Monthly Archives: March 2014
Trinidad Network of NGOs IWD 2014 Event a Success!
The Trinidad-based Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women International Women’s Day Conference 2014 was a success!
With a strong focus on the theme Women in Enterprise, Equality Means Business the National Academy for Performing Arts was packed with participants from a range of businesses.
In the opening ceremony, representatives from the OAS, Canadian High Commission and International Labour Organisation Minister of State in the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, the Honourable Clifton de Coteau, delivered the address on behalf of Prime Minister of Trinidad Kamla Persad-Bissessar while an insightful and powerful speech was given by Featured Speaker Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever. Dr. Jones DeWeever, whose visit was made possible by the US Embassy’s US Speaker Programme, shared her experiences being the daughter of a Sharecropper, coming from humble beginnings and her path of many trials and triumphs to become the founding president and CEO of Inclte Unlimited, her own consulting firm among many of her accolades. She encouraged the female audience to follow their passions and reach true potential, and gave the example of her leap of faith into entrepreneurship, leaving behind a high-level, high-paying job.
The OAS sponsored speaker Marrianne Burnham, President of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados (BPW Barbados), spoke on Women’s Leadership and Development in the Commonwealth and lead the afternoon plenary on the Proposal of a Road Map for Women and Girls in Enterprise 2014-2019. Ms. Burnham brought the message of the Commonwealth Business Women’s Agenda for Women’s Economic Empowerment, which focuses on encouraging more women on boards and in senior leadership positions, access to finance, and development of gender based procurement programmes and access to supply chains. Ms. Burnham spoke about the increased spotlight on women’s participation at board and senior levels and the impact it has on economic and political activity, acknowledging the importance of gender diversity as a means of including broader skills, experiences and perspectives on boards. She encouraged the business women in the audience to access the vast network of the commonwealth as means to promote their business and access the gender procurement programmes that exist. Ms. Burnham made the business case for for women who not only drive business worldwide as consumers but as leaders, through their global talent base and economic participation at the senior and leadership levels.
Other special guests and presenters included the Honourable Madame Justice Desiree Bernard, first female judge in the Caribbean Court of Justice, recently retired and well known for her contributions in the women’s movement among several regional and international accolades. Representatives from Trinidad government and private sector entities also contributed to several presentations of the day while a variety of female entrepreneurs displayed their businesses in the NAPA auditorium.