8 October 2009
Despite successes in education, women continue to be severely under-represented on Boards and Commissions in Jamaica. The absence of women from the boardroom in the public and private sectors appears to be entrenched in the corporate governance practices.
With UNDEF support, the Women's Resource and Outreach Centre is
conducting a project to prepare more women for positions at the
highest levels of public and private sector governance. By actively
seeking out women with leadership potential and establishing a
personal and professional network, WROC aims to help more women
pursue and accept positions on Boards and Commissions both at the
national and local levels.
A key component is a three-day training course covering corporate governance, women's rights, gender analysis of socio-economic and political policies, financial management and transformational leadership. The first of four sessions in different locations took place in Kingston in September 2009, with speakers from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.
The training marked the first UNDEF milestone observed by Deloitte Financial Advisory Services as part of their pro bono monitoring of UNDEF projects in more than 10 countries. The Deloitte observer reported: "Overall, WROC should be commended for all the hard work that was put into the programme, and UNDEF should be proud of its investment in the future of Jamaican women."
The training sessions address one of the main obstacles to female
leadership -- Jamaican women's general lack of motivation to strive
for leadership positions. Many have yet to develop the confidence and
determination to assert themselves in a culture which traditionally
embraces women in a supportive role, such as in the training or
service sector. Addressing this will impact how they situate themselves
for high-level appointments, how they embrace the challenge when
approached, and how they mentor other women to assume similar