WILMP 2023 Closing Ceremony - President's Opening Remarks
Stuart Franco - President | AMCHAM T&T

Good afternoon, Mentors and Mentees.

It brings me great pleasure to welcome each and everyone of you here today as I deliver these Opening Remarks on this special occasion. 

I would like to begin by first offering my sincere gratitude and appreciation to our partners at the IDB for their continued support and commitment to this wonderful initiative. 

A special thank you to the IDB's Country Head, Carina Cockburn, and her hardworking team: Dorri, Latoyaa, and Rachel for the expert guidance and support they continue to provide toward this program.

Today, I am filled with both joy and gratitude to see how far this programme has come. It was seven years ago when Nirad and Carina first met to discuss potential opportunities to elevate women in our society. That meeting led to the Women In Leadership Mentorship Programme which started with only nine (9) mentees. Today, we are closing off our sixth cohort of this programme with seventy-five mentees – the highest intake of mentees in a single year since the programme was originally conceptualized. 

A lot of this success can be attributed to all of the women and men in this room today who stepped up to serve as mentors. Thank you for continuing to pave the way and paying it forward to our next generation of female leaders. Your leadership, commitment, and support create the spaces for women to find their voice and to find their true calling. I was a mentor for one year and I am sure you all will agree that the experience was fantastic.

Thank you to each of our mentees for taking up this challenge to push yourself further to become much greater than you 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. 

I can tell you that this is a job not limited only to women. As men, we also have a duty and responsibility to create opportunities that will allow women to achieve professional success while maintaining personal safety. Ultimately, this is why hosting this mentorship programme with our partners at the IDB means so much to us. 

It’s about acknowledging that everyone in this room has a role and responsibility to create enough spaces for women to feel valued, respected, and safe.

It’s about making sure women's voices are heard and that they have the opportunity to make their own choices to define what they want out of their lives.

It’s about understanding that many men who have both the privilege and power now have a duty of care owed to women to remove barriers, enact change, and level the playing field so that many others can succeed.

This is what I hope to see now and in the future. We all deserve a world devoid of inequality, discrimination, and gender-based violence. I hope the strong unity and spirit of collaboration this mentorship programme builds will one day lead to a fairer and more equitable world for both men and women.

So, let’s continue to work on that as we create more opportunities for women to succeed and reach their highest potential both in their professional and personal lives.

Thank you.

The WILMP 2023 Cohort poses with Nirad Tewarie (CEO | AMCHAM T&T), Carina Cockburn (Country Representative for T&T | IDB), and Dr. Maryam Abdool-Richards (Principal Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, Trinidad & Tobago & Guest Speaker) outside the IDB Headoffice in St Clair, POS for the Closing Ceremony of the Women in Leadership Mentorship Programme on May 29th, 2024.

ESG 2024 - Title Sponsor Remarks
Giselle Thompson - Head of communications and advocacy & vice president - corporate operations | bpTT