Bogotá - The project that Jorge Cavelier Jiménez and his son Enrique Cavelier Gaviria dreamed up more than half a century ago lies between cobbled streets and large steel structures in the shadow of Cundinamarca’s mountains. In the municipality of Cajicá, seventeen kilometers from Bogotá, is one of the headquarters of Alquería, one of the largest dairy companies in Colombia with seven processing plants and twenty-one distribution centers throughout the country.
Since its start, the company has worked under the slogan "nurturing the future of Colombia, transforming dreams into reality". Alqueria is not afraid of change. Corporate Darwinism is imprinted in their DNA: adaptability, evolution, and the ability to transform are some of the pillars of the success of the Colombian company. This is why, in February 2020, the history of Alquería changed once again by taking the first step of many in search of a work environment in which gender equality prevails.
Thanks to EQUILATERA, a SCORE and MIG SCORE Implementing Partner, Alquería adopted the SCORE Gender Equality Model (MIG SCORE) of the International Labour Organization (ILO). In the words of César Vera, Supply Chain Director and member of the Gender Equality Executive Committee, “the process started with a very comprehensive baseline assessment. Seven hundred and seventy staff members participated in a survey about their daily experiences in gender equality”.
In the words of Bertha Lucia Carolina Trevisi Fuentes, National Coordinator of the ILO SCORE Program in Colombia, as a spin-off of SCORE Training, the MIG SCORE continues to highlight the close relationship between productivity and working conditions. By framing gender equality within decent work and business sustainability, the conversation about management and cultural transformation for equal treatment, participation, and opportunities between men and women flows effectively in organizations.
The baseline assessment identified the gaps and unconscious biases present in the firm and was key to design the Enterprise Improvement Plan for Gender Equality. Lucía Roncancio, Marketing Manager and member of the Gender Equality Executive Committee, highlights that "when we identify what those unconscious biases are, we can see the opportunities on which we can work, and that immediately leads us to action".
In this way, Alquería began a process, which is not yet finished, to redefine gender roles, create policies that ease cooperation in the workplace, and seek equal pay, among many other initiatives focused on the evolution of the company in gender equality. The changes are evident. As Juan Camilo Zamudio, Production Coordinator and member of the Enterprise Improvement Team emphasized: “building a language of equality and guaranteeing the full experience of human rights within the company” has been one of the greatest achievements of the implementation of the model.
Meanwhile, for the coordinator of Dreams Alquería, Carlos Enrique Cavelier: "Putting on the SCORE ‘gender glasses’ has invited us to leave our comfort zone and take on the challenges of breaking down unconscious gender biases. That is why the training process that we have carried out with EQUILATERA has been so important. Because it has challenged us to open our minds to re-educate ourselves. Also to challenge gender roles and mandates and learn about the positive impact that this new management outlook brings to the enterprise".
Alquería's process with the MIG SCORE is a case worth highlighting due to the in depth and disciplined work that was carried out (see: Alquería, the first company in the dairy sector to implement the MIG SCORE in Colombia). However, one of the most important aspects of the entire process is the active involvement of all staff. To hear it from the voice of its protagonists, we invite you to watch and share the following video:
For more information about the MIG SCORE, we invite you to visit the following links:
Web page: scorecolombia.org
YouTube OIT Americas: youtube.com/channel/UCrlcu5KChYyHwXlIeD7oLUg
YouTube SCORE and MIG SCORE Colombia: youtube.com/channel/UCcwhS-tRn4f3XO2npcZpPKQ/videos