Laura Fernandez, musician and host of Jazz FM, will be performing and MC tonight.
What is your experience of a glass ceiling?
I have generally found myself in male dominated careers and have found that I have had to work very hard in order to be taken seriously but I have been blessed to have been able to work with people, often men, who had faith in me, who trusted what I had to say and trusted my abilities. I always gave 100% in everything I took on. I have not really encountered a glass ceiling and in fact have found that I was able to exceed my own expectations; as a result, my dreams get bigger! I feel there is nothing that can stop me. I focus on putting love and passion into what I do and it seems to be taking me to marvellous places!
What advice do you have for others in business, particularly women?
Work hard, be committed, but do not give up what makes you a woman because women are special and women are unique! Our femininity is what makes the world a little more bearable in my opinion. We are the nurturers and mothers of the world; our gentleness has a place in this world, our compassion and our understanding. We are stronger than anyone can imagine and we are willing to do whatever it takes. Maybe that is what sometimes scares men and even other women! We also need to support each other because as women united we are stronger.
What is your opinion on quotas and the gender pay gap?
Of course we should be paid equally to men if we are doing the same work, and we should be respected as men are. However, we should not have opportunities just because we are women either. I feel we should be treated fairly and we are perfectly capable of holding our own in this world. Our pay should reflect that and the opportunities we are offered should reflect that.
Are you aware of government certifications and schemes for women in business?
No, I am not really aware of that. I have always worked for myself however and I created my own businesses and career so I may not be aware of everything.