Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
25 Influential Women Leaders Awards Ceremony
Pegasus Suites and Corporate Centre
June 10, 2023
Thank you Desiree!
Lyndell Danzie-Black, Managing Director of Cerulean Inc. and co-creator of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award,
Michelle A. Nicholas, Founder and CEO of The NICO Consulting Inc. and co-creator of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award,
Her Excellency Jane Miller, British High Commissioner,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Members of the private sector,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is truly an honor to be in the presence of such dynamic and extraordinary women leaders who have given back exceptionally to their communities and country.
Today is a significant milestone for the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award. This evening, honorees mark one hundred recipients of this prestigious honor. One hundred trailblazing women recognized for their achievements; women who have built, shaped, and strengthened their companies and communities in all sectors from education and health to travel and tourism to accounting and finance. Far too often, their heroic efforts and their stories have gone untold — especially those who have worked assiduously to make a difference in the lives of others.
The 25 Influential Women Leaders Award is an award developed by two phenomenal women for women! While we celebrate this evening’s honorees, let us also celebrate the remarkable vision of the co-creators Ms. Lyndell Danzie-Black and Ms. Michelle Nicholas for their innovation in developing an annual women-focused award scheme for Guyanese women!
As you may know by now, I am a huge supporter of this remarkable initiative which is complemented by the Women’s Leadership Program. I have had several opportunities to engage and interact with the participants who always brought great insight to our conversations. But, today is bittersweet moment for me. As I prepare to wrap up my tenure in Guyana, I can definitively say this has been one of the highlights of my time here as U.S. Ambassador to Guyana.
Honorees, I am proud of the work of each of you! Your passion and commitment to not only create an impact in your community, but a desire to create a legacy. A legacy that will be an inspiration for women and young girls across this country and across the globe.
Thank you for everything that you’re doing every day to be remarkable role models to young women in Guyana, and for your tireless efforts to be a powerful voice through your advocacy and actions.
Around the world, women are often the ones on the front lines of change. We often hear that women are better at leading in a crisis; while that is true, it is important to note that our leadership qualities do not emerge periodically and disappear when a crisis is averted. The extraordinary circumstances of the last three years with the emergence of a global pandemic have once again shone a spotlight on women’s strengths as leaders.
And, I would like to shine a light on one particular woman – Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, the scientific lead in the development of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. Marking a historical and monumental feat, Dr. Corbett’s contributions to a vaccine that has saved millions of lives that may otherwise have been lost, provided a spark of hope which marked a turning point in the global pandemic.
Her place in history will be one of optimism and hope for the future generations as she serves as an inspiration for young girls around the world. Young girls look to Dr. Corbett as a role model. They have learned about her work and her passions and have done projects about her for black history month and women’s history month.
Women like Dr. Corbett and the one hundred honorees of the Influential Women Leaders’ Awards offer a beacon of hope for young women and girls everywhere.
President Biden has made gender equality and women’s rights a priority of our foreign policy and the United States remains committed to defending the rights of women and girls and increasing women’s empowerment through investment, financing, and support to help women realize their full potential. The U.S. Embassy remains a strong and committed partner in all our efforts to make sure that women and girls in Guyana can reach their full potential and fully participate in Guyana’s development.
Congratulations and my best wishes to you all. I will be rooting for your continued successes from afar!