Closing the Gender Gap:

Reforming the promotion process to eliminate suspicions of favoritism

gender parity
Company name:
Compartamos Banco
Banking & Capital Markets
Latin America & Caribbean
Contact Name:
Hector Cerviño Iglesias
Contact Position:
HR responsible
Contact company representative

The Gap:

Type of Gap: senior management level

While Compartamos Banco has successfully achieved gender parity at entry-level (distribution is 52% female and 48% male), there is a disproportionate reduction of female talent at senior management level, with only 36% of these positions occupied by women. On the other hand we have evidence that women are more loyal (1.77 years) to the company than men (1.55 years) and that their performance has been equally evaluated.

The Practice:

Type of practice: Awareness, incentives & accountability

We found that the internal process for promotions had poor mechanisms to ensure candidates promoted where the best suited for the position at stake. Promotion was mainly a boss decision, and since there are more men at senior positions and they have more social relations between them, a large number of women (23%) felt the process was distorted by favoritism.

To avoid subjective decisions and dissatisfaction, the promotion process has been reformed and standardized to ensure transparency. It now includes:

  • 3 candidates per position
  • interviews with recruitment personal
  • psychometric test
  • evidence of results
  • feedback to candidates that did not get the position
  • carrier plans
  • etc. ...



We did not set required growth rates for women's promotions, as we believe the reformed process will promote the best candidates - male or female - to senior positions and as a consequence, more women will have this opportunity.

Each month, we monitor all senior promotions to evaluate the current rate. We also survey all employees’ favouritism-related answers in our twice-yearly employee satisfaction surveys.

Implementation Date:

These measures are introduced at the end of 2011. We plan to keep these measures in place for another 3 years.

The Success:

We intend to increase the percentage of women promoted to senior management level by 10%, which will allow us to increase the number of women at this rank from 36% to 46% over the next 3 years.

At the same time we want to reduce employees’ dissatisfaction over favoritism: we intend to reduce the metric of 23% of employees’ who feel favoritism is a factor in promotions to 10% over the next 3 years.

Success factors:

  1. The creation of a specialized commission for gender parity that reviews promotions.
  2. Communication to all management levels and employees’ acceptance of these promotions reforms.
  3. C-suite buy-in


  1. Senior management levels being monitored and questioned regarding their candidate decisions.
  2. Annual evaluation of employees’ favoritism-related answers


Employee Satisfaction|Feedback|Monitoring|Process Design|Talent Management|Targets
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