He believes in professional and entrepreneurial women and their abilities to achieve success as entrepreneurs, in academia, and in business. That is why, every day of his life, he bets on gender equality and equal access to opportunities.
The Woman Post | María Consuelo Caicedo Toro
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This is how the Canadian feminist Shulamith Firestone wrote in her book "The Dialectic of Sex" -published in 1970- at the beginning of the first chapter: "The stagnant division derived from sex is so deep that it is imperceptible. If it is perceived, it can be under a layer of superficial inequality, susceptible to abolition through a few reforms or through the full integration of women into the workforce.”
It was a long time, at that time, for women to be massively integrated into that labor force that Firestone spoke of and into salaried work, but they began to do so timidly from the sixties, while some changes of type were being considered in the world economic, legal, and cultural.
This preamble is pertinent to welcome Mauricio Cárdenas, an industrial engineer and social and environmental entrepreneur, to the pages of The Woman Post whose work is oriented towards gender equality or, as he describes it, “equal access to opportunities.”
At the end of 2012, the Green Chamber of Commerce was born, which, supported by the US Green Chamber of Commerce, directs its focus to "supporting entrepreneurship and companies that want to be sustainable," explains Cárdenas. As it does? Supporting green business networks, the development of sustainability capacities, and the presentation of affiliates' interests before public sector entities that define sustainability policies. Are there green businesses? Mauricio Cárdenas says yes and defines them as those that have a measurable social and environmental impact that contributes to the sustainability of the planet.
In this green business scenario, another factor comes into play, gender equity, because, as Mauricio emphasizes, “sustainability is everyone's business and in the Latin American context, professionals, men, and women, are equitably distributed in the exercise of science, environmental and social.” For cultural reasons, a high percentage of activities that contribute to sustainability are led by a woman. And if the head of the team were a man, he would have great feminine values in his team.
The conversation with the Colombian Mauricio Cárdenas turns towards a topic that he calls “the care economy and that associates unpaid services and vulnerable sectors of society such as children and the elderly. Women make an important presence there.”
To access the world of possibilities for Colombian women (and from other latitudes) that the Green Chamber offers, click here. It is a friendly interface that takes us through alliances, support for ventures and companies, consultancies, and online events with free registration. For those interested, the next ones are:
-Fashion Transparency Index in Mexico (April 28, 2021).
-Forum: Nature-based solutions and green businesses in San Andrés (May 5, 2021).
-Mentoring program and investment wheel: Capital for Women-Led Startups (May 13, 2021).
When it comes to gender equality and equal opportunities for all, Cárdenas is tireless and permanently passionate about the issue. He is also a strategic advisor and representative for Colombia of Core Woman, an initiative that works to achieve female economic empowerment and gender equality.
As part of this great project, Mauricio believes in professional and entrepreneurial women and in their abilities to achieve success as entrepreneurs, in academia, and in business.
Other Bets, Other Scenarios
Cárdenas' commitment is generous and reaches out to organizations such as Equipares, a recognition program for those organizations and companies whose business management includes management systems based on gender equality: “This program receives the support from the United Nations Development Program.”
He also knows and promotes the UN initiative called He For She, "a movement that was born for the promotion of gender equality in the world and the empowerment of women." It is an effort to close gender gaps with a global reach that involves everyone, men and women, ignoring social and cultural barriers. "Barriers keep us from reaching our highest potential," says Mauricio Cárdenas, a man who pursues and achieves goals on many fronts.