Welcome to the third installment in the ongoing Local Diversity and Inclusion Spotlight series. In these blog posts, we’ll be exploring how various countries around the world address diversity and inclusion in their culture and workplace.
Our newest spotlight country? Mexico, a country that celebrates its Independence Day on September 16 of every year.
Here are five things to know about diversity and inclusion in Mexico.
Foreign businesspeople from more egalitarian cultures may need to acclimate to Mexico’s class-based society.
Mexico is a class-oriented society, and class shapes economic opportunities and expected behaviors. Based on visual cues, Mexicans may determine an individual’s social status and treat them according to this perception. This emphasis on social class and status may be uncomfortable for some foreigners who are used to more solidly middle-class societies where differences in status are not as obvious.
Foreign managers are expected to act according to upper-class standards.
Foreign managers belong to an intangible social level of their own. As part of the global professional ranks, the foreign businessperson is placed at an upper level with all the implications and expectations that this entails. Foreign managers are expected to behave according to upper-class Mexican standards. Yet, at the same time, it is often unclear what to expect from a foreign manager.
Mexican women may have to work harder than men to prove their capability and experience.
Mexican women have to work harder than men to prove their capability and experience. Concrete, positive outcomes must be evident for women to prove themselves and establish leadership. Moreover, young women often lack role models and support networks.
As Mexican women carve their places in the professional world, many follow traditional male patterns as the path to success. Others try to establish a balance between their job and maintaining traditional gender roles.
Current expectations of the role of women are slowly shifting to include more significant workplace responsibilities.
A federal statute prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Mexican Constitution prohibits discrimination of any kind, though homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in the document. In 2003, a federal statute banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Another important landmark for LGBT+ rights in Mexico: In 2010, the country’s highest court upheld the constitutionality of Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law which had been passed in the municipal assembly the previous year. The capital city was the first jurisdiction in Latin America to legalize gay marriage. Same-sex marriage is legally performed in more than half of Mexico’s states, and these marriages are recognized as legal throughout the country.
While women’s role in business is expanding, it is still somewhat rare to find women in leadership positions in Mexico.
Dramatic changes began occurring in the role of women in the Mexican economy starting in the 1970s. An emerging feminist movement in the early 1970s made it more acceptable for educated Mexican women to pursue careers. However, the typical female worker was under 25 years of age, and her participation in the workforce was usually transitional, ending after marriage or childbirth.
There are more women in the workforce today, but many working women are siloed in specific sectors of the economy, such as education, administrative work, or the service industry. As in many countries, there is a significant wage gap between women and men. While there continue to be substantial changes, Mexico continues to be a male-dominated society, and Mexican women in leadership positions are still relatively rare.
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