Strategies for the Professional Development of Executive Women: Empirical Evidence in Latin America

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Beatrice Avolio
Patty Alcalá
Monica Rurush
Pedro Vilca
David Zelaya


This study identifies the main strategies used by women in order to access executive positions and to increase their professional development using the Latin American case. The study was conducted with 20 women executives who work in large companies in Lima, Peru. The analysis in the Latin American context adds more empirical information with regard to the executive women in a context that is not studied in depth so far. It is important to analyze Latin America because there are inequities in the use of time by men and women, mainly in the case of the unpaid productive work, since the unpaid work activities are mainly designated to women.
The results show that the executive women seem to identify the development strategies that were proposed according to the theoretical basis of this study. The results also show that the main strategies that executive women use are: networking; the support of a leader who guides the development process and is considered as a reference; education; and the overall experience. In addition, other identified strategies were the development of specific skills and competences for the activity, the search for a challenging work, making important decisions with determination, the “hard work”, and the passion for what they do. In all cases, the respondents’ innate leadership prevailed and they were willing to accept personal and work challenges which would allow them to grow professionally during their personal and work experience.

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Part II. Entrepreneurial Education


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