Upton Gardens Director Educate CIBC FirstCaribbean Women on Embracing Equity


CIBC FirstCaribbean and the Upton Gardens Girls Centre leveraged the observance of International Women’s Day 2023 to forge a deeper bond between their institutions.

On March 8th, the bank hosted a cocktail reception to celebrate female employees, while using it as a forum to expand their knowledge and understanding of the cross-cutting issues and social development priorities involved in addressing gender inequality. To this end, CIBC FirstCaribbean enlisted Gender and Social Analyst Jacqueline Massiah-Simeon, and Director of the Upton Garden Girls Centre as the keynote speaker.

Speaking under this year’s International Women’s Day theme #EmbracingEquity, Ms. Massiah-Simeon demystified the issue of gender as one which intersects with a broad list of contexts including education, health, disaster management and response and the environment. To achieve equality, Ms. Massiah-Simeon explained that “we have to create a world in which access to rights, resources and opportunities are not limited by gender.”

To “bring the subject home” to the bankers, Ms. Massiah- Simeon gave a critical analysis of wage scenarios in the global banking and finance sector at 2021 which reveal that there is still a wage gap of approximately 24% between men and women globally. While, this is more specific to the global sector, she explained that there are actions women can take to identify where such gaps exist and be empowered with information and data to challenge them and advocate for a level playing field within the workplace. Such actions start with an examination of the language used and the intent expressed in operational policies and manuals. “Importantly, does your oganisation have a gender mainstreaming strategy? Understanding these dimensions is the first step in moving the organisation on a path to gender equality,” Ms. Massiah concluded.

Speaking on behalf of the gathering, Human Resources Officer at CIBC FirstCaribbean Elaine Borton described the address as enlightening and empowering. “It gave meaning and context to the observance and where we fit in this global agenda,” she said. Ms. Borton further explained that the choice of a guest speaker was a deliberate effort to leverage its existing relationships with social partners.

“Upton Gardens is one of the organisations we support as part of our philanthropic work. In its director, the institution has a resource which is valuable to not only the centre but to the country as a whole and in this instance, CIBC FirstCaribbean was the beneficiary,” she concluded.

The bank took the opportunity to contribute to the Centre’s work in the amount of XCD 1500.00 in observance of International Women’s Day. The funds will be used for the enhancement of the educational programmes at the institution.


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