Silvia Cristina Fernandes Cintra do Amaral is the President of the World Trade Association of Brazil and illustrates her perspective on women in business. Silvia is also a practicing lawyer in Sao Paulo.
To commemorate Women’s History Month, The WTA of Utah interviewed Silvia to gain first-hand insights into the challenges and opportunities women face in Brazil.
With the first female president of Brazil serving from 2011 to 2016, Brazil has taken significant steps towards equality in recent years. However, women are still underrepresented in Congress (occupying 56 out of 594 seats), earn 30% less than men for the same tasks, and are more likely to drop out of school to support their families or due to an abusive situation. (Thelwell, 2020)
There is still work to be done.
With these issues at play, it’s more important now than ever to advocate for women’s rights.
Silvia shares her perspective on women in business in Brazil:
Which challenges do women in the international business face in Brazil?
The main challenge women face is a lack of access to information. With a lack of access to information and education, women cannot create their own opportunities for a better life.
Which opportunities do women have in international business in Brazil?
In Brazil everything is possible. Brazil is the face of transformation. Women can take the initiative to earn an education and find a fulfilling career.
What would your 15-year-old self say to the woman you are today?
You always go above and beyond for your work.
Which factors impact the lack of Brazilian women in the foreign market?
Familial stereotypes still play a role. Women are expected to take care of the household, husband, and children. When competing priorities clash, women revert to taking care of the household rather than pursuing their careers.
Do you have any final advice for women reading this interview?
Every action is an investment. You have all the essentials to go beyond. Chase your dreams because you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
It was a privilege and an honor to interview Silvia. It was empowering to discuss women’s rights with another female from a different country and generation and see how our values and experiences aligned. We share the same hopes for the future of women in business. I firmly believe personal connections and conversations like these pave the path towards progress.
If you were also inspired by the topics of this interview, I invite you to have lunch or schedule a networking conversation with someone in your field. Whether it’s someone in your office, on LinkedIn, or in your local city, I encourage you to take the time to discuss these important issues. Conversations like this spark the very essence of our future.
It’s not only women I seek to empower to make a difference. Whether you identify as he, she, or they, everyone has the opportunity to shape the future of women in business.
Thelwell, K. (2020, January 27). 10 facts about girls' education in Brazil. The Borgen Project. Retrieved January 30, 2022, from https://borgenproject.org/10-facts-about-girls-education-in-brazil/