Leadership Mentorship Programme

June 9th, 2020

AMCHAM T&T/IDB Launch 3RD Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme

Patricia Ghany, President
AmCham Trinidad & Tobago

The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) hosted a virtual launch of the third Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme June 2, 2020.

The AMCHAM T&T/IDB Mentorship Programme is part of AMCHAM T&T’s continued commitment to working towards achieving gender parity and promoting women’s leadership in business.

At the launch, President of AMCHAM T&T, Patricia Ghany said we may find the solutions to these big problems by taking a collection of micro-actions and concrete steps. “The Women in Leadership Mentorship Program is an example of AMCHAM T&T taking these micro-actions and concrete steps to create opportunities for women to advance their chosen career paths whilst building the next generation of female leadership in the business sector. We must put action to our words and ensure that we lead by example at all levels of our organization.”

“I am very proud of this programme, because we have created a space for young female professionals to have guidance and counsel that will prepare them for the next step in their career paths. And what better way than having senior executives – both male and female – acting as mentors to the next generation of leaders?” said Ghany.

She also spoke about the impact COVID-19 is having on women across the world. “Before COVID-19, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report estimated that it will take another 99.5 years before the global gender gap is closed across 107 countries. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic, this gap is expected to widen even further.”

She says the impact of COVID-19 could see an estimated 195 million jobs eliminated globally according to figures by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Many of these jobs are from the informal sector and non-essential services industries which mainly employ women.

Rocío Medina Bolívar, Country Representative for the IDB Group to Trinidad and Tobago says her organisation remains committed to achieving gender equality. “The need for more women in leadership positions is not unique to T&T. The overall number of women in leadership positions are really still low. We have seen some of the statistics in the Caribbean where we have 18% of the world members and 29% of women in leadership positions, which may indicate growth from previous years but there is still a lot of work to do.”

“So this latest edition of the mentorship programme with the IDB and AMCHAM T&T renew our commitment to empowering women whose increasing role in leadership aren’t only good for businesses but also contribute as a catalyst for the social development of the communities that they belonged to.”

AMCHAM T&T CEO Nirad Tewarie reaffirmed AMCHAM’s commitment to providing more opportunities for women and girls in these uncertain times. “Our philosophy on equality has always been: we don’t view this as a male or female issue but an issue of fairness that just happens to also make good economic sense and is a necessary element towards building a fully democratic and progressive society.”

The programme was originally conceived from feedback at our annual Women’s Leadership Conference which typically attracts more than 300 participants, mostly women, every March in commemoration of the International Women’s Day.

Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the programme would be held entirely virtually this year with a class featuring the highest number of participants in the programme’s three-year history. Thirty-seven (37) women working in various fields across the private sector signed up to be matched with a mentor aligned to their career goals.

Originally, mentorship was offered for female professionals mainly in the areas of Science & Mathematics, Technology, Engineering and Economics but since 2018, AMCHAM T&T had added the field of Occupational Health and Safety as part of its continued commitment to adding value to the state of H.S.S.E. in Trinidad & Tobago.

The third edition of the Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme will run from June through November 2020. For more information on the program, please visit our website www.amchamtt.com or contact Rey-Anne Paynter @ [email protected].