As companies and special groups around the world recognized International Women’s Day this week, CIBC FirstCaribbean is marking another year of numerous women in both its leadership and overall staff complement, as well as a continued commitment to female-
focused organizations across the country.
This year, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director, Dr. Jacqui Bend, will take on the role of Executive Sponsor in the bank’s Women’s Network, a group comprised of CIBC FirstCaribbean senior leaders that gather regularly for mentorship, professional development, and other support services in a fun atmosphere.
Dr. Bend said, “the Women’s Network allows its members to freely share their experiences and learn from each other’s journeys. CIBC FirstCaribbean is extremely proud of what the females in our bank have achieved so far, and of the opportunities for advancement the company has been able to provide for our female employees.”
Some topics the group explores are financial health, health and wellness, work-life balance, leading change, time management, and stress management.
As the incoming Executive Sponsor and a member of the group since November 2014, Dr. Bend is mandated to foster the growth and sustainability of the Women’s Network by exploring the unique issues facing women in the Caribbean context and providing networking opportunities for senior females of CIBC FirstCaribbean, among other matters.
“As the incoming executive sponsor, my mandate is first and foremost to carry out the goals of the network, ensure that our senior leaders have an environment where they feel safe to express themselves, live, learn, and laugh,” she underscored.
Dr. Bend added, “With a passion for holistic people development, I have a holistic interest in women’s issues – from mental, physical and spiritual wellness and, of course, self-care. My purpose is to help others see themselves better than they are and to live their best lives. The Women’s Network is an avenue for me to fulfill my purpose where I can teach, mentor, and learn with a group of phenomenal women pursuing a similar passion.
“While creating a haven for senior leaders, I also envisage that the Women’s Network will champion growth and development of other women managers in the bank to advance to senior leadership roles.”
This Friday, the Women’s Network will host a mixer for its members spanning the region to reset, reconnect, revitalize and relax.
Outside of its internal activities, CIBC FirstCaribbean is also year-round a committed sponsor for various women’s organizations. It continues to support initiatives such as the Dignified Girl Project, Bahamas Crisis Center, S.T.R.A.W Inc. Center for Young Women and Bahamas Girl Guides.
In celebration of International Women’s Day this year, CIBC FirstCaribbean has made special donations to S.T.R.A.W Inc. Center for Young Women in support of its Annual Girls Leadership Conference and to the Bahamas Crisis Centre to assist its Women’s Empowerment Program which offers a 6-week course to women who are or have been victims of domestic violence, and are trying to make it on their own after leaving abusive partners.