Julia Salgueiro has more than 15 years experience in marketing and business in Canada and South America. She is the Director of recruiting candidates in The Americas and The Caribbean regions for ConnectCA Business Immigration. ConnectCA Business Immigration Inc. is a practice that provides specialized immigration services for investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals.
What is your experience of the glass ceiling?
I have felt it along my career, mainly in South America. I remember being excluded from an after-hour drinks event with senior management for no reason other than being a woman. I had the seniority to be invited to that event, since I was in charge of the department temporarily (my manager was on vacation). I was excluded by my male peers because, as a woman, “I would have spoiled the fun”. I got this answer from the secretary (a woman) who was organizing the event! I regret missing the opportunity to mingle in a casual environment with senior managers, to discuss business issues in a more relaxed atmosphere and of course the feeling of inclusion, of being part of that group. It is sad to see that many times other women are involved in perpetuating this kind of behaviour.
What advice do you have for others in business, particularly women?
Do not be intimidated by glass ceilings. The example before can reflect a fear of the unknown, which I believe is usually behind all sort of discriminatory behaviours. Always embrace what you bring to the table as a woman; do not act like a man under the pressure to fit in. I have seen this a lot in older female executives; it just does not feel right.
What is your opinion on quotas and the gender pay gap?
Without being well immersed in this topic, I believe quotas can be effective to push women forward since they show gaps that need to be covered and I find no reason for a difference in pay between a man and a woman performing the exact same job.
Are you aware of government certifications and schemes for women in business?