‘More women representation needed to break gender bias’ – Min. Walrond

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Breaking the gender bias that has been around for years is no easy task but the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond believes having women represented in every facet of society is a step in the right direction.

Her position was iterated while delivering the feature address on Friday at the second annual Guyana Women and Girls’ Summit hosted by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG).

Gender bias still exists at workplaces and even subconsciously in many minds and creating a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive is the overarching theme for this year’s International Women’s month celebrations.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond

The overarching objective of the summit held at the Pegasus Hotel is to empower women with the skills and the network they need to excel in their careers.

This year, the summit returned with a focus to break gender bias in society but for that to happen, Minister Walrond noted that a deliberate effort must be made.

“We must purposefully and deliberately target female representation the various domains within which we have influence.  Let us in this way, be our own greatest allies.

“Look for those qualified women – and once again – they do exist – look for them to hire in your companies, to contract in your supply chains and to recommend to others amongst us who need their skills,” she urged.

President of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG) Rowena Elliot

The minister was proud to report that since taking office, over 58 percent of small business awards were given to women.  And similarly, over 40 per cent of house lots were given to single women.

That example, according to Minister Walrond shows that society must identify what they want to change and then progressively work towards them.

Her position was supported by President of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG) Rowena Elliot who noted that while strides have been made over the years, the gender gap is still wide in Guyana.

“Women are paid less, given less opportunities and generally undervalued at every stage while being burdened with the archaic expectations of what a woman should but this year we are pushing gender equality and back against gender bias – this year, we are breaking the bias,” she told the audience.

With the plan to break the bias, Elliot said a concerted effort is needed by all to “level the playing field for women and girls all across the world. In her view, women are “more than the nurturers and homemakers” and offer much more to the world.

“We are now CEOs, engineers, architects, and even world champions.

“Women are the future and our vertical ascension in the world has brought about a myriad of changes that have greatly improved everything from profitability and productivity to innovation and discoveries,” Elliot added.

The summit featured presentations on business and mental wellness along with panel discussions, interactive group sessions, and a platform for women entrepreneurs to network and build alliances for their business ventures.

The WCCIG also aims to establish a platform through which women of today and tomorrow can access the mentorship and support necessary to prepare them for leadership roles in all areas and industries across Guyana.

 

 

 

 

 

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