HR Policy Global

HR Policy Global Members Discuss Emerging Issues at Latin America Summit

HR Policy Global members shared insights on their work in Latin America and Mexico at HR Policy Global’s Latin America Summit. The event shed light on the evolving roles of global and regional HR leaders and the challenges they face from legislation, economic risks, and changing employee and talent expectations.  

Global companies “being local:” Ram Krishnan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Emerson, opened the Summit with a conversation with HR Policy CEO Tim Bartl, on how global HR leaders can support business and operations in a changing time. Mr. Krishnan emphasized that a global company’s success depends on “being local”, including talent strategy, communication, and government relations. As the company is pivoting to an automation and technology-focused business, Mr. Krishnan highlighted that HR’s work is “critical to every element of our strategy.” Mr. Krishnan pointed out that the company’s inclusion work should be intentional and put the diversity mentality into the company’s total value proposition and branding strategy.

Mexico Labor Reform: Carlos Martin Del Campo, Partner at Baker McKenzie, Juan Pablo Moreno Arreola, Mexico Labor and Employee Relations Manager at Caterpillar, Carlos Quintana, Senior Labor Advisor for Mexico, and Pedro Americo de Oliveira, Director of ILO Office for Mexico and Cuba, gave a holistic overview of the landmark 2019 Mexico Labor Reform and its current status. The panel discussed the problems facing new Mexican unions and how they will eventually become stronger and more sophisticated. Panelists expect to see negotiable items other than salary and benefits in future bargaining, and increased use of the USMCA’s Rapid Response Mechanism. 

Inclusion and diversity as a global priority: Beck Bailey, Chief Diversity Officer, Accenture, shared that success of a global diversity strategy comes from a deep understanding of local culture, laws, and governance and a willingness to work with local teams on differences. He used the term “Glocal” to describe how his team embedded a global initiative into local levels and emphasized the need to help local teams understand that diversity changes are not the result of compliance but built from a focus on meritocracy and expanded opportunity within the company. Montserrat Camarillo, Employee Relations head of Mexico, Amazon, shared her journey as a HR lead as well as a LGBT employee in Mexico and how Employee Resources Groups can help underrepresented employees to find a community and acceptance within the company. She also highlighted the importance of translation and local interpretation when it comes to a new initiative.

Solving talent acquisition and retention challenges requires creativity: Dancy Tao, Head of HR, Latin America Division, Colgate-Palmolive, shared that the company used to have a program that rotated talent globally from headquarters. However, Covid changed the mentality of where people can work and made the company build a leadership program focusing on developing local talent. Tara McCormick, Director, International Labor Relations, Boeing, stated that Boeing, despite its decades-long history, has a “start-up” mentality when it comes to international markets. Ms. McCormick shared that building consistent processes will help the company deal with unexpected changes. She also highlighted that global talent competition was significantly influenced by the Ukraine war; therefore, the importance of the LATAM region has increased.

Economic challenges and opportunities: On our economic panel Bricklin Dwyer, Chief Economist and Head of Mastercard Economics Institute Mastercard, and Juan Lorenzo Maldonado, Founder and Chief Economist At Aequus Economics, discussed the economic and geopolitical challenges and opportunities global companies are facing in the region. The two speakers agreed on the opportunities for the region when nearshoring is increasingly on the agenda of businesses and provided an overview of the regional readiness for more investments. Mr. Maldonado also provided an analysis of current political pendulum changing in the region while Mr. Dwyer shared his insights on what productivity truly means for global employers.

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Authors: Wenchao Dong