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Study of Women Executives: 2013

This year, Deloitte conducted its second survey analyzing the presence of women executives in the Ecuadorian labor market. This analysis collects information taken from 97 companies in the Ecuadorian market, spread across local and multinational companies, classified by economic sector. 

Of the analyzed sample, 61 percent of company personnel are men while 39 percent are women. Particularly notable is the industrial sector with the highest proportion of men (73%), while the financial sector has the highest proportion of women (52%).

Of those women working in organizations, only 14% of such companies have almost one third of their female staff (30%) occupying executive positions. However, 59 percent of women hold between 5% and 10% of executive positions while 26 percent of executive positions are occupied by women in between 10% to 20% of companies. This data confirms that women’s participation in executive positions is still limited in Ecuador. When compared to 2009, the trend remains similar.

In 70 percent of cases, the approximate age of these executives is between 30 and 45 years, while 11 percent are under 30 years of age and a similar percentage is between 45 and 50 years. Overall, the age ratio is similar to that for men occupying executive positions.

Most female executives are concentrated in Human Resources (28%), others (24%) ranged over different areas, and finance (23%). Next come areas such as marketing (15%), technology (5%) and, towards the end of the scale, general management (4%) and vice-presidency (3%).

Of this group of executives, only 18 percent are mothers, although the financial sector can boast 35 percent of executives who are mothers. It needs to be borne in mind that some of these women may be planning to have children.

Companies were consulted on their work flexibility policies for executive mothers. While 35 percent claimed to have policies in place, 65% admitted to having none. However, the same question in 2009 disclosed only 25 percent of companies with flexibility initiatives, indicating an increased number of companies that have opted to implement such initiatives during the intervening four years, especially in the commercial and service sectors.

Questioned on their principal flexibility policies, most companies highlighted the option to adapt working hours to fit in with family commitments (41%), followed by working from home and/or more flexible leaving times (29%) and maternity bonuses (4%). Although 21 percent of companies claimed to have flexibility policies related to working hours, such are a legal obligation and not an internal policy. It should be noted that although some companies have no flexibility policies in place, many are flexible when it comes time to negotiating times with their female executives.

According to the results obtained from the “Salary Survey” conducted by Deloitte on more than 300 Ecuadorian companies, all are in compliance with legislation regarding breast-feeding and maternity leave entitlement, especially with respect to the extension of the latter to 12 months.

The interviewees were also consulted on whether they believe that women limit their careers by seeking a balance between work and family. In this regard, 52 percent agreed with the statement while 48 percent expressed their disagreement. In 2009, the same question drew responses of 72 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

With respect to remunerations, 58 percent of respondents do not believe that any wage differential exists between executive men and women in Ecuador while 42% are of the opposite opinion. The latter group believes that the reasons for such differences lie, principally, in the machista culture (50%), in the belief that women are less productive or are not valued in decision taking (22%), in the reality that they have less available time for prolonged working hours or for extended travel periods or due to time constraints in general (20%). However, 9% think that women are now gaining ground in this respect.