Zoe Teague wins International Women’s Day Speaking Competition

Winner of the Emerging Female Leaders' Public Speaking Competition, Zoe Teague, receives her cash prize from Mrs Karen Richardson, General Manager of the Caribbean Union Bank.

Zoe Teague, a local attorney-in-waiting and entrepreneur, has won the Emerging Female Leaders’ (EFL) Public Speaking Competition.


The Directorate of Gender Affairs (DoGA) partnered with the UWI Open Campus, Caribbean Union Bank, and the Halo Foundation to host the event in honour of International Women’s Day on March 8.


Nine young women competed in two rounds of competition, displaying their research, analysis, and public speaking skills. Marver Woodley, Francesca Southwell, and Zoe Teague stood out from among the nine, emerging third, second, and first, respectively.


The EFL Public Speaking Competition participants will participate in the Emerging Female Leaders’ Programme. DoGA’s IWD 2021 Event Coordinator, Raisa Charles, says the initiative forms part of the DoGA’s Women and Political participation portfolio.


“A significant part of the Directorate’s work involves increasing women’s representation in the political arena and ensuring they have the skills to become transformative leaders. We are looking forward to helping the ladies who participated in this year’s IWD event hone their skills and channel their passion into whatever area of leadership suits them.”


During a small prize-giving ceremony held on Tuesday, March 16, Teague said she is excited to have placed first in the competition. She plans to invest her winnings in her online accessories boutique, Shop Zoe Mercedes.


“I knew this injection would be perfect for my business. I’ve been looking at changing my packaging, which is a significant investment. I know I can save some of this for a rainy day, but I can also use it to help get me further along in my goals, so I’m really excited.”


The first prize sponsor for the event, Caribbean Union Bank, said that entrepreneurship, like Zoe’s, is at the heart of the company’s strategy for supporting economic growth. “We believe that even in these challenging times, there are opportunities,” said the bank’s General Manager, Mrs Karen Richardson. “The Caribbean Union Bank looks forward to working with and empowering our women entrepreneurs through our wide range of products and services.”


The UWI – Open Campus provided a professional development course for the second prize winner, Francesca Southwell. Ms Coleen Letlow, head of the UWI — Open Campus, said the competition was a product of the excellent relationship the UWI and the Directorate have enjoyed for several years.

Head of the Open Campus, Coleen Letlow, awards Francesca Southwell, 2nd place finalist in the Emerging Female Leaders’ Public Speaking Competition, a free professional development course from the University.

“Through this partnership, the university is continuing to celebrate women’s success locally and globally. It also demonstrates our involvement and support in educating and preparing emerging female leaders,” she noted.


Third place winner, Marver Woodley, received two complimentary day passes sponsored by the Halo Foundation.

Senator Gail Christian, Legal Advisor of the Halo Foundation, hands over two complimentary day passes to Marver Woodley, the 3rd place finalist in the Emerging Female Leaders’ Public Speaking Competition.

For more information about the Emerging Female Leaders’ Programme, please contact the Directorate of Gender Affairs at 462-3990.

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