Strengthening Women’s Leadership in Jamaica

Grantee: Women's Resource and Outreach Centre

The project aimed to address the under representation of women in decision making positions in Jamaica, particularly on the boards of private companies and public commissions. The project did this by: increasing the participation of women through training and awareness building and increasing the participation of women in leadership in community based organizations, including school boards, also through training and awareness building. It also sought to create a national conversation on the need to open spaces for women to participate in decision making. There was also a separate women’s leadership research activity undertaken in Trinidad and Tobago. Although women comprise more than 70% of university graduates in Jamaica, only 13% of parliamentarians are women and only 16% of the board positions in the private sector are filled by women. The project believed that by training 100 women it could make a strategic infusion of talented and enthusiastic women into the boardrooms, and transform their gender dynamics. The project met its main objective of increasing the number of qualified women trained and available for service on public commissions and private sector boards. Some of these women were already high profile leaders and board members, but most were entry and mid-professional women with leadership potential that still remained to be tapped.