Corporate Mexico Starting To Address Racial Inequities


Mexican businesses have focused their DEI efforts on gender and LGBTQ parity due to a long-held misperception that the country doesn’t have a race problem.

MEXICO CITY — With long-held notions of a post-racial Mexico being refuted, a small but growing number of Mexican organizations are starting to address racial inequities as part of their larger diversity & inclusion efforts, communicators say.

The lag in dismantling systemic racism is endemic across North America, but the delay in Mexico is far more pronounced due to the long-standing, and widely accepted, misnomer that Mexico doesn’t have a racial problem — that inequities are rooted more in socioeconomic or educational disparities, communicators said. In turn, there hasn’t been the decades of public discourse, or the likes of affirmative action, seen in the US leading up to this Black Lives Matter moment…

…PR counselors, however, did point out that corporate Mexico has not been totally deaf to issues surrounding inequities and discriminations. It’s just that their focus has been more on gender and sexuality than race.

“My observation is that Mexico’s advancement in diversity, equity, and inclusion can be likened to the ‘technology leapfrogging’ that some countries have experienced,” said JeffreyGroup CEO Brian Burlingame. “They lag behind countries like the US for a while and then make investments and very rapid progress to the point where they are leading in some areas.”

The Mexican government, for example, has taken the lead in promoting women’s rights. A gender parity mandate has been added to Mexico’s constitution. Women hold half the country’s congressional seats.

Businesses are following suit.

In September 2021, Credit Suisse, Cemex, EY and the Research Center for Women in Senior Management launched the Network of Women Advisors and Experts in Mexico aimed at bolstering equity on boards of directors.  BlackRock and Citibanamex donated Mex$24.6 million to Laboratoria and Generation, two non-profit organizations that promote employment, with the former focusing on women.

Scotiabank supports its LGBTQ employees through a range of Pride-related initiatives and year-round awareness days designed to promote LGBT inclusion in the company and to avoid discrimination. Pepsico with JeffreyGroup, and organizations including Human Rights Campaign, developed the first manual for the inclusion of trans people in the Mexican labor market.

“Although Mexico lagged behind in LGBTQ rights, the conversation now has advanced and includes transgender equity and inclusion to a point that has surpassed the attention and acceptance we’re seeing in the US,” Burlingame said.

Excerpt from an article originally published by PRovoke Media on August 15, 2022