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Modifying best practices in women's advancement for the Latin American context

Sylvia Maxfield (Simmons School of Management, Boston, Massachusettts, USA)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 1 June 2005




To stimulate research on Latin American businesswomen's career development and help human resource practitioners design culturally‐adapted advancement programs.


A total of 27 interviews with human resources professional from US Fortune 500 companies with business in Latin America undertaken during 2001‐2003 are the basis for reporting on women's advancement programs in Latin America. A survey of literature on culture in Latin American work organizations provides basis for suggestions about cultural adaptation of these programs. Latin American businesswomen's perceptions of their own career development, recorded in interviews with over 100 businesswomen in six Latin American countries in 2002 by participants in the Women Business Leaders in Latin America project, corroborate these suggestions.


Women's initiatives imported from the USA to Latin America are likely to suffer several shortcomings unless modified to accommodate several common cultural attributes of Latin American work organizations.

Practical implications

Provides a guideline for developing gender diversity practices specifically suited to the Latin American context.


Major cross‐national projects on women, culture and leadership in business to date tend to neglect the Latin American region. This research begins to highlight and remedy that lacuna.



Maxfield, S. (2005), "Modifying best practices in women's advancement for the Latin American context", Women in Management Review, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 249-261.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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