“Women in the financial services sector have come a far way, and [the Jamaica Institute of Financial Services] stands in solidarity with all our women in finance making moves, shattering the proverbial glass ceiling and paving the way for the future generation of female leaders in the industry”, said Darlene Jones, executive director of the Jamaica Institute of Financial Services (JIFS), at the organisation’s second annual Women in Finance breakfast forum on March 4.
The event, hosted ahead of International Women’s Day, brought together over 70 women virtually from varying financial service institutions within the Caribbean to fellowship, learn from, motivate and inspire each other.
Jones said the Women in Finance forum helps to bolster the industry’s networking amongst the female hierarchy of the financial sector and provides an added opportunity for women to share, connect, and engage with other women at all levels in the industry, across the different institutions.
Speaking on the timely topic of ‘Leading during a crisis’, in the context of the current pandemic, keynote speaker Tanya McCartney, CEO and executive director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board, shared some powerful nuggets with the ladies about how to show-up during a crisis.
“The saying is definitely true, during every crisis there are opportunities, and it is up to us to identify those opportunities, focus on your why and work towards the goals you want to accomplish”, McCartney said.
She also noted that one’s varied failures and successes are part of the preparation process to help one lead through a crisis. “It takes confidence to take a leap during difficult times, especially when others are questioning your why; but sometimes it is during those moments of doubt when you need to take the leap … because beautiful things can be built during tough times”, she said.
Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham, vice-president of the Jamaica Bankers Association and CEO of Sagicor Bank, in giving her welcome remarks, encouraged the women participating in the forum to embrace challenges and changes, noting that though it has been a significant period of uncertainty, it gave rise to innovations and finding new ways of doing things.
“As women in the financial sector, we have had to pivot, innovate, adapt and be flexible, and I encourage you all to remain resilient as we continue to brave through this time in our history,” Cunningham Johnson said.
The forum gave rise to the formation of a Women in Finance Facebook support group, Women in Finance #MarchForth to continue the discussion.