Countering the Inequality Gap in the Costa Rican Private Sector

Diversity and Inclusion Must Be the New Norm

Costa Rican companies aspire to become inclusive organizations, but in practice, they need to advance even more in terms of policies, processes and a culture of inclusion itself. 70% of the companies in the country have anti-discrimination policies although only 20% say they are being put into practice, reveals a study among 90 firms carried out by the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).

AmCham Logo

AmCham developed the survey “Diversity and Inclusion in Companies of Costa Rica”, where it is striking that 70% of those consulted believe that their company has anti-discrimination policies, but only 20% say that they are fulfilled.

Among the most striking results found by Deloitte, the firm that analyzed all the information, highlights that Costa Rican companies are faithful believers of initiatives in the field of diversity and inclusion, however, it is confirmed that moving from the aspiration to execution is usually a big challenge.

People’s diversity means a great variety of potential

The study also reveals a funnel effect, since 92% of the companies surveyed are taking actions to minimize the inequality gap, but few are really committed to the execution and monitoring of metrics in this area.

Against this background, Elías Soley, president of AmCham, highlighted the importance of carrying out this type of actions as a means to get closer to the reality that exists in the affiliated companies and, therefore, to take actions so that the advances are much more significant.

“From AmCham and specifically from our Factor D Forum, we have promoted equity, inclusion, and diversity in the business community and we are very committed to continuing executing initiatives that motivate our affiliates and exceed the indexes marked in the survey, “he added.

For its part, Sofía Calderón, Consultancy Partner of Deloitte commented that “companies globally are recalculating the route and strongly betting on initiatives in the area of diversity and inclusion as the first measure to generate social impact. In Costa Rica we have the challenge of integrating this subject into the corporate strategy of the company, but, above all, of raising awareness and measuring our progress in terms of the return on investment in image and financial metrics”.

With regard to the skills needed to successfully insert themselves in the jobs of the future, companies such as P&G have indicated in the past that they complement the technical skills of their employees with the development of soft skills, including inclusive leadership.

Great indicators

In this same measurement, the consulted business leaders marked the route that they consider should follow the organizations in Costa Rica to be more inclusive, as they suggested a series of actions that could have a direct impact on that inclusive culture to which they aspire:

  1. Promote inclusive culture through spaces of dialogue and education in the field of diversity.
  2. Use Diversity in its broadest meaning, that is, not pigeonhole it into a specific minority or group.
  3. Exercise an inclusive leadership, sponsorship of the CEO and conviction of the leaders of the organization.
  4. Consistently execute the established policies.
  5. Establish female participation quotas in leadership positions.
  6. Extend Diversity and Inclusion to the Recruitment and Induction programs.

According to the categorization of the sample carried out by Deloitte, of these almost 90 companies surveyed, 57% are located in the Consumer sector; 12% in Technology, Media and Telecommunications; 11% in Health and Life sciences; 8% corresponds to Energy, Resources and Industry; 7% to the Education sector; and 5% to Financial Services.

The survey conducted by AmCham, from the Forum “Factor D”, was applied for the 2nd consecutive year between May and July of this year, to 800 leaders whose companies have operations in Costa Rica. The results were systematized, processed, and analyzed by the consulting division of Deloitte Costa Rica.

SOURCEAura Silva
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