MLR Forestal’s gender policy: inclusion and equality
Many of the small teak plants pass through Lucía García’s hands that later become towering trees on the lands of MLR Forestal. She has been working in the nursery area since the beginning of the company and proudly says that this is her first work experience. “Before starting here there was no work, so I thank the company because for this job that I have now my children are in middle school, they finished seventh grade now,” she says.
In the nursery section where Lucía works, most of the collaborators are women. According to company data, 25 percent of the workforce are female heads of household. Meanwhile, 30 percent are women in senior management and 43 percent in management, which guarantees important roles and decision-making.
Education and promotion, the key points
Mabel Lazo Quino is the head of social management at MLR, explains that the company’s gender policy is focused on inclusion and equality.
“There are criteria such as education and promotion, this means that people not only carry out their work, but that men and women participate in a training program, for example, in gender. And with regard to promotion, the heads of the departments are always evaluating performance and if there is a position to be promoted, the person is taken into account ”, she points out.
In turn, Lazo mentions the cases of women who started working at MLR while they were still in college. “The company allowed them to study, adjusting their schedule, or with financial support for the management of their degrees.” Lazo said. MLR also promotes breastfeeding, managing its own funds to support specialized examinations that are not covered by social security.
Mayangnan women and their desire to excel
Brenda Miguel, 28 years old, is originally from Mukuswas in the Mayangna Arungka Matumbak territory on the North Caribbean Coast and chairs the Organization of Mayangnas Mayakat indigenous women that groups 1,200 women of all ages.
“We are getting to know MLR to see if we can also join the work they are doing with indigenous communities. We want them to give us space to participate in the events, our primary base is production and to support us to have a fund to do our business because we are women, we fight to feed our children, here there are widows, orphans, single mothers”, details Brenda.
Miguel, who is a single mother of two girls, adds that the organization has existed for more than eight years and that every three months they hold an assembly. “Of the women who belong to Mayakat, 70 percent know how to read and write, but to continue studying they need scholarships. The economic situation is difficult and many Mayangnas want to study, but they cannot go outside the municipality ”, she pointed out.
The Pansuhwas, Mukuswas and Ispayulilna and MLR Forestal de Nicaragua communities signed an agreement for community relations and mutual cooperation. It establishes as main axes the protection of the environment and natural resources, and the social development of these indigenous communities, within the framework of respect for native peoples, their rules and governance authorities and their customs.
In the 2021 annual operating plan there are 19 activities to be carried out this year, including inter-institutional strengthening actions, training for women and youth, technical assistance in the establishment and management of cocoa crops and native species of interest, employment opportunities, scholarships and reforestation. of the areas affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota.