Women Leaders in the Public Sector of Latin America and the Caribbean: Gaps and Opportunities
Women's presence in leadership positions is essential, not only due to equality factors but also because it generates multiple benefits. This unprecedented study closes an information gap by analyzing, in a comparable manner, the four highest levels of central public administrations in 12 representative sectors for 15 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Normative and organizational variables complement the analysis. The study shows that women's presence is still limited at the highest decision-making levels of central public administrations in the region and is concentrated in specific sectors. There is a gap between formal actions and the results obtained. In most countries, there are regulations, organizations, and public policies to mainstream gender policies, although their effect is still uncertain. The region needs a more ambitious gender agenda, which goes from compliance with formality to women's full and meaningful participation. The public sector could be the benchmark in each country for what it means to close the gender gap. Therefore, aspirational goals need to be complemented with the construction of state capabilities required to achieve the proposed objectives.