New York-based Guyanese American, founder and CEO of the NICO Consulting Inc., Michelle A. Nicholas, celebrated the achievements and contributions of 25 outstanding women at the second annual 25 Influential Women Leaders Awards ceremony, in collaboration with Lyndell Danzie-Black, at the Guyana Arthur Chung Conference Center on Saturday, Oct. 23.
They are Abeena Gomes, Anju Vivekanandaraj, Candace Forde, Deepa Sukha, Elizabeth Cox, Elsie A. Harry, Gabriella Xavier, Hazel Vanessa Munroe, Jamicia McCalman, Joyce Whyte-Chin, Karen Williams, Kimberly Manbodh, Marilyn Greene, Marva Langevine, Omattie Madray, Pamela Vaughn, Patricee Douglas, Renatha Exeter, Sancha Halley, Sonya Forrester, Stephanie Simon, Theresa Jn-Jules-Wilson, Valini Leitch, Vanessa Glasgow and Waneka Arrindell.
Co-creator of the awards Nicholas in her opening comments shared the origins of the awards and the importance of creating an award that is committed to the goal of redressing gender inequality and empowering women and girls everywhere, stating that “In 2019, this award started a new and needed conversation. This award acted. And it is important in this respect that we consolidate and develop the institutions that guarantee the integration of women and gender issues.”
“I am confident that we can work together today, and the days beyond, building on the gains already made and realizing new strengths towards women’s empowerment and gender equality,” said Nicholas.
In her inspiring closing remarks, co-creator Danzie-Black stated that the awards would not have been possible without the persons who recognized the work of the awardees and nominated them for this award. She charged the awardees with focused words of encouragement.
“Keep on educating yourself and elevating your knowledge. We want you to show up powerfully, with humility, originality and always standing in your truth, even if you are the last one standing.”
She closed by encouraging the awardees to go into their communities and find other women to build up, remarking, that “the mentee must become the mentor.”
Lloyd Bart, chief executive officer of the Presenting Sponsor Symmetry Brokerage and Holdings, commended the co-creators of the unique award before offering hearty congratulations to the 25 awardees for their passion and commitment to uplifting the business sector, their communities and society.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other sponsors, who included SBM Offshore, ExxonMobil, the Small Business Bureau, Republic Bank and Eon and Marthia Nichols.
Hosted by radio and television personality Feliz Robertson, the event took the form of a vaccinated only gathering of the awardees, sponsors and special invitees, including members of the diplomatic corps, representatives from the United States Embassy in Guyana, High Commission of Canada to Guyana, and High Commission of the European Union Delegation to Guyana and the British High Commission.
The event catered to all of Guyana through an expansive streaming presentation on Facebook and televised.
As the only forum for showcasing the immense contributions of women to our society, 25IWLA aims to recognize women leaders who have achieved successes in a wide range of fields and redress the underrepresentation of women and transform how women leaders are viewed in Guyana by highlighting their value, achievements and contributions.
Twenty-five Influential Women Leaders is the only award of its kind in Guyana to focus on women from a variety of sectors, rather than in a single industry, making the award a unique and important milestone in the recognition of women as leaders.