Doris Pontieri is an artist and we are delighted that she will be joining us on March 8 to provide a demonstration.
What is your experience of a glass ceiling?
For most of my life, until I took my art to a professional level, I worked in primarily male dominated industries. My first job out of university was with a construction company where I was an inside sales coordinator. After five years I applied for a position on the road in sales. I took a course in quality control by the industry and was fully qualified for the position. I was told that I didn’t fit the “profile” and was offered a position as an executive assistant. I soon became a sales representative in the luxury, exotic automobile industry and after eight highly successful years was promoted to Business Administrator, at considerably less money than the man who held the position prior to me. After two years of struggling for equality, I was told that as a woman, my role in the company was clear and I could not expect more. In fact, I was asked to answer the phones in relief of the receptionist because it was the belief of management that the general perception of customers was a woman’s voice should be answering the phones.
Within six months I opened my art studio and became the decision maker, proprietor and creative director of my own business. No more glass ceiling!
What advice do you have for others in business, particularly women?
My advice to business owners is to build on integrity. That will follow you for your entire life and define you. Success is so important in business, but not at the expense of your reputation or how you are perceived by your employees and peers. I have always believed it is a question of balance between product, production and perception: get that balance correct and success will follow.
What is your opinion on quotas and the gender pay gap?
In the world of business, there have always been gender pay gaps. But in today’s corporate world I believe this gap is getting smaller and certainly heading to full equality. I have always worked with incentives and commissions to help ensure each employee is being paid fairly for their contributions.