2020 is a pivotal year for gender equality internationally. The beginning of a new decade, as well as the 25th anniversary of the UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign “Generation Equality”, aligning with this year’s Women’s day theme “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.  Designed to bring together peoples of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve, this theme resonates well with everyone working towards the 2030 Sustainable Development goals.

I am proud to be working in an environment that brings technology and connectivity to all and provide a powerful platform for gender inclusivity.  At CANTO we believe that there is great value in the empowerment of women and girls in every sphere of society. Fifty percent of our Board and eighty percent of the Secretariat staff are females.  Our newly installed Women in ICT Working Committee champions our initiatives to further promote and encourage gender inclusivity and focuses on  the advancement of women in the ICT sector in CANTO Member Countries and promoting  awareness of the ICT Sector opportunities to girls in order to bridge the gender gap, and increase the number of girls choosing  careers in ICT.

This year, we are celebrating Caribbean women who share short video content on topics that will help promote the empowerment of women in the workplace.  These topics include Finding your Voice in Meetings; Finding FLOW with Work and Life; Asking for What you Want; Being a Part of the Team and Bringing your Whole Self to Work and comes from women, who like us work every day while balancing lives and families; and have taken time to give invaluable advice.  Let’s use this advice as we press forward for change and share it amongst our peers in support of women everywhere.

While this region can boast that we have a female Prime Ministers, ministers and parliamentary secretaries and c-level executives at the forefront of large corporations, there is still a long way to go on female inclusion and gender equality at all levels of society.  Gender equality is closely linked to social and economic development and collaboration between all stakeholders is necessary if we are to build a regional ecosystem that supports female inclusion in the new digital economy.

As we celebrate our global achievements and move closer to gender parity, let us also make a pact to  unite, reflect and recharge the initiatives for change by going beyond our own individual dreams to pick one woman we know and help her move closer to her dreams because helping one woman at a time will take us all a step closer to our collective goal.

Happy International Woman’s day to all!