Chargé d'Affaires participates at local International Women's Day Event (08/03/2012)
On Thursday 8th March, the Association of Female Executives in Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT) in association with title sponsor RBC Royal Bank celebrated International Woman’s Day with a luncheon event featuring the female Chiefs of Mission, resident in Trinidad and Tobago.
A sold out audience of 400 women executives and entrepreneurs including roughly 100 students from every corner of Trinidad and Tobago, gathered together to witness “ Conversations with the Chiefs of Mission” that centred around this year’s theme…Connecting Girls…Inspiring Futures. From playground to diplomatic corridors.
In her welcome address, AFETT President Judy Joseph Mc Sween encouraged those present to be open to the “ nuggets” of wisdom that the Chiefs of Missions shared openly and honestly with the attentive audience. Noting that “the creation of successful and responsible leaders is a process that finds root during the formative years of life” Mrs Mc Sween likened the playground as a portal for development of social and people skills.
Event sponsor, RBC Royal Bank’s Harriet Thornhill, Regional President Personal Banking shared her own journey, from childhood in Barbados, to girlhood and growing up in the United Kingdom. She shared with the audience present, the importance of non compromising values, goal setting, surrounding oneself with strong and positive role models, the quest for continuous learning and the ability to respect diversity that others bring to the table. Diversity being one of the core corporate values of RBC Royal Bank.
Highlight of the luncheon was undoubtedly the panel discussion moderated by Professor Rhoda Reddock. The High Commissioner to Canada, Karen Mc Donald, the Venezuelan Ambassador Maria Eugenia Marcado Casado, US Ambassador, Beatrice Wilkinson Welters and European Union Charge d’ Affaires Daniela Tamacere engaged the attention of the attendees with a refreshingly, disarming blend of humility, candor and humor .
Issues like work life balance, coping with transitions to a new country and new culture (often times every 2 years), life choices, dealing with mistakes, overcoming personal and professional obstacles were dug out of the proverbial closet and discussed. The Chiefs spoke at length about the personal and professional challenges they all faced as teenaged girls and young adults grow-ing up. Largely the product of working class families, a common thread that wove this rich tapes-try of lives together, was a burning desire to make a difference not only in their individual lives, but in the lives of the people they encountered.