Through our specialist partner in Labor & Employment, Randall González, the firm participated in the event organized by the Colombian Federation of Human Management of Colombia (ACRIP), Colombia’s most important entity on Human Capital issues, formed by the business and academic sectors of that country.

Randall’s presentation dealt with discrimination and its relationship to diversity and inclusion at the organizational level, through an analysis of the parallelism that exists between Colombian reality and the reality that exists in Costa Rica in regard to these issues. Colombia, as well as Costa Rica, is a signatory of important International Agreements related to discrimination, and both nations’ internal laws, at constitutional as well as civil levels, are approved, in terms of addressing the protection against actions that violate fundamental rights and protection of vulnerable groups.

Unfortunately, the issue of gender discrimination is negotiable in Colombia, as in Costa Rica. Although women represent 51% of Colombia’s workforce, the unemployment rate among women is over 12%. Women’s salaries are below the average salary for men with identical positions and responsibilities. Although women have a year of schooling greater than that of men, they have fewer options for placement or permanence in the labor sectors. The feminization of jobs is another limiting aspect for the diverse professional development of women. The impact of unemployment on young people is 16%. More than 5,000,000 heads of households are women, of which only 60% have a formal job. Similarly, Afro-Colombian, indigenous, mulatto populations, among others, have a very low labor insertion. All this statistics are paralleled in Costa Rica.

At the organizational level, companies have problems in implementing diversity and inclusion policies. Many of the organizations see these issues as programs or activities isolated from their corporate strategy. From our partner’s perspective, however, aligning the organizational culture on inclusive topics, and demonstrating the impact on financial and human capital metrics, is vital, in order to show the direct correlation that exists between the execution of diversity and inclusion issues and overall beneficial organizational results.

As noted diversity advocate Vera Myers, V.P. of Netflix Diversity Strategy, has said: “Diversity is being invited to the party.  Inclusion is being asked to dance.”