UN WOMEN shares “Investing in women’s economic empowerment is intrinsic to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth. Now is the time to address the large gender gaps in economic opportunities and outcomes that exist in almost all countries. Women earn less, have fewer assets, bear the burden of unpaid work and care, and are largely concentrated in vulnerable and low-paying activities.”
The COVID-19 pandemic made these inequalities even more severe, widening the gaps. Women account for 70 percent of health and social workers, women bore additional household burdens during the pandemic, and lockdowns increased violence against women and girls—in some countries domestic violence increased by 30 percent.
Impetus for Change
These sobering statistics provide the impetus for change. In light of the litany of challenges women continue to face around the world, it’s no surprise that so many organizations and policies have attempted to address the needs of women and girls. Programs addressing women’s education and economic empowerment are not only beneficial, but they are transformative economically as well.
Women’s empowerment initiatives that highlight their right to influence social change for themselves and others, their ability to determine their own choices, and promote self-worth and self-confidence are direly in need.
Enter Women in Business International
Dr. Sonia Noel and Dr. Sabeeta Bidasie-Singh launched their collaborative business venture “Women in Business International” (WIBI) in tandem with International Women’s Month – March 2022. Women In Business International (WIBI) exists to connect women entrepreneurs and female-owned businesses to international markets. Both Sonia and Sabeeta are passionate about building local capacity and so WIBI is an organic evolution of their desire to create opportunities to empower, encourage, and inspire women as part of a global village.
Leveraging the Power of Technology
Women In Business International will leverage on the power of technology to foster collaborations using digital networks. The nucleus of this initiative is really about women’s economic empowerment and the drive to make this a social and economic imperative. With ongoing concerns around the business case for diversity and equality in the corporate sector, women entrepreneurship is shattering the “glass walls” phenomena. Sonia and Sabeeta fundamentally believe that women are natural connectors, collaborators and love the power of teams, their passion is seeing other women win and celebrating those successes.
Let’s get a deeper appreciation for these two visionary founders of WIBI:
Dr. Sonia Noel
Amazon Best Selling Author, Speaker & Fashion Designer, John Maxwell Leadership Coach
Dr. Noel is celebrating 25 years in the fashion and creative industry. She is the founder of many socio-cultural industry staples in Guyana - Guyana Fashion Week - expositions of fashion; Sonia Noel Foundation - an empowerment agency for creative expression and philanthropy. Women in Business Expo - exhibitions featuring female creative entrepreneurs; Women Association for Sustainable Development - a women’s empowerment body fostering socio-economic transformation.
She is a woman of faith and very passionate and industrious creative artist, with a fresh New World perspective on style and life. She was formerly a high school teacher in her hometown, in Bartica, Guyana. Back then she was regarded as a small-town girl, but one with a big dream who believed anything is possible. She is very proud of her Amerindian roots, and parlayed this indigenous South American creativity mixed with a cosmopolitan Caribbean flair, to craft a unique fashion aesthetic that became identifiably trademarked as the Sonia Noel brand.
Dr. Sabeeta Bidasie-Singh
CEO of Cardinal Services, a Houston-based management consultancy and technology provider who believes in the power of disruptive innovation in providing solutions to workplace problems. Cardinal’s model is built around emerging technology that delivers an immersive experience. Sabeeta has lived and worked throughout the Caribbean and 4 continents, so her differential is firmly rooted in a local flavor with the international focus. She has spent the greater part of the last 15 years consulting for governments all over the world in the transformation push. She is an advisory DBA for InvesTT and her group forms an important part of the diversification efforts of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr. Bidasie-Singh has consulted in the reformation of the New India Education Policy (2020) for the government of India, the Accreditation of prior experiential learning for the Malaysian Higher Education Council and currently spends a significant portion of her time working in capacity development for minority, women-owned and diverse businesses in Houston running the Operations of the Houston Minority Business Development Council. She consults for the Creative Industries of Trinidad and Tobago and is instrumental in the internationalization of the Global Value Chain for FashionTT’s projects. Sabeeta believes in the power of giving back and has several global philanthropic initiatives that she is hands on with.
Women in Business International hosts INSPIRE YOU 2022
This year the Women in Business International will be hosting the distinguished INSPIRE YOU global conference aligned to the International Women’s Day #BreakTheBias theme. The event enlisted empowering women across the world, speakers from Australia, Germany, US, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago; women who are game changers, who fearlessly support other women and offer their authentic self in serving their passion.
