Chaguanas, Trinidad – 15 March 2019: The Central Finance Facility (CFF) hosted a celebratory event on March 8, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in recognition of International Women’s Day. In keeping with the international theme Balance for Better, women in attendance were encouraged to “Own their Magnificence” in a world overrun with gender imbalance.
Featured speaker at the event, Mrs. Bridgid Anisette-George, the Honourable Speaker for the House of Representatives, stressed that despite the global progress made by women it is still a “man’s world”. The Honourable Speaker went on to state that statistics indicated that Trinidad and Tobago’s population is fairly balanced at 50/50 – male/female; however there still remains a severe imbalance in the number of women occupying leadership roles comparative to men. She charged the Credit Union movement with the mandate to be the ‘game changer’ in advancing the cause of women in the revolution towards more equitable positions in society.
Following the address by Honourable Speaker Anisette-George, Ms. Donna Rosales Gray moderated a panel comprised of Credit Union experts and business professionals. The panellists were Cherisse Durant, Assistant Secretary, WORKS Credit Union, Kelly Ann Traboulay, General Manager, Canning’s Employees Credit Union, Corliss Holder, Co-ordinator Special Projects, CLICO Credit Union, Shereen Baksh, Vice Chairman, National Centre For Persons With Disabilities, Anna Deonarine, Attorney at Law, Glenda Joseph Dennis, Business Development Consultant and Jacqueline Hilton Clarke, Investment Banker.
The ideas expressed by Mrs Bridgid Anisette-George were endorsed during the panel discussion, where the panellists’ echoed a unified message towards gender balance. The need for the advancement of women in the Credit Union industry was highlighted, with Corliss Holder encouraging women to be the “constructive destructive” by terminating the societal norms of negative mind-sets and fears and assisting one another.
Emphasising on the need for women to support one another, Shereen Baksh advised that disability does not discriminate. In their discourse, each woman unequivocally celebrated the unique characteristics of women – physically and mentally, especially the ‘fire’ they experience and surmount in life.
The challenges women face in their careers and personal lives do not diminish their impact within the Credit Union movement but rather assists them in providing quality service. As a result of the contributions of women, today Credit Unions are highly known for their excellent member service. The Central Finance facility encourages women throughout Trinidad and Tobago to continue being the spark that ignites their homes and their jobs. A fitting quote coming out of the panel discussion was initially said by former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama “Success is not about how much money one makes, but the difference you make in people’s lives.”
About the Central Finance Facility (CFF): The CFF was established in May 2002 as the financial institution for cooperatives and its mandate is to advance the movement on the pillar of cooperation among cooperatives by harnessing its human, financial and technological resources and creating wealth for all cooperative members.