Your Excellency Mr. Jair Messias Bolsonaro, President-elect of the Federative Republic of Brazil,

We congratulate your Excellency on your election. In doing so, we would like to draw your attention to the importance of ensuring female participation in senior management roles within federal public administration, that will be placed under your command starting from January 1st 2019.

The “Women Inside Trade” (WIT) network is a group of approximately 200 women who each possess ample knowledge, experience and skills working within different fields relating to international trade. In holding important positions, both in the public and private sectors, we actively contribute to Brazil’s progress and economic development. Gender inequality brings considerable loss to our economy. Talent built upon hard work, commitment and years of professional and educational development are “wasted” when not put to service of Brazil and its citizens.

With the renewal promoted by your recent election, it is expected that the Federal Government, in cooperation with the private sector, will further facilitate/enable/support enhancing opportunities for women to achieve professional progress in the workforce through meaningful representation in public staff.

Whereas currently women represent 41% of all civil servants in the Federal Executive, they only hold, respectively, 28% and 19% of Senior Advisory and Management positions 5 and 6, in the Brazilian administrative framework (in Portuguese “Direção e Assessoramento Superior” or “DAS” – DAS 5 and 6).

Data collected clearly indicates that there remain significant obstacles to the professional advancement of women in public administration, even when they demonstrably hold the qualification and professional experiences in their areas of expertise and spheres of action.

It is essential to highlight that Brazil has subscribed to international commitments relating to the promotion of gender equality. For instance, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UN), the country has undertaken to eliminate gender inequality, and further committed to reduce by 25% gender inequality in the job market by 2025 under G20 auspices. In that sense, according to a study published by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the reduction of gender inequality would bring about an incremental increase of 3.3% to Brazil’s GDP over that period. In addition, it is worth mentioning that a recent study published by Mckinsey&Company in January 2018 – Delivering Through Diversity – asserts that gender diversity in a company’s executive team increases chances of profitability by 21%.

Thus, the professional women who are part of the WIT network would like to propose to your Excellency that your government’s hallmark be defined by a greater participation of qualified female professionals in Federal Public Administration positions, aiming to achieve a 50% gender-equality ratio in leadership and senior management positions throughout your mandate whilst encouraging /stimulating/supporting the advancement of this agenda within the Brazilian private sector.

Lastly, we would like to wish you a successful administration.

Brasília, November 8th 2018.




 * This Open Letter is signed by professors, lawyers, diplomats, civil servants from several ministries and other agencies, staff from international organizations and senior representatives from the private sector accounting for different segments of the Brazilian economy.

*The opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily coincide with the positions of the institutions to which they are affiliated.



Founded in 2017, WIT has, today, approximately 200 women from the Federal Government, the Private Sector and academics holding high-caliber positions, in Brazil and abroad, besides a growing network of national and international partnerships. The group aims to provide an open space for dialogue and sharing of practices and information about relevant subjects of international trade, all the while promoting greater participation of women in this field.


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