Promoting women in leadership and decision making

Women leaders in Antigua

The Caribbean Women in Leadership (CIWiL) recognises the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as a vital development partner.

In the Caribbean specifically, the impact of the Caribbean Department’s work is patent in the lives of the people that benefit from it and in the sustainable growth of our region.

Especially invaluable has been the Department’s administration and implementation of regional and country-specific projects and programmes aimed at reducing poverty and inequity, improving healthcare, education and infrastructure, and more recently, advancing economic and fiscal recovery in the post-pandemic period.

Recently, however, we’ve learnt that the IDB has made a number of changes to its staffing across member countries, and it includes the removal and replacement of Ms. Therese Turner-Jones, the General Manager of said Caribbean Department and the Country Representative Jamaica.

Turner-Jones is a Bahamian economist with expertise in macroeconomics and economic development in the Caribbean, with over eight years of service at the IDB and prior management roles at the IMF.

We regret not having the opportunity before her departure to bid farewell and thank her for her years of advocacy for financial inclusion and gender equity, and engagement with youth and vulnerable communities. Indeed, Therese Turner-Jones is known not just for her roles at the multilateral lending agency but also, more widely, for her incisive social analysis and contributions to Caribbean development.

At a recent CIWiL webinar, she engaged in discussions on the importance of supporting women’s transformational leadership as a pathway to good governance. She remarked, “It’s not just about meeting the diversity and inclusion targets or goals that your institution might have… but are we also walking the talk? Are we giving opportunities to those women? … Are we enabling those women to thrive in a way that they can live up to their new responsibilities?” CIWiL urges that these values and Turner-Jones’ legacy at the IDB be remembered and continued.

Since 2017, the IDB became the first regional development bank to obtain EDGE certification – the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender and intersectional equity.

It was a major milestone for the IDB and reified its commitment to achieving gender equality. Now, its Vision 2025 has identified gender equality and diversity as two of its cornerstones, and a year ago, women occupied 40% of leadership positions at IDB.

CIWiL is thus hopeful that notwithstanding the changes being undertaken by the IDB, this long-held commitment to advancing gender equality and to its role of fostering robust and equitable growth that integrates gender and sustainable development perspectives, will prevail in its decision-making processes and manifest in its representation at the highest levels.

We look forward to partnering with the IDB, governments throughout the region and stakeholders to continue the important work of increasing women’s full and meaningful participation in leadership and decision-making across sectors and at all levels.

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