The Gender Gap Lifecycle

Evidence from the Financial Services and Public Sectors in Brazil

Where does Brazil stand in terms of gender equality?

The debate about gender equality continues to draw worldwide attention. Pay disparities, the valorization of women in the labor market, and the necessity of guaranteeing equal opportunities between men and women is at the forefront of the conversation.

From academic studies to company female empowerment practices to public policies that expand opportunities for women, Brazilian businesses show an increased awareness of the importance of finding a balanced gender participation across many different dimensions. However, the gap to be bridged is still large, and unlike other countries around the world, in Brazil, it is increasing.

Our report findings are drawn from extensive research and more than 20 interviews with financial services executives, government representatives and academics. Within the paper, we show where Brazil stands in terms of gender gap, why this is still occurring, and how companies and public entities can take action to increase diversity and drive movement.

While the country is egalitarian when it comes to providing education and health rights for men and women, Brazil continues to have large gender gaps within the workforce and government representation.
Ana Carla Abrão Costa, Partner and Head of Oliver Wyman Brazil

In Brazil, women are less valued in their jobs, face more difficulties in accessing the labor market and in professional growth, and are subject to a labor legislation that amplifies inequality. Additionally, public policies are not yet very effective at reducing inequality and expanding opportunities, particularly for low-income women.

Despite having the same educational level, Brazilian women earned 25 percent less than men. Only 16 percent of executive directors in financial services are women and 11 percent of the elected candidates in the 2014 federal elections were women. Society is trapped in a sub-optimal equilibrium, in which the talent of women is not being leveraged to its full potential.

The Gender Gap Lifecycle

Our report identifies and closely examines the Gender Gap Lifecycle, which starts in early childhood and gains force in adult life through the following:  

Although overcoming these obstacles to advance women in leadership positions remains challenging, building an inclusive culture and driving change is possible. To increase diversity and gender balance, we determined that companies and public entities need to:

Companies and Public Entites can drive change by: Respostas 3 Perguntas

    That have the power to drive behavioral changes within society and at the workplace.

  • 2Launch awareness and empowerment initiatives:

    Aimed at breaking invisible barriers and showing a path to overcome them.

  • 3Set targets and monitor progress:

    Around measurable components of the Gender Gap Lifecycle.

We hope our report helps to provide a better understanding of where things stand, the work that remains to be done, and how action can be taken to drive societal change. We believe that the debate motivates the search for solutions and the consequential advances.

This is our intention in bringing-up this topic and inviting you to join us in the discussion and fight for a more developed and fair Brazil.

The Gender Gap Lifecycle

Evidence from the Financial Services and Public Sectors in Brazil


O Ciclo De Vida Do Gap De Gêneros

Evidencias do setor financeiro e do setor público no Brasil