#GirlBoss, Are We There Yet?
#GirlBoss Are We There Yet? Over the next few weeks will are taking a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada/ Profectio community as we discuss gender diversity, and have our guest share advice and thoughts on how women can excel in the business landscape. In our eighth episode we interview Justine Melman, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Flybits.
How do you define #GirlBoss?
A Girlboss is a woman who knows her worth, believes in her strength and supports other women in being and achieving their best. She confidently brings the best of both her hard and soft skills to her role and always looks for ways to grow and advance in her career.
Was there a moment of pride when a fellow female in a leadership role did something that really inspired you?
One of my first jobs was on the marketing team at Holt Renfrew. Mary Pompili was our VP. I remember meeting with her in her office when one of her son’s called. She took the call and proved to me in that moment that you could be a mother and a career woman and make both priority without sacrificing one or the other.
Was there a personal moment of pride?
At our Christmas lunch one year with my team at Cineplex, I asked everyone to talk about something they were proud to have accomplished. Almost everyone talked about how they felt supported and empowered and I knew I had helped foster that. It made me very proud.
Any advice for aspiring women who aim to get into leadership roles?
Look for opportunities to get involved with work outside of you job, such as special projects and committees. You’ll get valuable experience and be exposed to other parts of the business. Plus, you’ll likely get to work with people who you might not have interacted with before and can turn them into champions of you and your work. During performance reviews you can speak to what you’ve done and hopefully impress your boss with your willingness to learn and grow, helping to make the case for promotion into more senior leadership roles.
Anything that you noticed that might stop more women from excelling to leadership roles?
Women have to be willing to communicate to their bosses that they are looking to move into leadership roles. Speak up about your goals and have ideas about how you can achieve them. Don’t assume others will naturally put you on a path to leadership. You must be prepared to put your hand up and ask for it!
Two tips on how women can get recognized in the corporate world?
Women can sometimes have a hard time with self-promotion. My first tip is to make sure the right people are aware of what you have accomplished. My second tip is to make sure you’re working hard enough that what you have accomplished is worth noticing.
Who is a woman that you admire who has “crushed it” through successful having a strong work-life-balance?
I really admire Lili Tomovich, Chief Experience Officer of MGM Resorts International. She has had an incredible career and has been a trailblazer in the customer experience space. She’s a wife and mother, and her teenager daughter is a beautiful, strong girl who reinforces just how amazing her mother is.
2018 brought us #metoo and other movements, there has been some change, but more is needed. What would you like to see happen in 2019?
I would like to see companies be transparent about the salaries of their male and female staff, and get to parity when they need to. I would also like to see more advancement to having women make up 50% of senior leadership teams and boards.
Equal pay has been an issue is the news more and more, will there be a time where equal pay is universal?
For the sake of my two daughters I definitely hope so! The more we talk about it and ask for it, the better chance we have of aligning corporations with the mandate. So to all the women out there, make sure you are negotiating for salaries that are equal to your male counterparts.