TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

Female leadership is good for the world. Just look at Barbados

Female leadership is good for the world. Just look at Barbados

Mia Mottley is just one of a raft of strong women across the Caribbean and South America tackling society’s most pressing issues. The world could learn a lot from them
There is a common misconception that the developing world is full of archaic values and that women struggle to have their voices heard. The more countries I visit and the more female leaders I speak to, the more I am convinced the contrary is true.

In fact, those in positions of power worldwide could learn important lessons from these strong women when it comes to tackling some of society’s most pressing issues, including pandemics, the climate crisis, education and infrastructure.

Of course, successful female leadership in the developing world isn’t new. During her time as prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi was famously strong. In Africa, I met the highly respected former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was recognised among Time Magazine’s Top 100 Women of the Year in 2020 for her role in picking up the pieces of a damaged nation when she was elected in 2006.

I am writing from South America and the Caribbean, having interviewed many female leaders, most recently from Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. The level of respect for female political and business leaders here is partly because they have had to dig deeper to prove themselves, which I believe is one key to their success – particularly during turbulent times.

Since taking up office, Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley has changed the face of democracy in the country. She has been transparent, stands up publicly against injustices, and has created authentic ties between Caribbean countries. It is difficult to overstate what her commitment to collaboration across the region and internationally has done for Barbados, securing investment and developing infrastructure to enable a stable and sustainable economy during the Covid crisis. Countries like Barbados are often not the protagonist, yet Mottley put issues such as the climate crisis and international development to the front on the world stage.

Such is the level of support for Mottley within the region that it is not uncommon for the president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, to wake up at 5am to cook his famous fish curries and have them delivered by the next flight, as a gesture of care and support for her.

I have also been struck by the role a “first lady” can play in sharing leadership. In Suriname, Mellisa Santokhi-Seenacherry has helped ensure that, through government policy, no one is left behind. A successful lawyer, she has promoted female leadership, empowerment and mental health with rigour.

Guyana’s first lady, Arya Ali, has brought family back into the state house and work. She is committed to inclusivity, setting up countrywide schemes that support women and girls, those with disabilities and children, and is not afraid to look at the challenging issues of domestic violence and rape. This takes courage and heart – and she has these in abundance.

In other spheres, Guyana’s Annette Arjoon has been widely recognised for her environmental and community work. Arjoon is responsible for establishing one of the country’s first, and most successful, conservation NGOs, the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society – leading the way in preserving the natural environment for future generations.

Trinidad and Tobago has this form of leadership in the private sector – the representation of female CEOs is greater here and in Jamaica than in the US. Trinidad and Tobago Business Hall of Fame award winner Angela Lee Loy continued to invest in training her employees during Covid and supporting them through the challenges of home working, giving parents the flexibility to work around home schooling, for example. “I firmly believe that if their home life needs support, then that should be our domain and area of concern, too,” she says. This approach certainly paid off. Her staff have remained engaged and loyal.

It is not easy, and there has never been a linear upward path for female leaders. However, the women highlighted here are courageously carving a path and are a brilliant example to the world. The unprecedented disruption of the past two years has thrown a spotlight on leadership. These women are finding solutions to pressing global challenges with purpose, passion and people at the fore, and are improving the lives of their communities through harnessing the very qualities that make female leaders so successful.
Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'
×