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Latin America may lead the world on gender diversity by 2025

Erik Sherman writes, "When it comes to advancing women in business, maybe the world should take a page out of Latin America’s playbook.

While global corporate gender diversity is forecasted to remain relatively flat for the next decade, according to a new study from workplace consulting firm Mercer, the women of Latin American are expected to make substantial progress, with women holding nearly half of all professional and managerial roles by 2025.

That’s a major reversal of the current situation, where the U.S. and Canada lead in terms of the share of women in middle management and top leadership roles. What’s more, Latin America has often been called out as a laggard when it comes to gender equality, with women greatly underrepresented in CEO and top management roles.

The Mercer study credits Latin America’s expected turnaround to a greater than average middle management engagement in diversity and inclusion efforts (51% versus 39% globally), belief that supporting women’s health is important for attracting and retaining women (56% versus 45%), and an unusually high portion of women in profit and loss roles (48% to the global average of 28%).

Mercer looked at data from 583 companies across 42 countries—a sample that includes 3.2 million employees, 1.3 million of whom are women. The study suggests that in most world, companies are treating the “symptoms” of a lack of diversity, rather than tackling the root of the issue. It’s prescription: Create a path for women to land mid-level opportunities and, from there, move on to executive positions."

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