bmobile Sponsored Conference Explores The Dynamics Of Women In Caribbean Leadership
TSTT Corporate Communications
There has been a notable absence of women in leadership positions, when it comes to milestone events associated with the Caribbean’s development throughout history, according to the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP, Prime Minister of Barbados.
Mottley made the statement in a feature address to open this year’s Women in Leadership Conference hosted recently by the UWI-Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (UWI-ALJGSB).
The conference, sponsored by national communications solutions provider, bmobile, alongside Proman Limited and Heartbeat Radio 104.1, was hosted virtually via an online platform.
Mottley noted, “For much of my life I would have happily given up all of the modern technologies and conveniences, in exchange for being an influential adult, during the period of the birth of the modern Caribbean.”
“Amongst the undeniably iconic names associated with the heyday of Caribbean development…not a single one was a woman. That is the Caribbean that I was born into. It’s not that women didn’t make contributions, but they were not among those iconic contributions that we celebrate as a civilization,” said Mottley who presented a list of notable events in Caribbean development before her birth in 1965.
Exploring the theme, Women Boldly Challenging and Changing the World, this year’s edition of the conference engaged participants in presentations which raised thought-provoking conversations about the importance of women in leadership and how women in leadership can continue to be supported in their development.
While Mottley noted there has been an emergence of women in leadership roles, in the Caribbean, she said more work needs to be done. She stated that only five of the 15 CARICOM nations have elected women leaders and only two of the 13 judges in the Caribbean Court of Justice are women. Mottley also highlighted that the incoming secretary-general of CARICOM, Carla Barnett, is the first woman to hold the title of the seven appointed secretaries to date.
Despite the underrepresentation of women, especially in past historic moments, Mottley said this has not stopped them from boldly challenging and changing the world today. Mottley noted data has shown that countries led by women have had a much more effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One such country is New Zealand, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, which has consistently been ranked as having one of the world’s leading COVID-19 responses. To Mottley, these performances are a demonstration of the continued outstanding performances and possibilities of women in leadership roles.
Chief Executive Officer of TSTT, Lisa Agard, said the company is committed to supporting equitable development. Agard, the first woman appointed to the role of CEO at TSTT, stated that the company’s partnership with the Arthur Lok Jack GSB to host this year’s leadership conference is just one way in which it continues to play its part in the development of women and young girls. “As a company, we recognize the importance of women in leadership positions. Therefore, we will continue to make investments to empower women already in these roles and those preparing to enter into these positions. We also recognize and celebrate the existing powerhouse of women who are driving our nation, and by extension the Caribbean region, forward every day. We remain dedicated to unlocking the potential of women and encourage other entities to join us on this progress-oriented journey,” said Agard.
CEO of the UWI-ALJGSB, Mariano Browne, in his presentation, explained that it wasn’t only the Caribbean’s economic development at stake, due to inequalities between women and men, but development in general. Browne warned that excluding women in any country’s development will lead to incomplete development.
Once in leadership positions, Ingrid Riley reminded the audience that it is of paramount importance for women to focus on self-care and being one’s true self.
Riley is the founder and CEO of SiliconCaribe and Rebel Girl Media.
In doing these things, Riley said it is one way in which women can continue to enjoy their journey in leadership without sacrificing too much of their mental health and wellbeing.