Financial independence means having the ability to support oneself financially without assistance and today we are highlighting some tools women need for financial independence.

Today’s guests:

Reneé Menzies Mccallum, Chair, Women’s Leadership Initiative

Nicola Speid, Team Lead, SME Business Banking, Sagicor

Paige Golding, Wealth Associate, NCB Capital Markets.

Talking points:

– Importance of financial independence 

– How different is financial independence for women than for men?

– What are the tools needed?

– About women’s leadership initiative event

HOW and where should professional women invest their money for best benefit? These are some of the issues that will be discussed when the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), in partnership with the AC Marriott Hotel, hosts a forum and exhibition in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) at the New Kingston Hotel on March 6.

Renee Menzies McCallum, chair of WLI, said the pre-IWD event is designed to give women the tools they need for financial independence and decision making especially as they increasingly assume new roles as CEOs, board directors, entrepreneurs/ business owners, heads of households and professionals.

Noting that representatives of various companies will give expert advice on best ways to manage money, how best to invest, and best security options for home and business, she said that the WLI is honoured to have as guest presenter Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman, Jamaica’s first female Chief of Defence Staff who will share her journey from Clarendon to Up Park Camp.

Wemyss Gorman is deputy chair of the WLI’s Membership Committee.

“The WLI owes a debt of gratitude to our sponsors including Citibank, Sagicor Bank, FHC Credit Union, The JMMB Group, Jamaica National Group, NCB, iProtect, Jamaica Observer and the AC Marriott,” Menzies McCallum said. “With their support, we are able to host this event and continue our philanthropic work in Jamaica.”

The WLI is a progression of the United Way Women’s Leadership Initiative and Building Bridges Exchange launched by former ambassador of the United States to Jamaica, Sue Cobb, in 2004. A special committee of the United Way of Jamaica, the WLI is one of several organisations established by women to promote sisterhood and the advancement of women, while contributing to nation building.

The WLI’s main charity is the Voluntary Organisation for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) which serves several marginalised innercity communities downtown Kingston with a nursery, health centre and basic school. The WLI has helped to fund infrastructure development, teaching aids and equipment and special needs teachers, and is working with the board and staff towards achieving early childhood education institution status.

Their mentorship programme has assisted several young women in pursuing tertiary education and boasts several graduates among its mentee community.

The WLI has also funded training in child sexual abuse prevention for hundreds of educators and employees of state agencies who have been sharing their knowledge with their peers at the workplace, and in the community at large.

Through its the Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children programme, it has trained facilitators from several stakeholder organisations and assisted youth serving organisations in creating and implementing organisational policies that protect children. The Early Childhood Commission and the Ministry of Education have vetted this training programme and given their full support.

Beneficiaries have included a wide cross-section of Government agencies, NGOs, principals and teachers from basic and infant schools surrounding the VOUCH Basic School.

Another WLI programme, Conversations with Boys, was launched in 2018 in a bid to help with socialising young boys and giving them a forum to discuss matters of concern, including respect for women and girls, cyberbullying, empathy for other students, peer pressure, and the pitfalls of drug and alcohol abuse.

The WLI has over the past 18 years earned a reputation for its work in philanthropy, advocacy and mentorship. Their work, financed by several signature fund-raising events, which has spanned at risk youth, abused women and financially challenged students, won the WLI the AMCHAM Jamaica Civic Leadership Award in 2017.