On Wednesday, September 7, the fifth meeting of the keynote speech series “Hands on Deck: Policy on Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination” of the Working Group on Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination (GTG) was held on the topic of People Management.
On that occasion, there was an audience of more than 600 people, who interacted with the moderator and panelists, from different countries such as Guatemala, Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Chile, among others.
The conversation was developed in an interactive and participatory way in which 4 questions were presented to the public through the Mentimeter platform: Which group of people do you think suffer the most discrimination within your Institution? Have you felt discriminated against because of your age, skin color, or national or ethnic origin? Are there anti-discrimination policies at your SAI? Do you think that your Institution has a safe space and adequate infrastructure so that people with disabilities can carry out their work without any type of problem? Each and every one of the answers was commented on by the panelists, Ms. María José Franco Rodríguez, Superior Auditor of the Federation of Mexico, and Ms. Verónica Espinosa Terán, Comptroller General of the State of Ecuador, who gave their opinions from their experience and knowledge in these matters.
In addition to the multiple themes and the review of vulnerable groups that must be part of the process of inclusion in SAIs, as recommended by the OLACEFS Policy on Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination, the two most prominent groups in this session were people with disabilities and people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. Of the latter, Ms. María José Franco Rodríguez stressed that” the community has always fought to be recognized as equal and dignified,” explaining that they are the people who suffer most from workplace harassment because of their sexual orientation, their identity, or gender expression, sometimes hiding it to protect themselves and, among them, “the people who suffer the most are trans people.” On the other hand, Ms. Verónica Espinosa Terán highlighted about people with disabilities that “in some institutions, there are no comfortable scenarios because we do not understand the capacity that these people have and, therefore, they are relegated.” She also highlighted the importance of learning and being trained on these issues to be able to welcome people with disabilities, leaving behind the stereotypes that prevent the inclusion of this group of people.
This session on Inclusion also had the exclusive participation of Dr. Eber Omar Betanzos Torres, Head of the Technical Unit of the Superior Auditor of the Federation of Mexico, who expressed his opinion on the inclusion of indigenous people from his personal experience, explaining that “when you are part of an indigenous group, they make you feel that you are a weak group when, in truth, the only thing you are looking for is equality.” On the other hand, he was also in charge of highlighting the importance of these issues being addressed since they are in line with the 2030 agenda, and “we as audit institutions, have to be model institutions and leave no one behind.”
If you want to relive this second meeting on Inclusion, we leave you the video here