Raquel Virgínia, trans woman co-founder of the band As Baías e a Cozinha Mineira and CEO of Nhaí, was one of the participants of the second panel of Universa Talks 2022, “What time do they come back?”, alongside Tijana Jankovic, CEO of Rappi Brasil, and Helen Andrade, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Nestlé. Entrepreneurial enthusiast, Raquel stated that LGBTQIAP+ women bring innovation to the market.
According to her, this is the role of Conta Aí, an event created by Nhaí that gathers information from female entrepreneurs. “This is Conta Aí’s idea, in a few years it will actually become a meeting that the whole world will wait for because we are going to propose innovation to the whole world, this is diversity. LGBTQIAP+ women, black women, PCDs, that’s what we can propose, we can propose a lot of innovation”, he said.
She says that she decided to create Conta Aí after starting to participate in entrepreneurial events and meeting with many men. It was then that she decided to seek out enterprising people like her.
“I knew they existed. Today, we have a database with more than 600 LGBTQIAP+ entrepreneurs in Brazil. Obviously, there are several business models in this, some people are more mature in these models, others are moving towards strengthening this, but the The most important thing was that we managed to create an environment where these people could meet so that we could begin to understand that we are also corporate, that those people also have corporate projects,” he explains.
With the analysis, the company was able to discover that the majority of LGBT people decide to undertake in e-commerce, an environment where they feel more comfortable to put their business into practice.
Challenges for women in the labor market
Raquel also spoke about the difficulties women face in entrepreneurship. According to her, the difficulties surpass those of men since, in addition to the initial challenges, there is still a need to make a cut to understand how to develop ways of dealing with stigmas that still exist in Brazil.
“When you take the LGBTQIAP+ approach, and within that frame, you bring up the issues of women who are LGBT and, at the same time, PCDs, or PCDs and black women, for example, the difficulties are different because you need to, in addition to having the strategy of the entrepreneurship, include in your business plan how to deal with a series of stigmas that you have in Brazil”, he says.
“This grouping that we are doing in our meetings preserves us around an ecosystem that we are creating. Today I have a map of LGBT entrepreneurs in my head and I can indicate people. We can price, and, of course, the idea is that from now on 10 years this meeting has actually managed to build a community that proposes technology, innovation and brings proposals to the market in the same way that men, white, cisgender, do”, he adds.
‘Women are still afraid to say they want to get pregnant’
During the same panel, women also discussed motherhood and the job market. editor-in-chief of universeDébora Miranda questioned the head of diversity and inclusion at Nestlé, Helen Andrade, about how to make motherhood not weigh against women in the job market.
“That question, in 2022, means we have serious problems because we all live because some woman got pregnant to be here. It’s pretty surreal that we talk about it, but we need to talk and act on this issue,” she said.
Helen told about a selection process she carried out at Nestlé that illustrates how women are still afraid to tell, during a job interview, that they are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant.
“Women are very afraid, during the selection process, to say that they want to get pregnant or that they are pregnant. I hired a girl on my team a while ago who was six months pregnant. But she only told me that during the process. She advanced, reached the finalists, she was the best and I gave indications that she would be hired. Then in the interview she said: ‘Helen, I need to tell you something, I have a problem, I’m six months pregnant’ “, said.
According to the head of Nestlé, possibly the woman did not tell before because she believed that this could be a reason for her not to proceed with the process.
“I said: ‘congratulations on your pregnancy’. She was the person selected, HR got in touch, sent the offer letter. A career is not done in six months of maternity leave, this is a period and she will come back, we need naturalize it,” he said.
She also highlighted the role of large companies in making this type of process increasingly common.
“Large companies are not where they have the largest number of jobs in Brazil, they are in micro-companies, in entrepreneurship. But large companies have an important power to influence society through their positioning, their brand, internal actions, they manage to influence because have a high visibility in Brazil and in the world”, he concluded.