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Survey: Only 22% of women hold management positions in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics and the Women’s Advocate Office presented the results of the “Needs of Working Women” study, involving 13,283 respondents. This collaboration aimed to understand the challenges of working women in Puerto Rico, using “empirical evidence” to identify potential solutions.

Under the theme “We are all working women,” the online survey was directed at women in various sectors, including public and private employees, housewives, caregivers, business women, and independent workers. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. 

The survey covered employment status, workplace environment, breastfeeding, maternity, household needs, quality of life, and physical and emotional health.

Key findings from the study, available here include:

Employment Status:

  • 95% of respondents had one or more jobs
  • 38% worked in a government agency
  • 22% held supervisory positions
  • 44% lacked guidance on the Affirmative Action Plan, with 36% unsure


  • 47% reported no lactation room at work
  • 64% found the provided lactation time inadequate


  • 72% of pregnant respondents said their employer provided flexibility for medical appointments

Home and Household Structures:

  • 47% were paying off mortgages on their homes
  • 57% had one to two children

Caregiver Needs:

  • 34% needed a caregiver for children, dependents or family members

Quality of Life, Health:

  • Most reported good emotional and physical health
  • 63% experienced a double work shift
  • 51% were incapacitated by painful menstruation for one to two days monthly

Gender Violence:

  • 34% faced workplace harassment
  • 24% experienced domestic violence
  • 24% encountered gender discrimination

Sociodemographic Characteristics:

  • 46% were 50 or older
  • 73% had a bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • 70% had a family income of $41,500 or less

“I thank the thousands of women who participated in this important study,” said acting Women’s Advocate Madeline Bermúdez. “Their detailed input will allow us to take action and create initiatives aimed at companies and employers to improve and strengthen areas of greatest need. In our office, we remain committed to supporting women and ensuring that their rights are upheld in both personal and professional settings.” 

Orville Disdier-Flores, executive director of the Institute of Statistics, said: “The data collected in this study is essential to help us understand the realities that women face in the workplace. Statistical objectivity is crucial for the progress of our society, and this data is a valuable tool for evidence-based decision-making. This information could effectively help us comprehend the specific needs of working women, thus contributing to the creation of more equitable and just work environments.” 

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