Logistics giant UPS leads the way.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
While there are only nine female CEOs on the Latin 500 ranking of Latin America’s largest companies, there are a growing number of female executives holding country manager or regional positions with foreign multinationals in Latin America.
The Latin Business Chronicle ranking of Latin America’s Top 50 Businesswomen shows 15 women country managers for foreign multinationals operating in Latin America and another nine who head up the Latin America or sub-regional operations of multinationals.
“In the multinational foreign companies it is pretty common to find diversity as one of advantages when they are trying to create teams, including at high management levels, “ says Yolanda Auza, a Colombian native who is the general manager of US-based IT company Unisys’ LACSA division, which includes all of Latin America except Brazil and Mexico.
One shining star is U.S.-based logistics giant UPS, which not only has its Latin American operations headed up by a woman, but also the country operations in five other countries in the region, including Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy.
“The transportation industry in Latin America, much like anywhere else around the world, is not often seen as a sector which cultivates careers of female executives, but UPS has proven to be the exception,” says Romaine Seguin, president of the Americas division of UPS.
In addition to Seguin, who oversees UPS’ Latin America business from Miami, the logistics company can boast the following roster of key female executives:
Carmen Alvarez, Country Manager, Ecuador, UPS
Nelly Chon, Manager for Peru and Bolivia, UPS
Griselda Hernandez, Operations Manager, North Latin America, UPS, USA
Nadir Moreno, Brazil Country Manager, UPS
General Motors, the U.S.-based auto giant, has also been active in promoting female executives to high-ranking positions in Latin America. Grace Lieblein has headed up GM’s operations in Brazil since June last year after running the carmaker’s Mexico business for two-and-a-half years.
Last month it appointed Isela Costantini to head up GM’s operations in Argentina. GM also has appointed a female CFO for its South America division, Brazilian native Denise Farinos.
And U.S.-based Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has appointed two female executives to run its IT operations in Latin America and in Mexico.
Meanwhile, although only nine of the Latin 500 companies have female CEOs, the number of female company heads is actually higher. The Top 50 Businesswomen ranking also includes several female CEOs of companies in Latin America that are not on the Latin 500, which requires the release of annual revenues. They include Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala,president and chief executive officer of Tresalia Capital in Mexico; Blanca Treviño, CEO of Mexican IT company Softtek and Angelica Fuentes, CEO of health-food company Grupo Omnilife in Mexico.
“While female CEOs may ... not [be] the majority of the leaders among the region’s top 500 companies, more and more women are climbing the ranks in their companies and reaching new heights of influence,” Seguin says. “This will help to pave the way for the next generation of women leaders.”
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