Viva Rio’s workforce is female, with 69.03% of women and 30.97% of men among the nearly 10,000 employees we have today. Viva Rio has always had women in leadership positions, but this was accentuated in 2007 as we started working in the health area. Today, 58% of our managing positions are occupied by women, who are also 57% of the doctors, 82% of the nurses, 78% of the dentists and 85% of the community health agents.
Daiana Albino, technical advisor to Viva Rio and a nurse, considers that this prevalence of women among Viva Rio employees is a reflection of the presence of women in health-related professions, an area that today hires more employees than any other in the organization.
“Healthcare is historically related to the female, the woman, the mother. It is part of the notion of gender that our society has built up over time. It was the mother who took care of the children, of sick relatives, and this extended to professions that take care of peoples’ lives. In education, too, it was the women who were responsible for teaching the children and other kids in the community. So the two areas still reflect a lot of this social construction that associates the feminine with care, and many women respond to it”, says Daiana.
Cici Dutra, project manager at Viva Rio and a psychologist with 33 years of experience in public health, also highlights the link between health work and women. “Women are vast majority in jobs within the health area, but not yet in positions of power. Despite this huge female presence in the area, we don’t see women for Secretary of Health or Minister of Health. Health is female but not yet in the top positions. We do not want help, we want to share the work.”
“I think Viva Rio is different because we have women in strategic management positions. I believe it’s because of the company’s own values, of listening to society and being receptive”, Daiana adds.
A survey by research institute IBGE shows that women spend twice the time of men doing house work in Brazil. This issue is especially complicated for women working in healthcare, which involves night shifts, weekend work and unstable agendas. Cici reminds that many health professionals also work a double shift to supplement their income.
“Usually, nurses and nursing technicians, who work from 8am to 5pm, take night shifts elsewhere, sometimes working over 70 hours straight in different jobs. And for women, this work shift triples when they get home and still have to manage the household”, says Cici.
Daiana organizes social psychotherapy groups that meet with employees at the health units managed by Viva Rio to listen to their problems and convey comfort and hospitality. She sees that women who work in these Emergency Units and Family Clinics, mostly in poor and violent places in the city, accumulate work hours both out and inside of home.
“Women, in addition to the formal work that helps provide for the household, also take care of the house and the children. I often observe cases of emotional overload from women because when they get home they still have another care ratio. Many of them don’t have partners to count on, they are the head of their families and run the house on their own”, says Daiana.
Viva Rio is proud to be mostly female and thanks all women collaborators for their competence, effort and courage. We advocate for more and more positions of leadership to be occupied by women, sooner rather than later.