AMCHAM T&T & IDB Celebrates Mentees/Mentors at 
Women In Leadership Mentorship Programme 
Closing Ceremony



A MCHAM T&T in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank hosted the Closing Ceremony for the 6th Annual Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme on May 29th, 2024.

This year's cohort featured a record number of mentees with seventy-five (75) women from various professional backgrounds completing the programme. At the closing ceremony, Stuart Franco, (President | AMCHAM T&T) attributed the success of the programme to the mentors and mentees.  

He thanked the mentors for continuing to pave the way and paying it forward to the next generation of female leaders. Meanwhile, he encouraged the mentees to push further so that they could become much greater than they thought possible. "I hope you continue to redefine what success and happiness should look like for yourselves and build a legacy that will make it easier for every woman who comes after you."

Carina Cockburn, Country Manager of the IDB says hosting this mentoring programme with AMCHAM T&T is helping to fill the gaps that limit women's potential. "It is important for all of us to support the presence of women in business, academia, and public life because it has been proven that the benefits redound to everyone in the society," Cockburn said. "We believe that this programme is a significant step toward achieving gender parity, and by focusing on fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics, we are addressing critical gaps and barriers that have long limited the potential of women."

M eanwhile, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, Principal Medical Officer, at the Ministry of Health, & Featured Speaker at the Closing Ceremony reminded the class of mentees about the important role mentors have played in her life. Dr Richards said her mentorship journey first started at the IDB office in 2017 as the “newly -minted” Technical Director of the IDB-funded Health Services Support Programme where she was responsible for the implementation of the highest valued policy-based health loan (USD 51.4M) in the IDB’s Caribbean portfolio.

"Armed with an Executive MBA in hand, Project Management certification and medical degrees, I was confident that my transition into this Project Management role supported by a multi-lateral Development Financial Institution (DFI) would be seamless," Dr Richards said.

"My enthusiasm was short-lived and risked being converted to despair, as I soon recognized the nuances between a DFI and Government."

However, she credited long-lasting relationships with men and women whom she described as "honorary mentors" who offered tremendous support and guidance with intentionality at various professional and personal crossroads.

"My mentors assisted me in bridging the gap between qualifications and behaviours, as well as an understanding of the unique cultures of different sectors and organizations."

Dr Richards said some of the lessons she learned from mentors included the following:
-Mentorship is a life-long journey in professional and personal self-development for both the mentor and mentee.

- A mentor-mentorship relationship is a connection built on mutual trust, radical humility, honesty, confidentiality, and integrity but defined by clear boundaries.

- Mentors must be non-judgmental and possess the professional expertise, emotional capacity, and time to dedicate to mentees. Likewise, mentees must be committed, receptive, and “trust the process”.

- Mentorship cannot be forced, and at times necessitates a mutual agreement to end the relationship.

Ultimately, Dr Richards attributed having great mentors for directly impacting her life by influencing transformative change, and supporting and facilitating her transition from a local to a global subject matter expert.

AMCHAM T&T would like to thank our partners at the IDB for their continued support and partnership with the Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme. 

The new cohort will be launched in September 2024. Online applications will be opened soon for interested persons who would like to be part of the next mentorship cohort.