IWD 2023: #EmbraceEquity (Pt 4)
We asked women: “How have you been using your own sphere of influence, and are rising to the challenge to create a space for your voice, as well as that of other women and girls, to be heard?”
TANYA LEE PERKINS, HEAD OF LEEP MARKETING, ATHLETE MANAGER
“As the founder and head of a sports management company, LEEP Marketing, I drive several athletes’ sponsorship and brand-related interests daily. I use my position in what is traditionally a male industry to advocate for women because I have experienced and witnessed the varying limitations placed on women, both in the field of play and in the boardroom.
“In sports, the gender disparity is still not equitable worldwide — the pay gap, the unconscious media bias, the traditional roles designated, are just a few areas that are disadvantageous to women.
“An essential part of my profession as an athlete manager is driving how women are covered in the media. I contextualise the achievements of my athletes to eradicate unconscious bias and further establish their credibility. For example, in my 2022 releases I positioned Briana Williams as Jamaica’s youngest Olympic gold medallist, male or female. Bunny Shaw is Jamaica’s leading goalscorer, male or female. Sara Misir is our MP3 & TS1 Champion, competing against the men. Those titles matter, because positioning influences perception.
“No matter the sport, I am a strong proponent of women getting equal, equitable and fair recognition. As a leading voice in sports in Jamaica and across the Caribbean region I will continue to use my professional mobility to position women beyond the bias. Women’s advancement rate in senior leadership is still slow, and I hope to accelerate that in the sports space for myself, my athletes, and another generation of women behind us.”
CLOVER MOORE – ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, GROUP CORPORATE AFFAIRS & COMMUNICATIONS, VM FINANCIAL GROUP
“As a communicator, I understand the value of being able to add my own voice to the room. This is something that I have been able to improve on as I have matured, and I have been deliberate in striving to present my thoughts and opinions in an authentic way. People have come to know me as a ‘straight shooter’ because, while I have had to work at being effective in my delivery, especially in male-centric spaces, I remain courageous in instances where I have to speak truth to power. In addition, I have learned the power of remaining calm while under pressure and this, over time, has helped me to better navigate potentially challenging spaces.
I do see myself as a work in progress, so I am always working to improve myself and in so doing, lend myself to being my sister’s keeper through advocacy, mentoring, coaching and really listening to women in junior and middle management roles.
I believe in ‘paying it forward’ as I am the beneficiary of women before me who have poured into me. My evolution and growth as a professional and individual have been due to strong female leaders, both current and in the past, who have shaped me into who I am today. I also believe in not closing the door behind me, so I always try to reach back to pull others forward.”
TYHEISSA WILLIAMS, RED STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER – INTERNAL COMMS & DIGITAL MARKETING
“As part of the Heineken Company, Red Stripe has set some pretty ambitious goals around improving gender representation across the business by 2030. In keeping with a clearly laid out plan to achieve 30 per cent of women in senior management roles by 2025 and 40 per cent by 2030, I’ve had the privilege of using my role as Red Stripe’s chief digital storyteller to first create awareness and then to drive a shift that will help create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organisation.
“As conceptualiser and host of ‘Mutually Inclusive’ in 2022, I helped to embed our diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda with a monthly online interview which was live-streamed on our internal platform to ensure our work-from-home teams — women and men — would not be left out. From an external standpoint my team and I get to share amazing stories about one of Jamaica’s oldest, most prestigious, and iconic organisations – the ‘World’s Coolest Beer Company’! But even more than that, I get to showcase our talented team members who make this company a great place to work.
“For me, digital storytelling has been an excellent tool to amplify what’s good about our company and communities, especially during the pandemic when we could not always experience the joy of true togetherness. As I reflect on the #EmbraceEquity theme of this year’s commemoration I also consider my personal initiatives to champion the cause of women. Through my role as the producer of the podcast series Being Broadtail on YouTube; producer of the Stronger Together series Inform to Empower to tackle gender-based violence; and co-hosting the TV talk show It’s A Woman’s World, I have used every opportunity to elevate women’s issues with positivity and yes, with as much glamour and style as possible.”