Puerto Rico Labor Dept. Holds First Conference Focusing on Working Women
SAN JUAN — With the participation of hundreds of women, the Puerto Rico Labor and Human Resources Department held Tuesday the “Encuentro de Mujeres,” of Meeting of Working Women, where certified international speakers, businesswomen and entrepreneurs shared their experiences and strategies for professional success.
The event is part of the efforts of Labor Secretary Briseida Torres Reyes to strengthen female labor participation, as well as to promote the creation of policies for business inclusion and protection of women’s rights.
“It is important to make the workforce that us women are more visible, and also highlight that we are a fundamental asset for every business person because the indicators suggest that businesses with women in leadership positions are, in many cases, more successful,” said Torres, who during the event gave a message of empowerment and salary equity to the attendees.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced, who also participated in the event, said that “guaranteeing the rights of women in any area, including the workforce, has been my north as a public servant, and one of the foundations of my administration,” and pointed to the example provided by the speakers and panelists, whose stories can inspire hundreds of other women.
According to the department’s “Labor Market” statistics, in October the labor-force participation rate of women was 33.3 percent, while that of men was 48.8 percent.
The agency’s press release on the conference added that the female employment figure was 432,000 in 2018 and represented 44 percent of the Puerto Rican workforce, an increase of 12.6 percentage points compared with 1970 (31 percent).
The sectors where the participation of women is lower are construction, agriculture and transportation. Thus, the services, public administration and commerce sectors are the main sources of employment for women.
During the event, entrepreneurs Josie Arroyo (Bien Cool), Crystal Díaz (Produce!), Laura Tirado (Uva!), Suhaily Sepúlveda (Guilty), and Cristina Sumaza (Lote 23) shared their experiences and sacrifices to propel their own businesses. Also, businesswomen and executives Ileana Molina Bachman (Claro), Glorimar Torres (Amgen), Yaneza Bravo (Ranger American) and Debbie Alonso (ADCOM Group) gave their perspective on the changes in favor of women in the business world, although they stressed the need for greater inclusion and a stronger presence of women in leadership positions.
In addition, certified international speakers Frances Ríos and Yldefonso López detailed some of the main strategies and tools for inclusion within companies and the positive effects for both employees and clients of companies that make the changes.