Ambassador Lynch delivers remarks at Launch of Women’s Leadership Program

Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Launch of 25 Influential Women Leaders Awards “Women’s Leadership Program”
January 18, 2022

Honorable Dr. Vindhya Persaud, Minister of Human Services and Social Security
Senator Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados
Her Excellency Jane Miller, British High Commissioner
His Excellency Fernando Ponz Cantó, Delegation of the European Union
Ms. Michelle A. Nicholas, Founder and CEO of The NICO Consulting Inc. and co-creator of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award
Ms. Lyndell Danzie-Black, Managing Director of Cerulean Inc. and co-creator of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award
Distinguished members of the private sector,
Members of the media,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning! It’s wonderful to be with you all today in the company of so many amazing women and to participate in the launch of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award’s “Women’s Leadership Program.”  Let me start off by applauding the co-creators Ms. Lyndell Danzie-Black and Ms. Michelle Nicholas for their remarkable vision to develop an annual women-focused award scheme in Guyana – The 25 Influential Women Leaders Award– that recognizes twenty-five inspiring women annually who are moving their companies and communities forward in all sectors. What a remarkable way to recognize and honor the contributions of Guyanese women to their communities! Congratulations to the fifty recipients of this prestigious honor to date, many of whom are present here today. I have read the profiles of last year’s awardees and I am thoroughly impressed by your amazing work.

Lyndell’s and Michelle’s passion for mentorship, women’s empowerment and commitment to community is ever present in the work they do, and the launch of today’s Women’s Leadership Program reflects that commitment. They recognize that personal and professional development cannot be an individual responsibility, it must come from a supportive environment that motivates people to perform to their highest level. If we strengthen women’s capabilities and their access to resources, the prospect of leadership roles will be within reach for many more women in the region and across the globe.

With women making up over 50% of the population, we bring unique expertise and experience to the table, ranging from governance to digital marketing, from science to social services.  We know that when we invest in a woman, she changes not only her own life, but also that of her family and community.  Women’s meaningful participation is integral to achieving greater security and stability around the world.

The United States is committed to increasing women’s empowerment through investment, financing, and support to improve the lives of people around the world. Through the U.S. Embassy here in Georgetown, we have programs to help women realize their full potential and achieve economic empowerment. The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is one such initiative, designed to empower women in Guyana to fulfill their economic potential and, in doing so, create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.   Twenty-five women from Region 2, including Venezuelan migrants benefitted from this initiative.

Another one of our key objectives is to encourage women’s active participation in leadership and decision-making. Last August, we facilitated a workshop for female offices of the Guyana Defence Force in collaboration with the Florida National Guard on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). Soldiers and law enforcement personnel participated in a workshop on the importance of promoting and integrating women in the defense and security sectors. The course also enhanced their knowledge of gender perspectives and the WPS global effort, as well as the ability to discuss the benefits of applying gender perspectives in defense and security institutions, along with the inclusion of women in decision-making.

Throughout my travels and engagement across the ten regions of Guyana, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting women from all walks of life who have displayed strength, resilience and commitment to their families, communities, and country. As Guyana evolves through this transformational era, I am pleased to know that we have women like all of you with a proven track record and integrity who stand ready and willing to be the driving force of change.

Lastly, I want to congratulate all the participants of this one-year program as you continue to enhance and develop your knowledge and skills. Thank you for all you do, know that the U.S. is behind you in spirit, and watching for your success and continued impact.

Thank you very much.