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Cartier Women’s Initiative recognizes Marlene Molero, an entrepreneur in the IMPAQTO Capital portfolio, for her innovation in the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace

For the first time in 17 years, a Peruvian entrepreneur has been recognized by Cartier's Women's Initiative!

Marlene Molero Suárez has been honored for her tireless work in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace through her Peruvian startup, ELSA, which is part of the IMPAQTO Capital portfolio.

Marlene, along with her co-founder Ivonne Quiñones, set out to address this problem that affects one in every three Latin American workers. With growing awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace, Marlene and her team have created an innovative digital tool that enables organizations to identify, measure, monitor, and take action against harassment without the need for a formal complaint.

As she herself points out, "Sexual harassment exists in almost every organization. As leaders, we can choose to see it or not. If we don't, we will continue to bear the economic costs that sexual harassment entails for our organizations. If we see it, we can incorporate measures to prevent it from happening again. The decision is ours."

ELSA has had a significant impact, reaching over 500,000 employees and reducing the incidence of sexual harassment by 60% in the organizations they have worked with in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This year, the Cartier Women's Initiative has recognized 33 social impact entrepreneurs from around the world, including three Latin American women: Mercedes Bidart from Quipu in Colombia, Isabela Chusid from Linus in Brazil, and Marlene. The selected entrepreneurs will be honored in a ceremony to be held on May 22, 2024, in Shenzhen, China. In addition to the prestigious recognition, selected entrepreneurs will have access to financing, personalized mentoring, media visibility, networking opportunities, and business education courses from INSEAD, the leading business school.

Marlene and Ivonne have been part of the IMPAQTO community since 2021, when they participated in IMPAQTO Lab, the accelerator program for impact startups. In addition, ELSA has been part of the IMPAQTO Capital portfolio since 2023. IMPAQTO Capital supports the growth of early-stage companies in the Andean Region that generate significant social or environmental impact in their communities.

Marlene and her team have demonstrated that change is possible and that companies can and should address sexual harassment in the workplace. As she mentions, "We have changed the narrative. Companies used to sweep sexual harassment under the rug, but now they are proud to say they are addressing it."

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