WLC 2022 - Sponsor Remarks by bpTT

Nadia Mc Carthy - Head People & Culture, G&LCE Trinidad - bpTT

Good morning.

bpTT is pleased to continue its support for Amcham’s Women’s conference. This event has grown to become a valuable forum to discuss gender parity issues and, more importantly, to create that link between global trends and insights and what we can do to address issues specific to Trinidad and Tobago.

I would like to congratulate the organizers for continuing to deliver a conference that is timely as well as thought-provoking. I am particularly captivated by the first discussion which looks at how the pandemic has highlighted the inequality that exists in the workplace and wider society.

I have spent the last 20+ years working in the human resources profession– now called people and culture at bp. I am also a wife, a mother of fifteen-year-old twin girls and in my profession, I lead a talented team of people comprised of mostly female leaders and professionals. Like everyone joining us this morning, I have grappled with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, both at an organizational and personal level and I look forward to learning how we can use our experiences over the past two years to address gender issues that have intensified because of the pandemic and those that continue to maturate.


This conference is part of a wider group of activities across the globe to mark International
Women’s Day. It is important to remember that fact because none of us – as parents,
employees, leaders, or corporate citizens – can confront gender issues individually or in silos.

We must rely on the support of the wider global and local ecosystem.

How do we ensure that we are aligned in our approach?

Organizations are crucial.

Organizations set the framework, the culture or the tone for employees or members as in the case of Amcham.

Using my organization as an example, bp’s sustainability aim14, puts bp’s purpose into action, provides a frame and governs how we respond to diversity, equity and inclusion. As part of bp’s purpose to “Improve people’s lives,” Aim 14 sets out that bp will increase diversity, equity and inclusion for our workforce, customers, and suppliers.

In fact, our new gender ambition strives for bp to be a company where gender balance is evident. To fulfil this ambition, our aim is to have by 2025 at least equal numbers of women as men in our 120 most senior leadership roles and 40% of women in the next level of leadership.

By 2030 at the very latest, we aim to have women filling at least half of our most senior
leadership roles and 40% at every other level of the company. Today, I am proud to share that 6 out of 11 of our most senior leaders at bp are women.

This brings me to our discussion today. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is
‘breaking the bias’.

Bias, if left unchecked, robs us of true equity. It leads to exclusion and can erode the prosperity of organizations and societies as a whole.

The targets mentioned previously represent more than numbers. They represent our purpose – To re-imagine energy for people and planet. Or to put it another way, advancing our diversity, equity and inclusion agenda is a key strategic lever to securing a better future for everyone who works with bp.


The organization creates the frame and the expectations at a wider level, but confronting and breaking bias needs to start from within.

That is why bias can be an uncomfortable topic. When the issue of bias comes up, we are
often forced to question others.

I acknowledge that we must confront bias at a structural level, and I am pleased to see this
topic planned for session two.

However, we need to challenge the underlying thought processes.

We need to look within.

Ask yourself – what are my biases? Do they affect my performance or the corporate culture or the prosperity of our country?

How are we, as professionals, enabling ourselves and others to be aware of bias?

Are we enabling the biases that exist?

In the words of this year’s theme, how can we ‘break the bias’?

It brings me pleasure that this year’s theme does not ask a question but sets us in motion.
‘Breaking the Bias’ is not about ‘if’ but ‘how.’!


How do we break the bias? Dialogue is crucial.

Sessions and exchanges like these help us to push boundaries. Dialogue is always important in exploring and confronting issues.

This is where I believe bpTT has done well. Our gender-focused panel discussions include men as participants and panelists. This helps to broaden the conversation. We see men as allies in the discussion rather than obstacles.

Discussion is a start, but we need more...
Discussion alone is not enough to move the needle, however. To break the bias, we need to go further:

  •  We need to turn the discussion at forums like these into action
  • We need to challenge the status quo that exists and call for change
  • Within our organizations, we need to set targets and put resources towards attaining gender equality; and
  • We need to hold ourselves and our institutions into account

At bp, our belief is that gender representation across the company is aligned to supporting
meritocracy and ensuring that the talent pool for available roles remains as broad as possible. Selections for available roles will continue to be made based on merit. We will use our ambition to track and measure progress and not to mandate a specific outcome. Our focus will be on casting a broader net to attract more female applicants to bp roles, as well as to identify and address policies and processes that hinder female talent from being promoted and/or considered for future opportunities.

I trust that you will hold us to account to deliver these bold statements and targets. Through the course of our discussions, I trust that you will take bold actions, you will set targets and you will be the change that we all want to see. I trust that we will all hold each other accountable. It is incumbent on all of us to help drive societal progress. Together we have an important role to play. Together we can evolve the narrative on gender equity.

I’m sure all of these thoughts and many more will emerge during today’s event. I look forward to today’s discussions and most importantly, my hope is that we turn our rich dialogue into tangible results.

Thank you.

WLC 2022 - Sponsor Remarks by Scotiabank