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MEXICO - Finance

Karina Ojeda

President, Mujeres Invirtiendo (Women in Investment)

Bio

Karina Ojeda Valle is a financial lawyer committed to promoting the professional growth of women in the private equity industry in Mexico and is one of the founders and current President of Mujeres Invirtiendo. She is also dedicated to structuring financial transactions at Capital Indigo, an investment fund focused on private debt in Mexico. She has worked on structured finance transactions in both the public and private markets in Mexico and the United States. She is trained in money laundering and terrorist financing prevention and is a certified compliance officer from the National Banking and Securities Commission. Valle studied law at the Universidad Anáhuac and a specialty in banking and securities law from ITAM.

"There is not enough representation of women in decision-making processes within the private capital industry in Mexico."
Mujeres Invirtiendo is a non-profit established to champion the success stories in the sector, encourage greater cooperation with partners, and raise greater awareness of the benefits of gender equality within private capital industry in Mexico.
What are the challenges women face when it comes to visibility in the investment industry?

There is not enough representation of women in decision-making processes within the private capital industry in Mexico. This is reflected by the fact that there are not many women partners in investment funds. On the bright side, we are still a growing industry, which is why it is key that we focus on promoting a greater participation of women in every stage of investment processes and allow women to grow and lead investments to generate more diverse decisions that will end up making the business more profitable.

What is the reason for the low participation of women in the sector?

The private capital industry has historically been led by men around the world. It is also a cultural issue related to society’s structure. As a consequence, there is a gap in women’s education and professional formation because they are not attracted to work in the financial sector, let alone in the private capital industry. There is also a lack of policies in the workplace that benefit and make it easier for women to get involved and grow professionally in this industry. Nevertheless, women among the industry are seeing it as an opportunity to go and talk about this industry and specifically to give more visibility to the great women in the sector to not only have more role female models to look up to but also improve workplace policies with a gender equality perspective.

Why a company should focus on diversity in the boardroom, what kind of added value can it offer?

One of our core arguments is that having a diverse board or senior management in an institution not only has an ethical value but also makes the institution much more profitable. According to the first edition of the Report on Diversity and Inclusion in the Private Capital Industry carried out by AMEXCAP in 2020, by eliminating the gender labor gap an amount of USD12 trillion would be added up to the global GDP by 2025 and USD0.8 trillion to Mexico’s GDP, which represents 70% of the national GDP approximately. There is an important issue of profitability for companies, funds, banks, and any institution that have more diversity in their decision-making.

What projects are you managing right now, and what are you focusing on this year?

Mujeres Invirtiendo was legally created in 2020 as a non-profit organization in Mexico and was granted the authorization to receive donations by the main tax authority in Mexico in 2021. 2022 was a crucial year for Mujeres Invirtiendo, and it was fundamental to consolidate our community by hosting networking events among us, especially after the pandemic. We have been doing activities since 2017 and even previously with this group of incredible women —Anna Raptis, Christine Kenna, María Ariza, Daphne Salinas, and Sofia Garrido—but it is very important to us to continue hosting events now in person to weave a network that actually provides and added value in our professional careers. The truth is that we are well on that path because we have more than 350 women affiliated to Mujeres Invirtiendo, and we are still growing. Second, as we grow the community one of our main objectives is to give visibility to the amazing women among it who are successful professionals and experts. Third, being part of our strategy and our brand mantra, in February 2022 we launched our Strategic Alliance Program based on three groups of people that could help us grow and really meet our goals: allies and sponsors; women leading other organizations and other associations with similar objectives; and key men who are convinced that collaboration will elevate the gender equality cause. Both women and men will benefit from greater diversity and having more gender equality in our industry. We invite people who can add to Mujeres Invirtiendo and vice versa.

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