International Women's Day 2018
Women of Influence Awards & Mentorship Celebration
2018 AWARD RECIPIENTS
Left to Right
Azariel Pedro, collecting award on behalf of AFETT Young Female Leader - Shari Petti
Spirit of AFETT - Simone Brown
Social Entrepreneur - Nicole Joseph-Chin
Business Pioneer- Simone Sant-Ghuran
Deborah Mc Fee, collecting award on behalf of National Spirit - Folade Mutota
A groundbreaking airline pilot, a passionate breast health advocate, an enterprising artist and a wedding planning guru were just some of the women honoured and highlighted in the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago’s (AFETT) International Women’s Day celebration which was held at the Government Campus Plaza on Wednesday March 14, 2018. AFETT’s annual event celebrates women of influence with this awards and mentorship celebration.
As usual, the women honoured represented a cross-section of careers, causes and accomplishments. In a testament to her pioneering achievements, Wendy Yawching, Trinidad and Tobago’s first female captain of an airline was the day’s Featured Speaker. Addressing her audience of influential men and women, secondary school students, and other stakeholders, Yawching spoke about her aspirations of becoming a pilot and how she persevered despite naysayers and a lack of financial support. She also talked about the “inner glass ceiling” which some of us create within ourselves which limits our growth and development. She outlined three main lessons she had taken to heart in her journey: stand up and be counted, no man or woman is an island and either show up or give up. Lisa-Marie Alexander, Chief Marketing Officer for Trinidad and Tobago of the JMMB was also a guest speaker at the event. She gave an interactive presentation on defining your personal brand.
A selection of well known female influencers received honours during the course of the event. Simone Sant-Ghuran, Managing Director of Trinidad Weddings was given the Business Pioneer Award. Her many accolades are not surprising as Sant-Ghuran’s brand and expertise have become almost synonymous with the local wedding industry. Nicole Joseph-Chin, Founder of Ms Brafit Limited, was recognised with the Social Entrepreneur Award. Joseph-Chin’s company is not only a business but the means for her to advocate for women’s health, particularly breast health and care. Folade Mutota, Executive Director, Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) received the National Spirit award for her tireless efforts for women’s rights, not the least of which include her part in ending child marriage in Trinidad and Tobago. AFETT member Simone Brown, was given the Spirit of AFETT award, which is given to members embodying the
Trinidad and Tobago's FIRST FEMALE AIRLINE CAPTAIN, Adventure Traveller and Master Feng Shui Consultant.
Chief Marketing Officer
AFETT's New Honorary Member
with AFETT Secretary Caron Geaves.
organisation’s values of empowerment, engagement and transformation. As the creative mind behind the innovative C Spot Sip and Paint, Brown was lauded for combining her passion and knowledge of both wine and art to create a popular and inspiring business concept. AFETT’s Young Female Award is given to a woman under 25 who has made a significant contribution in terms of effort, time and resources while demonstrating AFETT’s own values of engagement, empowerment and transformation. This year’s recipient was Shari Petti, the young filmmaker involved with numerous local productions which explore vital social issues. Her award-winning film “Sorf Hair” has been screened at film festivals across the world, and no doubt she will be behind more ambitious productions in the future.
The proceedings also included a moment to pin a new Honorary AFETT member. AFETT President Charlene Pedro pinned Ms. Sandra Basheer who has a multifaceted career in hospitality and tourism, events management, consulting, customer service and protocol. Ms. Basheer joins the esteemed company of AFETT's Honorary Members: Grace Talma, Diana Mahabir-Wyatt, Dr. Rhoda Reddock, Meiling, Helen Bhagwansingh and Hazel Brown.
“AFETT welcomes this opportunity to highlight the amazing contributions of the women of our society,” said President Pedro. “This year’s award winners are as usual worthy exemplars, and we are glad to be able to share their accomplishments, especially with the students who are our guests.”
As part of the tradition of their International Women’s Day celebration, AFETT usually works with sponsors to invite secondary school students to the event, so they too can be inspired and motivated by the leaders present. AFETT is extremely grateful to the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago for sponsoring Brazil High School; to the East Port of Spain Development Company for sponsoring South East Port of Spain Secondary; to Grant Thornton Orbit Solutions which sponsored St. Joseph’s Convent, POS; Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited for Holy Faith
Convent, Couva; Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited which sponsored Success Laventille Composite; Western United Credit Union for East Mucurapo Secondary School and Nutrien which sponsored Couva West.
The Sacred Heart Girls RC Choir was also on hand to entertain the audience with a medley of local folk songs. After their performance, the students were able to listen to the talk of Ms. Yawching who is an alumna of their school.
A number of innovative entrepreneurs had the opportunity to showcase their products and services at booths. These included Danielle Small of The Business Boutique; Solange Richardson of Solé (Beauty for the soul); Sherma Gomez-Lewis of the Infinity Travel Club; Sharon Wilson, Massy Motors and Melena Simon-Oniel of Couture Hats.