Mexico City, Mexico
On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, eleven businesswomen and female entrepreneurs came together at Covestro’s headquarters in Mexico City to discuss corruption’s specific effect on women, the challenges they face and how to overcome them.
Erika Díaz Ulloa, Head of Law, Intellectual Property & Compliance at Covestro, received and welcomed the participants. She emphasised the importance of having female business leaders participating in these events, as their actions have a huge impact on transparency and business integrity.
The second Integrity Coffee in Mexico offered the attendees the opportunity to share their experiences and deepen their understanding of tools and good practices available to prevent corruption within their businesses. The session began exploring the challenges women face in the fight against corruption and the measures that their own companies have taken so far.
“The second edition was very useful for us as a guide,” said Tania Bobabilla Grandos, from THINK BEE Transformational Network. “It’s worth getting to know ourselves, who we are, where we are going. The way women exercise leadership is common among many of us, and that helps us to break paradigms and to get recognised for the values that we express in our work.”
When it comes to the replicability of good practices, the participants agreed that as a business owner it is important to understand the law and to know what is required of them. They also strongly believe it is important to train all people working in the company and to follow a zero-tolerance approach regarding corruption. Besides, trainings should aim to be preventive rather than punitive, as well as sanctions should be communicated with the aim of creating convictions and good values.
The participants agreed that they should make their gender a strength rather than a weakness and share examples of success and good practices with other women. Through collective action, the attendees affirmed, female leaders can have a key role in the prevention of corruption in their business environment.
“As the representative of more than 4,000 businesswomen, I’m convinced that integrity is the biggest added value for a company,” said Blanca Estela Pérez Villalobos, president of the Mexican Association of Women Business Leaders (AMMJE), who also underlined the need for collective action.
In the future, the attendees hope to join a third edition of the Integrity Coffee. They also proposed a workshop about Ethical Negotiation Techniques for Businesswomen, which we will explore in the future to continue the conversation about corruption and gender.
Author: Kevin Oskar Pöll Garduño