AMCHAM T&T/IDB Promote Female Mentorship to Enhance Gender Parity in Business


Toni Sirju-Ramnarine, Dr. Shelly-Ann Gajadhar, Carina Cockburrn
Amcham & IDB Logos

The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) will be hosting the workshop session: “Women in the Lead: Mindful Leadership in a Transformative World” with Dr Shelly-Ann Gadjadhar, on August 18th, 2022, during this year’s Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme (WILMP) – hosted by AMCHAM T&T and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Now in its 5th year, WILMP will feature forty (40) mentees working in various fields across the private sector who are paired with mentors aligned to their career goals. The WILMP will once more serve as an important platform to drive female leadership in industry and commerce in Trinidad and Tobago and ensure overall economic growth. It also reaffirms AMCHAM T&T’s commitment to empowering women and promoting gender parity and women’s leadership in business and society.

AMCHAM T&T President, Toni Sirju-Ramnarine says the focus of the Mentorship Programme is aimed at providing solutions to the many barriers preventing women from progressing in society. “The goal should always be to remove these existing barriers with more opportunities so that we are empowering both women and men,” Sirju-Ramnarine said. “At AMCHAM T&T, we believe a diverse workplace and society brings about better outcomes for everyone. Ultimately, this is what we are hoping to both inspire and achieve with this Mentorship Programme.”

The AMCHAM T&T/IDB Mentorship programme will provide a platform that allows women to develop leadership skills, increase self-confidence, build social capital, and take ownership of their own personal and professional development. Sirju-Ramnarine says women can achieve these goals by seeking each other’s interests through reinforcing greater collaboration to eliminate the competition that pits women against each other, and by extension, all women against men.

“That’s why we hope to see more companies investing in mentorship programmes to foster greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace, strengthen company culture, and improve employee engagement.” Companies that invest in mentorship will see the benefits of higher productivity, fewer turnover rates, better succession planning, and increase profits. “Ultimately, it comes down to doing the right thing!” she said.

Carina Cockburn, Country Manager of the IDB says the mentorship journey will help women find common ground with their male counterparts as they learn and grow in organizational spaces. “Remember that the workplace in which we engage every day has added value because of our presence,” Cockburn said. “By helping each other, we can share the responsibility we have to fulfil our own potential and to act as torchbearers for the women who will follow.”

“The Inter-American Development Bank’s collaboration with AMCHAM T&T to host this mentoring programme is representative of this ethos and is also consistent with our developmental priorities for T&T and the Caribbean. Indeed, I am proud to work for an organization which supports gender diversity and promotes equality and balance in leadership and decision making.”

Meanwhile, Dr Gadjadhar who is an Educator, Attorney and the CEO & Founder of her own coaching and consultancy company, Alphastute Limited says teaching women about leadership is a great pathway to helping women see themselves as impactful and providing them with the knowledge and sovereignty to choose the type of leader they want to be. “Many women persistently feel like they need to adhere to the ‘follow the leader’ blueprint, and in a transformative world with more agile ways of working, women are having a more powerful say about what it means to lead both professionally and personally,” Dr Gadjadhar said. “It is this sovereignty of embarking on a personal leadership journey that is disrupting boardrooms and creating waves of change across industries and sectors.”

Speaking on the benefits of the “Women in the Lead: Mindful Leadership in a Transformative World” session, she says it will challenge women to identify ways to create a strong leadership legacy that is timeless in a transformative world and provide a clearer understanding of one’s leadership blueprint and how they can mindfully include others on the journey.

The Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme has been running from June and will continue through November 2022. Mentorship opportunities are being offered to women across all sectors and industries, including, Science & Mathematics, Technology, Engineering and Economics, Occupational Health and Safety etc.

For more information on the program, please visit our website or contact Kennedy Everett Maraj, AMCHAM T&T’s Communications & Events Officer @[email protected].