Observations Regarding the Role of Women in Mexico Compared to the US by Study-Abroad Students


  • Erin Wakefield


In January, 2019, 18 Tech students and two leaders (Dr. Pat Bagley and Mrs. Amy Miller) spent 11 days in Puebla, Mexico as a University sponsored study-abroad program. Students were exposed to various aspects of ordinary life of Mexicans in this upscale city about 60 miles southeast of Mexico City with a population of 3 million people. Towards the end of the trip, students were addressed by a local businesswoman who was educated in the US and fluent in English. Her mother and father, in about 1955 had purchased an old monastery built in the 15th Century in Puebla, Mexico, and renovated the facility into a hotel. The husband was in charge of the construction, while the wife managed the hotel and the business side. The owner, Maria Louisa retired recently, with their son and daughter now managing the hotel, while the daughter also works in commercial design. She addressed the group of 18 students regarding the role of women in Mexican society. After her discussion a survey was passed out to students and responses were based upon a 5-point Likert Scale. Selected results included: “as compared to US, Mexican women face more discrimination- 72% responded 4 & 5 (yes, more/ much more); as compared to US, Mexican women have higher unemployment – 82% responded 4 & 5 (higher, much higher). In qualitative responses, students felt Mexico had very good laws regarding women in the workplace, and after college, both sexes had equal chances at high paying jobs.