An all-female contingent from BRON, a management and administration hub that supports a group of companies dealing in STEM-related industries, celebrated International Women’s Day by visiting students of C.I. Gibson High School and Windsor High School.
The group consisting of Kelli Armstrong, Corey Cartwright, Elise Roberts, Desiree Smith, Crystal Hanna, Niketra Smith, Lakeisha Albury, Gabrielle Neely, and Patricia Roberts, spoke to students about working in engineering, environmental science, and technology – all male-dominated fields. In their discussions with senior students of C.I. Gibson Senior High and STEM program students from Windsor High School, the team, encouraged students never to let their gender be the reason not to pursue their dreams. They also explained the importance for senior students to seek jobs that are inclusive and promotes gender equality in and out of the workplace.
In one session on how discrimination can happen, Armstrong told students about being rejected for a job because she was a woman. She said, “I have had people tell me to my face that I couldn’t get a job that I applied for because I’m a woman. According to them, they were protecting me because I was applying for supervisorial positions that required me to oversee groups of men and they believed that men wouldn’t respect me in that position. My response was, ‘how about you give me the job and let us find out.'” Armstrong has an Ivy League Master’s from Columbia and is now an Environmental Scientist at Caribbean Coastal Services. Students were fully engaged throughout the presentation and asked a variety of questions. One student asked pointedly if they are treated differently at work than their male colleagues. The group of women unanimously said no and praised BRON for promoting and advocating equity and equality within their working environment. They used the example of their absence from work on that particular day as evidence of BRON’s support in and out of the office.
“We have to work to change the mindset of people,” said Elise Roberts, Technical Director at Atametrics. “Many times when we, (myself and the surveyor), go to speak externally on a project we go together. It’s like we are sharing the responsibility and that emphasizes the fact that we are both qualified, that we both have our place and that together we offer the services required for this project.” As a group of women who work predominantly with men, the female leaders of BRON also want to emphasize that equality is about a partnership. They plan to continue to encourage young men to be advocates for women in such industries to promote confidence in young women who want to explore untraditional jobs by making visits to schools on International Women’s Day an annual event and extending the celebration to reach more young Bahamians. BRON is a management and administration hub that supports Caribbean Coastal Services (CCS), ENCO International (ENCO) and Atametrics. BRON offers engineering, environmental, surveying, and drilling services and more with offices in Nassau, Miami and Providenciales.