“We started INSPIRE YOU in 2017 with the main objective to encourage women not to rob the world of their amazing contributions because we all were born with seeds of greatness.” Dr. Sonia Noel
This year the INSPIRE YOU speaker lineup includes:
Mireille Toulekima - an Award-winning Australia-based global entrepreneur; Energy and STEM consultant, published author and online talk show host and producer. A Petroleum Engineer who gained her experience working for more than 25 years in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia in a range of technical and leadership roles for major oil, gas and energy companies. She has lived and worked across 4 continents and carries out empowerment work internationally. Mireille is the managing director of the Perth Australia based company MT Energy Resources, Global Chair Engineering of the eminent and prestigious G100 Club (comprised of some of the most powerful and influent top 100 women leaders in the world) and has published four books.
Sarona Samaroo - the Vice President of the recruitment and manpower agency, El Dorado Offshore. Sarona currently manages and oversees all operations for El Dorado Offshore regionally. El Dorado Offshore has entities incorporated in Guyana, Trinidad, and Suriname due to the oil and gas exploration and discoveries there. Under her leadership, the EDO teams in each country were able to rapidly scale up El Dorado Offshore’ s business. Sarona is a strong advocate for Youth Development and Female Empowerment in the workplace at all levels. She pushes boundaries and inspires those around her to do the same. Her innovation and creativity as an individual make her an asset to any role she serves.
Dr. Safeeya Mohammed – CEO, SISU Global Wellness, John Maxwell Leadership Coach, UN WOMEN facilitator of the Foundations/ GBV Prevention Program
Motivated by the overwhelming burdens of ill health, escalating NCDs and unwellness in the Caribbean, Dr. Mohammed founded an Organizational Wellness Consultancy aligned to the United Nations SDG 3. The pillars of Resilience and Behaviour Change were reinforced in her training at UNITAR in 2017. Since inception in 2018, SISU Global Wellness has provided transformational training to a slew of organizations, namely, UNDP, Caribbean Development Bank, ANSA Motors, PROMAN, Massy Group of Companies, creatives of ExportTT and several SMEs. Currently pursuing Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard University, her focus is strategic interventions for the prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related diseases.
She added co-author to her portfolio in 2018, contributing her personal story of Resilience to the transformational anthology: Woman Across Borders, curated by Dr. Sonia Noel. In 2019-2022, Dr. Mohammed served as Chair, Gender Advisory Board, IGDS, UWI and actions initiatives supporting women’s economic empowerment and health equity.
Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters, Director, Centre for Local Business Development – Natasha is an Economist with experience in both micro and macroeconomics. Natasha’s experience covers the real and fiscal sectors which includes modelling and forecasting of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), fiscal revenues, fiscal expenditure, and inflation along with analytics on the interlinkages between these two sectors. Presently, Natasha works with local companies in Guyana to assist them in entering the oil and gas value chain. This entails conducting GAP analytics along with training and mentoring of these companies in order to improve their competitiveness and capacity to work in the O&G sector. Natasha is a strong advocate of SME development and gender empowerment, key pillars to economic development of any country.
Dr. Auliana Poon is German based and heads Leve-Global. She established Caribbean Futures Limited that became Tourism Intelligence International in 1990; Villa Being, Tobago, in 2000; Being Sustainable in 2010; the Tourism Intelligence Academy in 2015; Lévé -the Event in 2016 and Leve-Global, that aims to cooperatively elevate Tourism, Trade and Lives, in 2018. A trained Economist, Dr. Auliana Poon was the first person in the world to qualify with a doctorate in Technology and Tourism. She delivered the ‘Intelligent Island’ public Lecture in Singapore in 1991 and has led the teams that developed the tourism policy and strategy for the new South Africa; developed strategies for trend-setting companies such as Sandals Resorts International (Jamaica) and Conservation Corporation (Africa); developed the ‘tourism begins at home’ program that sparked the turn-around in the Bahamas Tourism Industry.
INSPIRE YOU 2022 will focus on conversations on the theme #breakthebias and more, as the distinguished speakers use the art of storytelling to empower and inspire the audience on how each of them has risen through challenges and barriers. The Caribbean creative Richard Young who have worked extensively in the region and Diaspora directing and producing fashion/arts/beauty/culture-related projects will facilitate these conversations
“Inspire You 2022” takes place virtually on Tuesday 22nd March 2022 at 8:00 p.m and is free to the public.
For further details on the Conference
Event Page: https://fb.me/e/2aLdazJJx