Burris on assuming secretary portfolio:‘Most of the hate came from women’

Tashia Burris, THA Secretary of Tourism and Culture, Antiquities and Transportation.  -
Tashia Burris, THA Secretary of Tourism and Culture, Antiquities and Transportation. -

THA SECRETARY of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris says since assuming the position in December 2021, many of the negative responses to her stewardship have come from women.

She was addressing a women’s forum on Friday, hosted by the division, at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Lowlands.

The event – Promoting Women’s Empowerment Through Digital Education, Technology and Innovation – was held in collaboration with the Magdalena Resort and the Telecommunications Services of TT.

It featured contributions from women in various sectors, including tourism, business, information technology, psychology and telecommunications.

Burris told the audience, “One of the hardest things as a woman coming into this job you understand that hate is part of it, people have their opinions, people are divided along different lines, everybody is entitled to an opinion.

“But one of the hardest things for me, personally, is recognising that most of the hate is coming from my fellow women, my fellow women who should be…fixing my crown.”

She said she was not perfect.

“I don’t proclaim to know everything and I don’t proclaim to think that I could get everything right. I will make mistakes but I will seek counsel, I will seek guidance, I will seek advice.”

Burris urged women to support one another.

“All we ask for as women and all we can ask for from each other is support and guidance. That’s all. And if we choose more to support, if we choose more to guide, if we choose more to extend grace, imagine where we would be.”

Burris made the remarks as she noted the strides women have made over the years in almost all spheres of life, including within their homes, churches and communities.

However, she said despite their increasing influence many are still not attaining leadership roles.

“No man could argue that women are not the people who are now leading the charge.”

In her address, Burris also urged female entrepreneurs to view technology not as an expense but an investment.

“People like ease of doing business.”

She referred to a woman who established a business helping people to register their businesses.

“We have to look at these costs not as an expense but as an investment because technology now allows us to do much more, not just educating ourselves to walk into jobs, walk into hotels, walk into travel agencies, tour guide companies.

“Technology allows us now to create new businesses, to be able to become our own marketers, our own financial officers, our own CEOs (chief executive officers), CFOs (chief financial officers) and COOs (chief operations officers).”

Burris said through technology, some companies can even be run “in the palm of your hand,” from any room in the house.

“It has allowed us the opportunity to run our businesses from home while we, as women, are doing all of the other things that superhero women do. We are still taking care of children, we still cleaning the house, we still cooking, we still trying to snatch sleep wherever we could snatch it.”

She said technology can drive innovation in small-island economies like Tobago.


"Burris on assuming secretary portfolio:‘Most of the hate came from women’"

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