Jamaica Observer

It was a day of encouragement, new affirmations and personal renewal for many, if not all of the women, who turned out to support and partake in the second staging of the We Inspire Women’s brunch yesterday.

Adorned in frilly dresses and eye-catching fascinators — the dress code for the event — the excitement was palpable as eager women waited to enter the Jamaica Pegasus hotel banquet hall for the start of what was considered by many a well-spent day.

An engaging and motivational follow-up to the workshop that was held a day earlier, the brunch saw various women at different stages in their personal and professional lives taking the stage to share stories about their success and the accompanying journey under the collective theme for this year, “As We Rise”.

The first presentation of the morning, done by former Miss Jamaica Universe and Drenna Luna creator, Angelie Martin-Spencer centred on discovering and learning how to hone your talents and making the most of different opportunities, while finding the strength and faith to overcome during some of life’s most difficult periods.

Overcoming verbal abuse and knowing your self-worth was another poignant sub-theme that was explored in a heartfelt presentation by first runner-up in the 2017 LASCO top Cop competition, Constable Hillette Virgo, who is assigned to the St James Safety and Security Branch.

Head of Marketing at SportsMax Tanya Lee kept the ball rolling and the audience engaged with her story of moving beyond a challenging childhood to being a part of the management team of a typically male-dominated organisation due to constant persistence and relentlessness.

But while the presenters all explored various sub-themes, for example, head of Garrick Communications, Naomi Garrick, who spoke about having a positive mindset and overcoming life’s unexpected challenges, under her topic “Fail Forward”— they all came back to encouraging women to be the best version of themselves and to excel at whatever they to do.

For first-time attendees, Denise Nairne and Jodi-Ann McFarlane, the We Inspire Women events delivered strong and relevant messages which left a strong impact.

“Even yesterday (Saturday) I don’t cry, but I tend to cry when something touches my heart and it was really an inspiration to me and it helped me to see I’m not alone as a woman going through business because I’m an entrepreneur. so I do understand the dynamics when it’s a male-dominated industry and what you have to do as woman, so being here is a true inspiration to anybody,” the 29-year-old shared.

A similar sentiment was expressed by McFarlane, who stated that she liked the vision and message behind the We Inspire Women movement. She noted that Jamaican women especially needed to support each other more and hold each other accountable as they try to lift not only themselves, but their country.

“It’s really important to me as a psychologist, it’s something I can stand behind — a lot of the experiences shared by other women and their pain and triumph. I think it’s important to share this so we can realise we are all quite similar and we can grow from our misfortune,” McFarlane stated.

She added that she is already looking forward to the next We Inspire Women event and intends to bring as many friends to share in the experience.

Creator and CEO of We Inspire Women, Cortia Bingham McKenzie said the feedback so far has been “tremendous”, especially on social media where women are expressing their intentions t entrepreneurs and spearheading their personal as well as professional development.

She shared that one of the best ways to create success is to start with changing one’s mindset to conform to one’s own greatness and possibilities, and to not pay attention to limitations imposed by others.

“What I need from women is to go into action of being the best versions of themselves, loving themselves enough to know that they can reach, they can rise, but they have to do it. it’s up to them, being inspired is just gaining the knowledge and with the knowledge they gain, I want them to change behaviour and go into action,” Bingham McKenzie said.

We Inspire Ltd.

Kingston, Jamaica.


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