Women Smart Networking Series – Article 1

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) is thrilled to announce the launch of a six-part networking breakfast series – Women Smart Networking – scheduled once-monthly with the first event taking place Tuesday September 6, 2016.

Why Networking?  
Whilst we all do this daily in our work and in our personal lives, networking is a skill that can be honed as any other.  By improving your networking competencies, you are better able to network strategically for the benefit of your business, your job and for your personal development.
The JCC has therefore created a networking series in which you will have the opportunity to work through, learn or further develop (best) networking practices.  Over the course of the series, you will be guided to developing your own strategy, acquiring the tools to put it into action, creating or refining your own online networking strategy, and further develop your networking skills through continued practice.
At each of these networking events, you will join up to 40 like-minded professional women in a welcoming, relaxed and non-competitive environment.  The program is designed for you to enjoy maximal and meaningful contact with your fellow participants, such that you leave each session with a personalised connection to all those present.
The JCC Networking team envisions these Women Smart Networking Series as a space for women in business to actively support each other to reach for, and achieve, their highest potential.

Why has the JCC created this series?
As one of the hemisphere’s oldest business associations, the JCC strongly believes that if our economy is to move beyond the historically anaemic ±1% GDP growth average that the nation has recorded over most of our post-Independence history, the prevailing structures must be changed to afford equal opportunities for women.  While our country is among the top performers worldwide by such yardsticks as the ratio of women in middle and upper-level management and administration in both the private and public sector, the percentage of women in political leadership, and the percentage and performance of women in tertiary institutions etc., that data also shows that women in the Caribbean, continue to face particular hurdles in such areas as accessing finance to start and run their businesses – including penetrating the networks that may mitigate those hurdles.
We limit and compromise our growth potential, we believe, if we do not acknowledge and address the need to encourage and support that entrepreneurial powerhouse that has been operating in the background for years.
To be sure, we have seen many admirable initiatives in recent years: a number of our firms – of varying sizes – have established programmes that focus on mentoring young women in their early to mid-career paths, while a number of institutions have recognized the potency of this demographic and have created products (e.g. financial and advisory services) specifically aimed at meeting the needs of women in business. It is the opinion of the JCC that considerable work remains, and thus we are committed to play an active role in specifically targeting professional women through these JCC Women Smart Networking Series.
We look forward to supporting you through this series. Registration details are set out below.