As female leaders, we need to have a healthy dialogue about equal pay for equal work, noted Allyson Maynard-Gibson, QC, the first Bahamian female appointed to Queen’s Counsel, in her keynote address at the 2022 Power Women’s Breakfast hosted by leading full service law firm Higgs & Johnson on 8 March 2022 in the Rosewood Gardens at Rosewood Baha Mar. The event, which commemorated International Women’s Day, is part of the Firm’s focus on diversity and leadership, and brought together 40 female executives from financial services, law, energy, hospitality, aviation, transportation and the public sector to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
“International Women’s Day is a time set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and to also mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity,” said Partner, Tara Archer-Glasgow in her welcome address. “Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.”
In introducing the keynote speaker, Partner, Christel Sands-Feaste highlighted Maynard-Gibson’s stellar professional career, expertise in governance and transformational projects and advocacy initiatives for the rights of woman and children. Sands-Feaste noted, “Allyson is a woman that is not only breaking the bias and highlighting the challenges that exist for many women, but one that continues to show us that we are not defined by other people’s bias and that we can, with courage, chart our own course.”
Examining the bias women face in the workplace, Maynard-Gibson says there needs to be a healthy dialogue concerning equal pay for equal work as many women are doing the same job as their male counterparts but getting paid less. In her address she challenged the women present to use the power they have to break bias sharing on key points such as ending gender-based violence; imposing quotas in Parliament; creating a safe space to open up about mental health issues; and the importance of self-care.
Maynard-Gibson is currently practicing as a Consultant in Clement T. Maynard & Company and serving as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the University of The Bahamas and Assistant Director of International Trends and Services of The Links, Incorporated. She is member of the Board of Trustees of at Barry University; the Justice leadership Group; and the CHANCE Foundation. Previously, Maynard-Gibson held the position as Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs of The Bahamas in two non-consecutive terms and has served as an elected member and as a senator in the Bahamian Parliament.
Higgs & Johnson continues to make strides in advancing more women to leadership positions with its executive team now comprised of only women. The Firm also boasts of having the most female partners amongst firms in The Bahamas with more than half of them in leading roles, chairing or co-chairing practice groups.