Spreading Race and Gender Blindness

I was in Mexico City last week to speak at an event about customer experience and today’s consumer. I hadn’t been back there in a while; I had lived in Mexico City 10 years before I moved to Miami. And as incredibly grateful as I am to the US for giving me a home and the opportunity to have a beautiful family, a great job and much more, I guess I can’t deny how much I miss my Mexico. And yes, it’s big and chaotic, particularly the city. There’s a lot of traffic, a lot of pollution. People visiting often say that it’s madness, but there’s just something magical about it — the people, the food, the culture, my roots.

So, I was truly grateful and very excited to be back, and then something caught my attention —  something that everybody’s talking about, everywhere. At the event, in restaurants, on TV and on the radio. Everybody is talking about the “National Women’s Strike” or “El Paro de Mujeres.” The truth is that Mexico, just like many other countries in Latin America and around the globe, has always had a complicated and sad history with women: violence, discrimination, inequality, lack of opportunity and so on. And you would think that with all voices and movements today supporting women’s rights and equality of opportunity, things would be at least a bit better, but no. Things in Mexico are actually getting worse. Just as an example, women’s homicide in Mexico City grew 60% in 2019.

But now, in the context of International Women’s Day, #IWD2020, and this year’s theme #EachforEqual, a brave group of women said “No More!” And they had the courage to organize a nationwide initiative of one day without women #UnDiaSinNosotras. The call was for women to not show up at work, not take the kids to school, not do any shopping (in stores or online) and just not be present on the streets. It was a silent protest or maybe more of a silent scream of desperation.

And so, they did. Monday, March 9 was truly a “Day Without Women” in Mexico. The woman-designated car in the subway in Mexico City was empty. And you may be wondering… “Wait, what? A woman-designated car on the subway?” Yes, that’s right. Women were being sexually assaulted and abused in the subway every single day, to a point where government had to separate women and children from men. But this Monday, that car was empty. And just like that, the absence of women was felt all around the country. There were no huge lines in ticket booths or grocery stores; schools, offices and even streets were half empty.

Will all this work? Will it have any effect? Would things finally start to change? I honestly don’t know; I certainly hope so. What I do know is that women in Mexico — and many other places around the world — are fighting and voicing their rights to survive and to claim what should be their minimum human rights. For the rest of us, the least that we can do is pave the rest of the way for them and for their children and our own children. We need to keep working and work harder to build a world that’s race and gender blind — a world where, as a society and in business, we see beyond gender, race, skin color, religion, sexual identification or any other adjective that we can think of. We just see humans.

I know we have a long way to go, but as an eternal optimist, I’m confident that if we continue the momentum and continue to spread the voices of women and men all around the world that are doing something — #EachforEqual — we’ll leave a much better, color- and gender-blind, well-balanced world for my daughter and her entire generation.

#Genesys #IWD #GenesysWIT #WIT #EachforEqual #WoC #UnDiaSinNosotras

Continue the International Women’s Day discussion with our latest “Take a Moment” podcast to learn how two exceptional leaders walked the unplanned path to success. Barbara Gonzalez, VP, Global Business Consulting, and Janelle Dieken, SVP, Solutions and Product Marketing, share their philosophies on building high-performance teams and turning heartbreak into triumphs.

To get further involved for International Women’s Day, learn why Genesys Women in Technology is partnering with Water to Thrive.