Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, is leaving Jamaica impressed with the energy and achievements of women in Jamaica.
Ambassador Wasilewska, who departs the island at the end of August, told JIS News that she is pleased to have worked alongside “a fantastic network of women” during her tour of duty.
“There is a fantastic network of women, activists, women in the Administration and in the private sector that I was able to work with very well,” she said.
The Ambassador talked about her attendance at a working breakfast meeting earlier this year, attended by scores of women who are ambassadors, ministers, members of Parliament, executives and key activists in the country.
“The conversation was [about] what it took for each of us to get to where we are today and what obstacles we had to overcome – what path we had to take. Did we get support and trust from our families? It’s not an easy road for women in various fields… but it was a fascinating conversation,” she recalled.
Addressing issues surrounding female managers in the workforce, she said that it may take a while to engage men, especially if they are not accustomed to having a woman “sitting at the table”.
“If you are patient. If you are respectful, and if you don’t take things too personally, you persevere and demonstrate that you are serious, that you’re professional and you have come prepared, soon there’ll be engagement,” she said.
Commenting on her role as Head of a Mission, Ambassador Wasilewska said that an “unconventional path” led her to Jamaica.
“I never would have dreamt that I would be representing people of 27 countries in a beautiful part of the world like Jamaica,” she said.
Ambassador Wasilewska is hoping that she inspired young women during her tenure in office.
“What I do think is fantastic is to be in this position and be able to encourage other women and to be an inspiration to young women,” she said.