Gender, Race and Diversity: Professional Trajectories of Brazilian Black Businesswomen

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
TW1.3.03 (Tower One)
Pedro Jaime, Department of Business Administration, Centro Universitário da FEI, São Paulo, Brazil
I propose in this paper a reflection on the intersection between gender, race and diversity in the so-called corporate world (understood as the one composed by the transnational corporations and the largest private national companies) through Brazilian black businesswomen professional trajectories. I focused on two generations of Brazilian black businesswomen. Initially I consider a first generation of Brazilian black businesswomen. This expression is used to refer to the middle-aged black professionals, average of 50, who have initiated their professional trajectories at the end of the 1970s, in a historical context in which companies acting in Brazil were not concerned about diversity management. Then, following, a second generation of Brazilian black businesswomen, referring to the group composed of young black women who arrives at the labor market in the early 21st century, in a moment in which gender and racial issues become a fierce object of politics dispute in Brazil. As a result, companies started to recycle discourses on gender and on race relating them to diversity management. Actually, because of their age and recent entrance in the business world, the representatives of this second generation are not in managerial positions yet, but are taking part in trainee programs as high potential candidates. Consequently, when talking about them I am referring more precisely to a second generation of Brazilian black businesswomen under development. This scenario leads to the following research questions: a) What changes happened in the professional trajectories of Brazilian black businesswomen from the end of the 1970s to the beginning of the 21st century? b) How these changes reflect socioeconomic transformations processed in Brazilian society in the same period? c) What consequences do these transformations have in Brazilian black businesswomen’ racial and gender identities? I try to shed light on these questions from a biographical and ethnographic research carried out between 2006 and 2011 in São Paulo, Brazilian most important business city.