Epson has been an advocate of equal opportunity employment for five decades. It abolished gender-based pay differences in Japan in 1983 and has been working to eliminate the gender gap and enable its employees to maintain a balance between work and personal life. Epson South Africa recently hosted its inaugural Women in Business panel discussion, where industry leading speakers were invited to discuss and explore the daily challenges women face in the business world.
Founder and editor of ‘Tech Girl’, Samantha Wright; entrepreneur, author, and speaker, Nicky Rowbotham; and Roxanne Pierrus, sales manager for business print at Epson South Africa, shared their secrets of successfully navigating working in the technology sector, balancing work and home life, especially in a hybrid working environment, and how they secured their seats at the boardroom table.
The speakers also discussed how more females are being recognised for the value they bring to the workplace, and emphasised how organisations like Epson are demonstrating their commitment to women in their relevant channels and elaborated on how more industries should follow this lead.
‘I’m starting to see some progress in the workplace, where people realise that women are looking for something different,’ said Rowbotham. ‘More people are aware that females think nothing like men and can add value in vastly different ways. However, we are definitely not there yet, we have a lot of work to do.’
The event also addressed how society can play a more prominent role in empowering women to take a stand. ‘It’s necessary for society to change how we raise our children. We must encourage them despite their gender to go out, take risks and make their voices heard,’ said Rowbotham.
The three trailblazers closed off with advice for women who want to break into male-dominated professions, with Wright leading with, ‘I always say do it. I know it may not always be easy but just do it. For example, if you want to make YouTube videos about games, switch your camera on and go for it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to get done.’
Although much still needs to be done to realise the United Nation’s gender equality Sustainable Development Goal, more organisations are levelling the playing field and working towards bridging the gender gap.
‘It was an honour to be able to present at this Epson event. I have always wanted to contribute to Epson’s ethos on gender equality. I hope that through this event, we can continue this really important conversation,’ concluded Pierrus.