The past decades have seen a lot of developments concerning women and their rightful place in society as equals to their male counterparts, however, are we really there yet? RSM Malta asked this question to seven of its female team members coming from different departments, positions, as well as cultures.
Senior Administration Officer Varvara Briguglio, who moved to Malta from Russia eight years ago, said that there is still a lot of work to be done to reach true equality within communities at large. She highlighted that when it comes to her workplace, she believes there is a strong sense of equality and describes RSM Malta as “an open-minded workspace where people look at one’s work and professional and human qualities rather than if one wears a ‘skirt’ or ‘trousers’”.
Nourhan Hussein, Senior Officer within the due diligence department, supported Ms Briguglio’s reasoning and explained how she feels that at her workspace, there is gender equality with more than 60 per cent of the workforce being women and that there are more female managers within the company than males.
Maryann Ida Tansingco, Assistant Manager in the audit department, who has been working at RSM for over a year after moving to Malta from the Philippines, explained that she believes that more can be done in society to achieve true equal outcomes for women. Adding on, Compliance Advisory Analyst Kristina Nevuche explained that in various regions of the world, women encounter diverse forms of discrimination starting from inequitable compensation, and restricted access to education, healthcare and employment prospects. She feels that women are still underrepresented in powerful leadership positions, which means that there’s still a lot of work to be done.
From her end, Sharon Spiteri Lucas, Assistant Manager in RSM Malta’s outsourcing payroll department, explained that there are still gender-based inequalities in our society, and that in order to achieve true gender equality, one needs to address and challenge social norms, stereotypes, and biases that perpetuate gender-based discrimination.
“Even though the mentality is changing, I think there is still a long way to go to achieve true gender equality. However, I believe that we are on the right track,” Ms Spiteri Lucas added.
In the meantime, Sarah Mercieca, a 32-year-old mother and Manager in the audit department, explained that she feels like women are being understood more, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic and the push towards the availability of remote working, which has made it easier for parents, whether the mother or the father, to merge their parental responsibilities with their career.
Rachel Calleja, Assistant Manager within the outsourcing team, explained how throughout her career she was taught and mentored by both male and female role models and her personal journey has been positively shaped, where she was judged by her skills, talent, and work instead of her gender.
Each of these seven women also gave an insight into a piece of advice they would give to their younger selves and that they hope can help guide other women throughout their careers:
“If you made a mistake, own it, correct it if possible, and move forward.” – Varvara Briguglio
“Do not stop learning.” – Maryann Ida Tansingco
“Be open to change and focus on what you are doing.” – Sharon Spiteri Lucas
“Experience is key. The earlier you gain experience, the more equipped you will be.” – Sarah Mercieca
“Never give up on yourself and never let anyone make you doubt that you can do what you set your mind to.” – Nourhan Hussein
“Do not be afraid of failure, it is a natural part of life.” – Kristina Nevuche
“Every stage of your career will have its challenges and opportunities. Embrace the journey.” – Rachel Calleja
Concluding, RSM Malta Partner Karen Spiteri Bailey said: “As we spotlight several women within our team at RSM Malta, we want to take a moment to encourage other businesses out there to strive towards becoming society’s blueprint for gender equality. Ensuring a place of work that gives equal opportunities to all individuals irrelevant of gender, race, religion, or background, could sustain and support society at large in becoming an equal space for all. Happy International Women’s Day to all our female employees, clients, and supporters.”