Guardian Life Business View
Are we our own barriers?
Over the past decades, women have succeeded in overcoming daunting barriers in the
workplace, so could it be that our most formidable barrier is ourselves? Historically,
our reputation in the workplace, has received less than favourable reviews. We hear
stories about those so over-zealous to get ahead that they would compromise all
integrity and scruples, to those who connive and manipulate people and situations
to suit their own ends. However, while these scenarios do occur, they be-lie the
fact that there are indeed, women in business who are committed to supporting and
even mentoring each other. The idea about women supporting other women in the business
world is not about notions of feminism; truth be told, Trinidad and Tobago is too
small for those (either sex) who prefer to operate on an insular basis.
As a woman, getting ahead during these times, not only requires business acumen,
market intelligence, profit-making endeavours and cash flow management but also strengthening your credibility and visibility with fellow women executives. Apart
from making important contacts, networking is the only way to enhance economic opportunities,
learn about industry news before it hits the ground, create strategic alliances,
hear about employment opportunities and gain new clients. However, while we have
to be our own publicity agents, this is not a one-sided coin. Successful women not
only promote their business and their company but unselfishly give business to other
women in business.
One of the ways, the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT)
is seeking to foster a women’s network, is by not only providing opportunities for
its members to share expertise, information and time with each other but to lend
assistance to those who are now about to embark on the corporate journey. AFETT’s
signature event, Suit Me Up, which took place on October 1, 2005, at Guardian Holdings
Ltd. in Westmoorings, seeks to provide “nearly new business wear” at a reasonable
cost, to younger women now venturing into the workplace, those who are re-entering
and those who may simply require a wardrobe change. Part proceeds from the event
will be given to a charity geared towards developing young women. Another way AFETT
is pursuing women’s advancement in the workplace, is by embarking on a nation-wide
research project entitled the ‘Top 5 Companies for Executive Women in T&T.”
The survey’s results will be published in January 2006.
These projects have been undertaken in the belief that women who genuinely
work together not only build a community of business but a community of support. So as
we continue to impact on the economic landscape, inform government policy and cope
with the dynamics of the market place, let’s not forget that the last thing we want
to be, is our own worst enemy.
by Simone Sant-Ghuran