Women’s rights have come a long way, but there are still improvements to be made in issues related to gender equality, particularly in the workplace. According to Jana Sauma, a U3 Management student who is about to complete her degree in marketing, she experiences this reality everyday.
Sauma is inspired by the delicate balance between creativity and statistics that marketing requires, and hopes to enter the professional world of advertising and branding. Jana is the VP Finance for McGill Women in Leadership (MWIL) and is dedicated to empowering young women to enter into the professional world confident and prepared. As VP Finance, Sauma is responsible for working closely with the fundraising and sponsorship teams to ensure that all of MWIL’s events go smoothly.
Originally from Lebanon, Sauma has lived in many places, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and most recently, Ottawa. Her experiences abroad have shown her that women in Canada are extremely lucky to live in a part of the world where women in the workplace are often welcomed and professionally valued. However, she recognizes that there are still many stigmas faced by women in Canadian business everyday.
Sauma became involved with MWIL when she met some executive members at the 2014 TedX Women in Montreal, and she joined MWIL because it aims to inspire, enlighten, and liberate women of the McGill community to reach their goals.
“We sometimes lack the exposure to women like us who are succeeding in the areas that we would like to pursue,” Sauma said. “MWIL is determined to make young women aware of their skills and aware of the women before them who have been successful.”
Sauma believes that personal worth is an especially important realization women need to have before entering the workforce.
The work place can be competitive, stigmatized against women, and even sexist. Sauma believes that analyzing successul females can help females today recognize the potential skill sets they can bring to the table
“To become empowered, we need to be aware of the skills we share with the women who have come before us,” she said.
Sauma addressed the intimidation that women can sometimes experience in male-dominated environments.
“Be true to yourself, and don’t worry about standing out just because you’re a woman,” Sauma said. “Continue to push yourself and believe in yourself. Don’t be scared of being aggressive or loud in class. If that’s what you need to do to be heard, do it.”
What is your favourite place to study?
Redpath, because [the Law library] is too far.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Maya Angelou or Beyoncé.
What are your top three pizza toppings?
Arugula, mushrooms, and goat cheese.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people drag their feet.
If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
‘Circles’ by Passenger.