South America News


Olympus Corporation of the Americas (OCA) announced today a new partnership with Bentley University’s Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business (CWB) to address issues affecting workplace diversity and inclusion (D&I) and to identify actionable solutions. As a member of the CWB Executive Working Group, Olympus will engage with topical experts and practitioners to explore policies, processes, and programs that drive real change.

“Our participation in the CWB reflects Olympus’ continued commitment to developing a more diverse workforce and fostering a climate of inclusion,” said Nacho Abia, President and CEO, Olympus Corporation of the Americas. “Benchmarking with other CWB partner companies will help further these important goals.”

Olympus has aligned its organizational mission, core values, goals, practices and objectives to support growth and development in D&I. Enhancements to the company’s benefits portfolio demonstrate this commitment. The Dave Thomas Foundation named Olympus among the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in the U.S. in recognition of Olympus’ adoption credit and improved parental leave benefits. Establishing employee-led affinity groups, called Colleague Affinity Networks (CAN), has allowed employees the time and space they need to foster communities that support a diverse, inclusive workplace. Moreover, through the CANs, employees have been able to inform human resource policies. 

“Research clearly shows that organizations with greater diversity of all kinds are more innovative and more profitable,” said CWB Executive Director Deb Pine. “We are excited to work with Olympus and other forward-looking companies to build a broad understanding of the critical issues limiting progress and the inclusive best practices advancing change.”

“Olympus understands the business imperative for diversity,” said Kelly Pettis, Manager for Diversity and Inclusion at Olympus Corporation of the Americas. “Our new partnership with the CWB demonstrates Olympus’ ongoing commitment to building a more inclusive organization.”

The tools and training provided by the CWB include curated research reports that synthesize current literature, practical research, and solutions, roundtable and panel discussions focused on timely issues, and custom programs addressing the unique D&I goals of the organization. By considering topics such as intersectionality, allyship, the corporate talent pipeline, mentorship/sponsorship, and workplace flex, the partnership will help drive changes that improve diversity and foster a culture of inclusion.

Source: Olympus

Andrea Werner is the mother of a 10-year-old autistic child. It was because of Theo that she became an activist for the rights of special-needs children and created a blog for them and their families. 

As her name grew in popularity, two political parties invited her to run for office this year. Andrea accept and will run as a left-wing Liberty and Socialism Party (PSOL) candidate—trying to win a seat in Brazil’s male-dominated Parliament. 

“It’s a battle but it’s ok. I am prepared and I am not afraid. More women should do this because the men there are not thinking about problems in our daily lives”, said Andrea. “When you see some countries that have more women working in the Congress, they worry more about health and education.” 

In 1997 Brazil enacted a law determining that the parties’ candidates list had to have at least 30 percent of women. However, the new rule did little to increase female presence in Congress. 

It’s not easy for newcomers to make a name in politics. But in Brazil, there are signs that a growing number of women are willing to accept that challenge. Andrea Werner is one of those few women that has taken up that challenge.

By Paulo Cebral