A recent study, entitled "Taking Global Opportunities – Communication and Languages for Companies", carried out by the language teaching startup Políglota, has yielded interesting data on the level of proficiency in English in the business environment of Latin America. This study evaluated 100 companies from more than ten industries in countries such as Chile, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina, with the participation of more than 600 people who are taking language training and more than 100 decision makers, including managers of Human Resources and CEOs.
The Ranking and Featured Companies
The ranking reveals that a solid 45.9% of the companies highlighted in this evaluation are of national origin, reflecting the commitment of local companies to the development of skills in foreign languages, particularly English.
Among the companies that stand out in this ranking are:
These companies have proven to have collaborators who have high performance in the English language, which could be a competitive advantage in a globalized market.
The study also highlights that 54.1% of the companies in the ranking are transnational, which underlines the growing global presence of Latin American companies. This reflects the importance of English proficiency in the business world, as English has become a universal language of business communication. Of the national companies evaluated, 29% consider it crucial to have collaborators who are fluent in other languages, while only 11.8% see the use of English in their operations as null.
The Power of English in Business
The English language plays a vital role in the global business arena. According to Statista data, in the year 2023, English has approximately 1.5 billion speakers worldwide. Carlos Aravena, CEO of Políglota, underlines this point by stating: "Languages are the most powerful tool when doing business; when employees speak English, the local company becomes international with the ability to expand its business." This highlights how proficiency in English can fuel the expansion of Latin American companies in the highly competitive global marketplace.
The study also revealed that certain sectors and industries in Latin America have higher levels of English proficiency. These sectors include advertising and marketing, construction, financial services, retail, logistics, and technology. This is because these areas are often involved in international projects that require effective communication in multiple languages to ensure success.
Although the study shows that many companies value English speaking skills in their recruitment processes, they face significant challenges. Many professionals demonstrate strong performance in reading and listening skills in English, but find it difficult to express themselves orally in this language.
Gender vs. Job title
The study also notes that while the variation in the level of language proficiency between men and women is minimal, women tend to perform better overall, especially at more advanced levels. Despite this better performance, the majority of senior and managerial positions are still held by men, which raises the need to continue working on gender equality in the workplace.
Políglota's study highlights the importance of English in the Latin American business environment and how companies are increasingly recognizing the need to develop skills in this language to compete in a globalized market.