GENDER parity at the most senior levels of business in TT is not encouraging, and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmChamTT) is taking “tangible steps” to reduce gender inequality in the country and increase the representation of female leadership at executive and board levels. In a release for International Women’s Day, the business organisation said: “AmChamTT’s goal is to support and encourage the business community to rectify this imbalance. The chamber has made a conscious effort to put words into action by ensuring diversity and inclusion on its board of directors, as well as offering programmes that directly impact female leadership.”
There is gender parity up to middle management, the group said, but at the top executive level, it falls off to less than 25 per cent of the female population.
AmChamTT’s president Patricia Ghany said promoting gender parity in business, through programmes and conferences targeted at women in business, is one of the group’s focuses.
To that end, the group has launched the Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Now in its second cycle, the programme has 21 participants from AmChamTT member companies, paired with mentors, also from AmChamTT companies from fields including economics, science, technology and occupational health and safety (OSH), as well as the IDB professional network locally and in Washington, DC.
“We believe that diversity and gender balance are integral to innovation and economic growth. This initiative is designed to facilitate mutually beneficial relationships, enabling both parties to be enriched professionally and personally, to further develop their capacity as proficient and effective leaders,” Ghany said.
Mentoring makes a difference, especially for women. “We want the women in this programme to see the possibilities that exist and believe without a shadow of doubt that they are capable of being the best at whatever they set their minds to both professionally and personally,” Ghany said.