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Mia Perdomo and Andrea de la Piedra

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A pair of Latin American entrepreneurs and activists hope to transform the way their countries treat women in the workplace by introducing the region’s first-ever gender-equality rankings. Aequales’s “PAR” ranking evaluates more than 400 organisations using various measures, including sexual harassment cases and the proportion of women in leadership roles.

Mia Perdomo co-founded Aequales four years ago with Peruvian entrepreneur Andrea de la Piedra, after becoming disillusioned with Colombia’s “patriarchal and machismo” approach to women and girls.

Aequales turns a profit by offering training to companies, which covers unconscious bias, female leadership, long-term strategies, gender-neutral recruitment processes and even “new masculinity” workshops, which educate men on gender violence and bias.

In Colombia, women earn from $0.49 to $0.68 (£.39 to £.55) to for every dollar a man makes. Despite the marked difference in pay amongst the genders, it has still been a difficult road for the pair, who were challenged by businesses as to why gender equality was needed in their countries.

However, this hasn’t deterred them, and Aequales now has locations in Peru and Colombia, and will expand into Mexico later this year. “We won’t stop until we’re in every country,” Perdomo says. “To see women treated as equals in Colombia – and Latin America – it would be what I hope most for.”

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Image credit: Piero Zagami and Michela Nicchiotti.

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