​FCA takes important step towards the promotion of gender equality

The company is the first in the automotive sector to join the Movimento Mulher 360 (Women's Movement 360), with a focus on diversity and more inclusive governance

March 12, 2019 - FCA announces admission to the Movimento Mulher 360, with the objective of strengthening policies and practices of gender equity. The company is the first in the Brazilian automotive sector to join the association, which brings together companies such as Carrefour, Basf, Coca-Cola and Microsoft among others, in actions that create a fairer and more balanced business community for women.

"Gender equity is essential for the transformation of culture in our organization," summarizes Érica Baldini, director of Human Resources for FCA in Latin America. "Discussions are not limited to the HR sector. It involves a multifunctional team that, at this moment, has been engaged in the exchange of experiences with companies from other sectors in order to gather information on good practices", she says. According to her, the challenge is to understand the opportunities for increasing women's participation in the corporate environment.

Érica Baldini (left) and Margareth Goldenberg (right)Érica Baldini (left) and Margareth Goldenberg (right)

"We are very happy with this participation. The automotive sector, traditionally occupied by men, is slowly advancing. FCA, as a pioneer, is setting the example", explains Margareth Goldenberg, executive manager of the Women's Movement 360. In addition to the monthly meetings between associates — where issues such as equal pay and diversity committees are addressed —and the implementation of peer counseling and a mentoring channel for exposing good practices, the movement also maintains a dialogue with CEOs. "It is very important great leadership to be involved. This also reinforces the role of men, who occupy the majority of these posts when promoting equity".

Marcela Sampaio, Human Resources Manager at FCA, explains that having a diverse team is also a strategic issue for the business: "The representativeness makes the group more able to understand the expectations of the public. Today, 70% of purchasing decisions is made by women", she adds.

Marcela Sampaio (left) and Sephora Amaral (right)Marcela Sampaio (left) and Sephora Amaral (right)

According to Marcela Sampaio, FCA is a training center with leaders from different areas that act as multipliers in the promotion of a new corporate culture. "The challenges are vast, but the initial step is to raise awareness", she says.

In an environment traditionally run by men, cases like that of Sephora Amaral, supervisor in the Controls area at Powertrain Engineering in the Fiat Automotive Plant (Minas Gerais, Brazil), are seen as an inspiration. With more than 10 years working for the FCA group, she went on a maternity leave in 2016 while working as a coordinator and, when she returned, she was promoted. "During my leave, the area manager invited me to be a supervisor. I was a little afraid because of the increased responsibility at work, but I embraced the opportunity", she says.

Alexandra Morales, who oversees the internal logistics (handling) of the Fiat Automotive Plant (Minas Gerais, Brazil), leads more than 900 employees, responsible for the daily flow of about 950 trucks inside the factory. Most of them are men. "There are still very few women who apply for this job", she says.

Alexandra MoralesAlexandra Morales

On a daily basis, Alexandra gives tips on how to circumvent the invisible barriers of prejudice: "If we are competent in what we do, we can surely accept compliments for our performance, of course!", Defends Morales. Autonomy and security are values that Alexandra does not give up and reinforces with the work colleagues the importance of women taking control of their lives. At home, she tells her daughters, Maria Helena, 16, and Hagne, 14, to believe in themselves and makes it a point to advise them, for example, not to apologize excessively. "Errors serve to grow and correct your route, you do not have to feel guilty", she says. This security can be decisive for a more assertive and empowered professional position for the girls in the future.

The Movimento Mulher 360 was created in 2011 from a Walmart initiative. In 2015, the Movement gained strength and became an independent non-profit association, with the mission of contributing to the economic empowerment of Brazilian women with a 360 degree vision, through promotion, systematization, the diffusion of advances in policies and in business practices with the engagement of the Brazilian business community and society in general.

Words: Bárbara Caldeira

Pictures: Marketing

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