Despite the achievements of women in academia, the translation of those accomplishments to the corporate world is rarely equal.
According to Susanna O’Sullivan, Flow’s first female technical senior technical director of technology operations, women often start at a lower salary than women due to the fear that exists about the negotiation process.
O’Sullivan was speaking at the telecom firm’s Passion for Action Summit, held for approximately 100 of its employees in recognition of International Women’s Day recently.
As a result of the fear which exists, the director said women often fail to negotiate a salary that matches what a man would ask.
However, she said woman should continue to work hard to achieve success, particularly in a world that continues to evolve, and more opportunities for their success, such as her appointment, are made possible.
Other panellists at the Summit included communications consultant and lecturer, Dennis Brooks and media personality and advocate, Empress Golding.
Brooks said many Jamaicans often conflate gender and sex and, as a result, there are expectations and limitations placed on each other. He said stereotypes and expectations continue place girls in the house while boys are grown “wild and loose and have no attachment to the home”.
Further, Brook argued that women and girls are often perceived negatively when they are assertive, behaviour which is readily accepted from boys and men. He said this must change if we are to create a gender-balanced society. “The narrative about gender equality can be toxic. More stakeholders need to become a part of the conversation, to elevate the discussion so that meaningful results can be achieved.”
For her part, Golding said the root of gender equality stems from history and slavery, with gender stereotypes. Golding said to break gender stereotypes, it is necessary to craft a plan that involves early childhood education and the implementation of laws.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day theme was “Each for Equal”.