ECOM women of impact


Being able to live in a society with equal opportunities, regardless of race, creed or gender, not only empowers women, youth and girls, but also generates a positive impact on society, since companies, communities and countries have achieved greater prosperity with their participation. 


However, in Latin America, there are large gender gaps in the business world. According to data from a study carried out by the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), only 15% of management positions are held by women, and there is also a higher proportion of women in low positions (36%) than in high positions (25%) and that only 15% of companies analyze whether there are salary gaps within their organization. 


"Gender inequality, particularly in the labor market, has hindered economic growth and social development in the region for too long. That is why investing in female leadership and promoting women-owned businesses is essential to drive strong and sustainable growth throughout Latin America," said IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone. 


For ECOM Latin America, gender diversity and inclusion is a must, as well as being able to generate equal job opportunities, internal training and equal pay for women. We are proud to have 24 women (out of 81 collaborators) who represent 30% of our team in Peru, of which 3 hold management positions and 4 coordinator positions; and also within our team in Ecuador, we have 16 women (out of 58 collaborators) who represent 28%.

Meet some of the "ECOM Impact Women" 


Their work, their ideas and dreams make us admire them and believe that there is nothing that women cannot do in an outstanding way. We celebrate March 8 by telling a little about the history and trajectory of some of our collaborators from Peru and Ecuador, women of impact who have become a benchmark within ECOM and the agricultural sector.


Milagritos Ramirez 


"Be somebody with integrity and turn into the best version of yourself"

Milagritos has been part of the ECOM family for 7 years, located in Lima, Peru. Since its inception, she has worked closely with producers and recognizes that one of the biggest challenges has been to get them to continue betting on cocoa and coffee as a profitable product that generates income and that allows them to improve their lifestyle and that of their family.


"Belonging to a company that always watches over the well-being of the producer has allowed us to position ourselves and improve constantly, despite the fact that prices have been highly variable all these years and that people are switching to palm or corn crops"


As an empowered woman, who has known how to build a path in the face of adversity, Milagritos promotes equal opportunities regardless of social or economic status, gender, ideology, or race. In addition, it considers that the gap that limits and does not allow the development of women today must be eliminated. 



María Jose Bermeo

"Always set your personal goals and set priorities"


María Jose, has been part of the ECOM team for 10 years and currently leads the export area in Ecuador. She remembers that one of the biggest challenges she faced in her early days was learning in detail about such a rich product that is relevant worldwide, as well as realizing that to get to the final product (chocolate or  derivatives) there is a long process that involves many key players.


"My greatest motivation is my family, being an example for my daughter and my mother. It also fulfills me that I can continue to grow and contribute with my work"


For her, one of the main pillars to achieve gender equality, in addition to granting the same opportunities to everyone, is not to label or judge anyone, but to break preconceived ideas and expectations that can be erroneously generated. "There should be no fear of asking and listening because that leads to analyzing situations from different perspectives," says María Jose. 


Mónica Mena 


Mónica has been part of the ECOM family for 11 years and is undoubtedly a benchmark for the agricultural sector in the region. She has more than 15 years of experience working with cocoa on plantations and technical farms, where ten of those years have been focused on sustainable development in Ecuador. This trajectory has allowed her to be part of different global summits and conversations in which she has shared her knowledge and the challenges that arise in the field: 


"Generating real sustainability on non-tech farms is one of the biggest challenges we face. However, when this well-applied sustainability is achieved, all parties involved in the process win."

“Love and believe in what you do and do everything with principles and humility”


For Monica, ensuring that we all have the same opportunities is the way to achieve true gender equality, since we are all capable of achieving great things when we set our minds to it. Differences only make us complement our perspectives with those of others. 



Shirley Bayona


Shirley joined ECOM Ecuador in January 2018 and is the leading woman behind the numbers, serving as the region's Finance Manager. 


“Be consistent, proactive and honest. These are skills that complement very well the professional capacities that each person can develop.”


For her, the challenges of the field have been focused precisely on the financial world: "I remember that one of the biggest challenges I had was learning everything about commodities and, therefore, hedging and futures," says Shirley. However, like many other challenges, they helped her become the expert she is today. 


Making a difference, and contributing to the improvement of processes for the benefit of others, is what motivates Shirley, since she believes that we are all capable of generating changes in our environment, but it is up to each one to decide that this impact be positive. 



Priscillia Morisset 


Priscillia started her journey with ECOM 9 years ago in Africa, London and Costa Rica. Today she is the head of the operations of ECOM Peru and is a leader worthy of admiration. 

"Don't be limited by the way people define you, and always go all out with a lot of heart to make your vision come true."


For her, being part of a field like agriculture that is made up mostly of men is not a barrier, but rather an opportunity to show what one is capable of achieving with motivation and hard work, regardless of gender. The challenge of being able to bring positive change in communities, as well as incorporating technology and innovation to address agricultural challenges, is just one more push to make agriculture a good business for small farmers. 


"My main motivation is to be able to create opportunities for the producers and the work team, so that they have a better quality of life"



Article by: Cecilia Toro 

Copy Edit: Camila Olmedo

More news

Click to read this article

Nurturing Soil Health in Vietnam

The SMS team in Vietnam have been working to soil erosion through structured trainings, refining their soil health and nutrition projects, and creating an impressive soil program catered to each individual farmer certified through their system.

Coffee Sustainability
Click to read this article

Better Life Farming in Mexico

Since 2013, SMS implemented various actions to promote farm renovation, focusing on training and awareness among producers about the advantages of coffee plantation renewal.

Coffee Sustainability
Click to read this article

Public welfare activities for students in Chinese coffee communities

In order to improve the vocational skills of disabled students and enable them to master a skill. On April 18, the SMS department of Pu'er Tianchen Coffee Co., Ltd., and delegates went to Pu'er Special Education School to carry out public welfare activities to build the capacity of coffee community students.

Sustainability Coffee
Click to read this article

Deep diving into traceability with the Vietnam SMS team

Chronicles of Michaela’s travels" 2024 edition is now live! After Latin America Last year, she now headed to Vietnam where she travelled with the SMS operations. She will be narrating her trip and experiences through a mini-series which will be shared throughout the rest of the calendar year.

Click to read this article

Strengthening the knowledge of cacao producers in Peru

In an effort to promote sustainable improvement in cocoa production, ECOM Peru brought together 70 associated producers in an enriching field event on January 30 and 31 in the Huánuco region.

Click to read this article

Clean Water Access for Smallholder Farmers in Uganda

In 2021 Kawacom initiated a three-year project in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate with a focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene aimed to support 13,500 farmers and their families in the coffee-growing communities around the Sipi region.

Coffee Cocoa
Click to read this article

A Transformative Project for Sustainable Farmers

In November 2023, our “Coffee, Cocoa and Climate Change '' project in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation GIZ in Nicaragua was concluded. Read more about it here.

Click to read this article

Gulfood Dubai 2024

It's a wrap! The ECOM Village reopened its doors at the Gulfood in Dubai from the 19th to 23rd February and for the first time as a cross commodity show! Read more about it here.

Click to read this article

NetZero e EISA anunciam parceria pioneira para construção de uma fábrica de biochar em Machado (MG)

NetZero, green tech francesa pioneira na valorização de resíduos agrícolas em biochar, e EISA café, Empresa Interagrícola S.A. do Grupo ECOM, anunciam a construção de uma fábrica de biochar em Machado (MG).