Renatha Exeter, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Oil Co. Ltd (GUYOIL) is debunking an image of an email message alleging collusion between herself and former Finance Minister, Winston Jordon to commit an illegal transaction.
See full statement below:
Recently an image of an email message purporting to have originated from my company email account has been circulated via social media. The message in question supposedly captured conversations between me and a named individual, implicating collusion to conduct an illegal transaction and containing a salacious comment.
Initially I was not planning to acknowledge or respond; I expected that readers would immediately see through the obvious falseness of the assertions. Over the last week the
accusations have taken on a life of their own, and so my response.
I write this statement to categorically declare that these images are fraudulent and contrived and that their content is false. Although particularly vile and personal in nature, this incident is only the latest of a slew of attacks on my integrity. All previous accusations directed toward me have been discredited, and the internal review of this last attack, has already disproved the authenticity of the alleged email.
I make this statement also to address the pervasive nature of misogyny in Guyana and the role of social media in perpetuating gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and violence against women. I was never concerned that the accusations would bear merit. After all, basic IT forensics are easily used to verify or disavow an email’s origin.
That only a “screenshot” was shared was no accident. But then these attacks were not designed to withstand scrutiny. They were intended to cast aspersions on my character;
and after previous false accusations of professional impropriety proved unsuccessful, the attacker(s) went
for the low-hanging fruit: my womanhood and sexual innuendo. It is misogyny at its worst! It is weaponised gender discrimination, and yet another form of violence against women.
But let us not forget the role of social media, or rather, its users, who eagerly reposted the screenshot without any attempt to ascertain whether it’s authenticity. Social media has given us incredible information technology platforms and I can’t imagine our world without it. But this tool that often brings us together for good, also makes it easier for the ill-intentioned to get others to do their dirty work for
them. This statement is not an attempt to police social media – I can’t and I wouldn’t want to – but to ask everyone, my fellow women in particular, to take a second before hitting ‘share’ and ‘like’ and question if the post is denigrating women? Is it harmful? Ask yourself if you are inadvertently perpetuating the deepseated misogyny embedded in Guyanese culture.
My position at GUYOIL is not a political appointment. I responded to an advertisement and was hired after
going through a rigorous interview process. Studies, hard work and the confidence to know I could stand equal to any other candidate, are what led to me becoming CEO, nothing else. GUYOIL has thrived under my leadership, a fact to which I am proud. Women still face enormous challenges attaining corporate leadership positions because of gender discrimination and misogyny. Those of us who are fortunate
enough to be here, we become open to persons attempts to tear us, often by only going for stereotypes and depicting women as sexual beings (as if that’s a bad thing). Let’s not help them!
I thank my family, friends, colleagues and all others who have reached out to me in support. I acknowledge with gratitude the Women’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry Guyana (WCCIG) and The Association of Women Entrepreneurs for their public statements of support. Finally, I would like to thank the Board of Directors and Management Team of The Guyana Oil Company Ltd (GUYOIL) for working expeditiously to address the false allegations.