Celebrating women’s leadership: The journey of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Awards

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Lyndell Danzie-Black and Michelle Nicholas, two professionals forging connections at a conference, discovered a shared passion for celebrating women’s achievements. This initial spark ignited the creation of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award, aimed at amplifying the voices and impact of women across Guyana and the Caribbean.

“Influence to us means the ability to make a meaningful impact on the lives and actions of others,” Danzie-Black and Nicholas explained. They defined influence through exceptional leadership qualities, ethical practices, and a track record of inspiring change. Through an extensive nomination process and an international judging panel, they sought women who lead by example and positively impact their communities.

The fifth edition of the awards is slated for this Saturday, May 18 at the Guyana Marriot Hotel. The new awardees are Adasia Vanessa Gilead, Andrea King, Dr. Arnelle Sparman-Shelto, Ashmeeta Rawof, Ashwannie Harripersaud, Bibi Saeedah Akhtar Hassan, Camille Cummings, Carolyn Caesar-Murray, Gwyneth George, Hansmattie Shiwpal-Alli, Dr. Lachmie Devi Lall, Lexann McPhoy, Lisa Mae Agard, Maple Singh, Maria Anita Jeffers, Nuriyyih Kamal Gerrard, Onika Gentle, Pamela O’Toole, Rajwatee Pertab-Jainarine, Rhondel Weever, Dr. Shabeena Ramjohn, Sheantta Henry, Susheela Awad, Teerandai Haripersaud, and Wanneta Wellington.

As they prepare for the upcoming award ceremony at the Guyana Marriot Hotel, Danzie-Black and Nicholas emphasized diversity and inclusivity. Their strategic direction prioritizes representation from all backgrounds and industries, ensuring no one is excluded from recognition.

Reflecting on past award ceremonies, the co-creators cherish moments like honoring a 104-year-old veteran entrepreneur, whose story inspired attendees. Building on this success, they continuously strive to create value for both awardees and the community, unveiling new benefits and initiatives each year. 

Lyndell Danzie-Black

The impact of the award extends far beyond the ceremony itself. Danzie-Black and Nicholas recounted stories of inspired women reaching out, expressing newfound direction and purpose. They launched the Women Leadership Program to further support these women, providing tailored training and development opportunities.

Looking ahead, the co-creators said they remain committed to continuous improvement, with collaboration and partnership topping their agenda. They teased an upcoming announcement, hinting at exciting new initiatives on the horizon.

For aspiring women leaders, Danzie-Black and Nicholas offered valuable advice. “Be true to yourselves,” Danzie-Black advised, urging women to stay focused on their personal vision and purpose. Nicholas echoed this sentiment, urging women to embrace their uniqueness, wield their voice, and stand firm in their convictions.

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