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In observance of International Women’s Day, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG) will host its Inaugural Guyana Women and Girls’ Summit on Monday, with support from several companies in the oil and gas industry, including ExxonMobil and SBM Offshore. The Summit will be held under the shared theme of International Women’s Day 2021 #ChoosetoChallenge “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World”.

Celebrated annually on March 8, International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to honouring women’s achievements throughout history and across the globe. It is a day for women from all different backgrounds and cultures to band together to fight for gender parity and women’s rights.

The Guyana Women and Girls Summit’s overarching objective is to empower women with the skills and the network they need to excel in their careers. With this event, the WCCIG aims to establish a platform through which women of today and tomorrow can access the mentorship and support necessary to prepare them for leadership roles in all areas and industries across Guyana. The WCCIG is also working to develop a base of young women interested in joining the Youth Arm of the Chamber, which will be launched at the event.

“WCCIG is an integral pace for women leaders and women in business. A place for us to come together to address issues that matter to us – having equitable and fair opportunities from the legislative to private sector levels. We have created a framework for women to voice,” President of WCCIG, Kerri Gravesande-Bart told OilNOW. “We can’t do it by ourselves, we need a network and it’s remarkable what we can accomplish when we put our minds together. This summit is a perfect example.”

Gravesande-Bart said it is important to note that not only is it beneficial to invest in women because it is the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense.

“A McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025. Diversity of thought is an integral part of leadership; women contribute different approaches and values to management. It’s crucial that we pay attention to the value they add,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile Lyndell Danzie-Black, WCCIG Vice-President and Co-Founder said the observance of International Women’s Day this year will also allow for the celebration of women’s progress and the strides they have made, including the shift in women’s role in leadership.

“This shift permeates every strata of society within Guyana and the wider Caribbean,” she said. Our inaugural Guyana Women and Girls Summit is the WCCIG’s response to the need for a platform for Women and Girls to express their views and be part of the conversation on the economy, business, science, technology, tourism, maritime transport, oil & gas or any profession that we so actively participate in.”

She said the Chamber sees women’s participation in the imminent Oil and Gas Industry as paramount, “however we also want to encourage women to research and explore the opportunities in the support industries to the O&G Industry.”

The Guyana Women and Girls Summit will be an annual event on the WCCIG’s calendar. The event format will include a keynote address, presentations, panel discussions, and interactive group sessions, and there will also be networking opportunities. Attendance is free and registration can be done via http://www.gwags.com.

The Chamber intends for the Summit to lay the foundation for further discussions on building a more diverse workforce in all sectors.

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