Women on Board

Jamaica’s 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development and Empowerment through Equity advocates for a quota policy to ensure greater participation and representation of women on public sector Boards and Commissions and publicly listed companies, as well as the promotion of the principles of good governance, transparency and accountability. For more information on this vibrant new alliance, contact the Coalition at 51percentcoalitionjm@gmail.com and at (876) 929-8873; 960-9067. Like 51% Coalition Jamaica on Facebook and follow on Twitter: @51Coalition.

This article describes one of the Coalition’s recent activities. It is moving ahead, with purpose!

On July 4, 2013, over thirty women who serve as Directors of Public Sector and Civil Society Boards participated in an intensive training session on Corporate Governance, led by governance expert, and Managing Director of BizTactics Limited, Sandra Glasgow. The workshop covered a range of topics, including, board member roles and responsibilities, how to manage board conflicts and corporate governance disputes, dealing with confidential information, improving the effectiveness of board meetings and evaluating the performance of boards and their directors.

The workshop, jointly organized by the 51 % Coalition and The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) was intended to help female directors improve their competence in corporate governance and also included a lively “fish bowl” exercise which simulated an actual board meeting through a role play exercise. The focus of the exercise was a fictional board’s debate about a directive contained in the Government’s recently-issued “Corporate Governance Framework for Public Bodies in Jamaica” for boards to be evaluated.   The principle in the Framework states:

“The Board of a public body should be subject to a formal, objective and rigorous annual appraisal of its performance and that of its committees and individual directors. The evaluation should address whether the objectives of the board or committee are being met in an efficient and effective manner and would be linked to the implementation of the organization’s operational plans.”

The role play sparked an animated discussion about the role of the Chairman and the Corporate Secretary in the process, how to handle directors who object to subjecting themselves to an appraisal of their stewardship and how the evaluation should actually be structured and implemented.

“I really appreciate the Coalition’s support for female directors, it’s good to know that there is a group that understand the issues, challenges and are willing to offer training for women who serve on boards,” said Emma Lewis, a Director on the board of Eve for Life Jamaica.

Board members during the ‘mock board meeting’ chaired by Chairperson Minna Isreal (back turned). Other board members include Klao Bell-Lewis, Nadeen Spence, Dr. Carol Archer, Enith Williams, Shelly-Ann Harris, Emma Lewis and Merris Murray. (Photo: 51% Coalition)
Board members during the ‘mock board meeting’ chaired by Chairperson Minna Israel (back turned). Other board members include Klao Bell-Lewis, Nadeen Spence, Dr. Carol Archer, Enith Williams, Shelly-Ann Harris, Emma Lewis and Merris Murray. (Photo: 51% Coalition)

While many countries and businesses have made strides toward narrowing the gender gap, the vast potential of women to contribute to business and economic growth has yet to be realized.

Members of the 51% Coalition and enlightened people around the world see this gap as an opportunity for change. The Coalition is working to harness the powerful and positive effect that women’s empowerment and leadership can have on Governance in Jamaica in general the governance of public bodies and private businesses in Jamaica.

 

Here are some articles I have written related to the 51% Coalition recently:

https://petchary.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/51-coalition-welcomes-positive-news-for-womens-development/ 51% Coalition welcomes positive news for women’s development

https://petchary.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/gender-based-quotas-a-step-forward-towards-a-more-equitable-society-for-all-jamaicans/ Gender-based quotas: A step forward towards a more equitable society for all Jamaicans

Sandra Glasgow challenging female board members and responding to questions during her presentation on Board Governance at a recent workshop organized by FES and the 51 % Coalition.
Sandra Glasgow challenging female board members and responding to questions during her presentation on Board Governance at a recent workshop organized by FES and the 51 % Coalition.

https://petchary.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/this-is-how-change-happens/ “This is how change happens”

 


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