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9th edition of Women Certified program to include questions for men

Companies that support the aspirations and needs of women in the professional world will have a new opportunity to measure the success of their inclusion programs and policies by participating in the ninth edition of the Women Certified Company (W-Certified) program.

Frances Ríos, founder of the Women Who Lead Company, said this year’s certification will feature several novel elements in Puerto Rico, addressing aspects of women and artificial intelligence, mental health, and the opinion of men in leadership positions regarding inclusion.

The deadline to participate in the program is July 7.

This year, the program includes a survey to learn the feelings of the men who lead because they are who still largely set the tone for the inclusion of female talent in companies in Puerto Rico. Only 17% of the 200 largest native companies in Puerto Rico are run by women.

“W-Certified is an x-ray of the needs of female talent in the working world,” Ríos said. “Until last year, we measured what women thought of the companies where they work to determine which companies women prefer. Now, we’re also going to take the pulse of what men in leadership positions think in terms of the growth, development and impact of women in their companies.”

Last year, 30 companies participated in the test, and 23 obtained the certification, she said.

“W-Certified measures how companies are perceived in terms of inclusion. Companies that manage to pass the certification requirements develop well-structured programs that allow them to position themselves as preferred companies for women and differentiate themselves from the competition when it comes to hiring and retaining female talent,” Ríos said.

“This is as opposed to those that do not insert themselves into the topic of inclusion, thereby losing opportunities and productivity and, definitely, facing a greater shortage of talent,” she added.

For the second consecutive year, the study will consider the findings of the Working Women Survey in the public and private sectors, with the support of the Department of Labor.

Last year, 95% of women who work for WCC-certified companies responded that they are “happy” and “very happy” about their commitment to helping their businesses grow because they like where they work. However, when the opinion of the rest of the workers in the private sector was measured, only 53% reached that level of commitment, and only 49% in the government.

Ríos said the combined analysis of the W-Certified companies, and the women who work in the government and private sectors, revealed “abysmal differences” in issues such as pay equity, sexual harassment, development and flexibility.

To attain certification, companies must have more than 10 employees, have women who report directly to the president or the highest-ranking individual, and have their talent recognized for their proactive actions regarding the work environment, commitment to inclusion of the presidency, pay equity, community programs supporting women, training, and succession plans.

The evaluation is determined by a scoring system based on responses to a 30-question questionnaire, with indicators strategically designed to understand in-depth the needs, desires and feelings of women when it comes to evaluating their managers, benefits and work environment. The survey for men in leadership will have 20 questions, she said.


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