in higher positions. In management positions, the proportion of men is almost double that of women (68.7% compared to 31.3%); in executive positions, the proportion of men is six times higher than that of women (86.4% of men, compared with 13.6% of women); and on the boards of administration, it is eight times higher (89% compared to 11%).
Among preta (black) and parda (brown) women, the situation is even more unfavorable. They are only 1.6% of management and 0.4% of the executive board. That is, the survey found two preta and parda women among 548 executives analyzed.
“When companies have within them the mirror of society, they will be able to make better decisions and add value to their business,” Abrahão concluded.
The research also highlights the principle policies of affirmative action undertaken by companies for the inclusion of various vulnerable groups, such as afrodescendentes, women, disabled people and LGBT. Among the companies that seek to promote equality in its workforce, 43.1% have policies for people with disabilities, 28.2% for women, and only 8% for negros.
The objective of the research, according to Judith, it is to help companies better understand the profile of the executives and employees to enable the promotion of racial and gender diversity.
“We have no time to wait for this problem to be resolved alone,” she said – to conclude: – “We need concrete and immediate actions from the companies,” Judith said.
The material is being presented this morning the human resource managers of various companies, such as Avon, Natura, Walmart, Serasa Experian, Sodexo, Carrefour, Shell, Bayer, Goldman Sachs and Ambev this morning in São Paulo.