Regardless of your situation – expat’s wife or expat yourself – you live in Mexico and want to work there. But you tell yourself that the still very “sexist” Mexican attitude will stand in the way of your career. Is it true, or false? Find your answer here, through real stories of Mexican women and mine as a woman expat in Mexico.
The idea of the woman in Mexico
Culturally, the woman takes on a very traditional role: considered the mother educating her children, and the wife taking care of her husband, she is the heart of the household. Most women of the 50s and 60s generation didn’t want to work in big firms. Their ambition was to find a husband who would provide a comfortable life. They perfectly fulfilled their housewife role – which, by the way, is a job in itself, though unpaid- they fulfilled their life goals by having a happy family and being materially comfortable. It is also to that generation that we owe the growing social progress in favor of women in Mexico. Indeed, these women wanted for their children to learn to read and write and travel outside of Mexico, which they weren’t able to do in their own time. Today, in the wealthiest Mexican families, most of the youth has already gone abroad by the time they start their career. And the willingness to get to know what is going on elsewhere leads to an open-mind, especially regarding the perception of working women. The traditional stereotype of the housewife has a tendency of fading, thanks to the Mexican women who lead successful professional and personal lives head on.
How to evolve in a Mexican company as a woman?
While women are still under-represented in company boards and at the management level, their numbers are increasing. In fact, foreign companies based in Mexico are leading the way by hiring and enabling the professional progression of more and more women. To pursue a successful career in Mexico as a woman, it is vital to have character and a strong spirit. Indeed, women are sometimes the subjects of their colleagues teasing. They most often have no excuse good enough, while Mexican men can justify their absence without becoming the object of their colleagues’ sarcasm for several days! Also, interesting activities a woman is qualified for are sometimes assigned to a man instead. Ironically, a successful woman can be empowered in Mexico like nowhere else. Indeed, the mother is considered a “saint”. Therefore, she is admired and respected by her male colleagues for managing to reach her professional goals while taking care of her children. Though archetypes are still strong in Mexican society, the locks to women’s professional progress have been broken. To all women who are expats-to-be or hesitating to pursue their career in Mexico because of those archetypes: has your point of view now changed? Are you convinced of the possibilities for a career in Mexico, meeting your professional goals and in your area of expertise? These anecdotes are just a glimpse into the reality of women working in Mexico; everything cannot be said with so few words. What’s missing from this article to give you the push to start looking? To discuss it, I would like for us to meet for a 30 minutes free session, the benefits of which are explained here: http://www.expat2work.com/seance-gratuite/?lang=en Translated by Florence Razé
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