As female leaders, we need to encourage and support the movement of female entrepreneurship and ownership in a significant way, noted Joan Albury, President of The Counsellors Ltd. Albury, who has led the full service marketing agency and production company since 1985, delivered the keynote address at the 2020 Power Women’s Breakfast hosted by leading full service law firm Higgs & Johnson in Nassau on 6 March 2020. The event, which was a celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD 2020), is part of the firm’s focus on diversity and leadership that brought together female executives from financial services, law and accounting firms, oil and gas, telecommunications and the public sector, to examine how to take action for equality so as to help forge a gender equal world.
“Thankfully, we now live in a world that expects balance, and, therefore, gender is firmly on the agenda,” said the firm’s first female Co-Managing Partner, Surinder Deal. “I sincerely believe that hosting this breakfast is one way to celebrate women’s achievement. I am delighted that we had this opportunity to come together and, not only speak of our own challenges, but also focus on how we can be the game changers and way makers for other women. While in many respects we have moved forward as women in The Bahamas, there is still much more work to be done.”
Deal said Albury, a 40-year veteran in research, advertising and public relations, was a natural choice to address the gathering because she is an innovator who has been at the heart of many ‘firsts’ in the Bahamian business communications industry.
“Leadership has always been the criteria for speakers at our annual Bahamas Business Outlook (BBO) and, as a result, our presenters are typically male,” said Albury, the innovator of the BBO conference, which, for the past 29 years, has been bringing together the country’s top business people and leaders from across the economic spectrum. “However, as we are planning for our 30th BBO we are examining these criteria in an effort to promote positive visibility of women.”
Identifying possible solutions with regards to the #EachforEqual theme of the IWD 2020, Albury indicated that millennials have become a significant percentage of the BBO audience. “They are heavily interested in entrepreneurship and owning their own businesses. They have demonstrated that they are the risk takers. This movement suggests to marketers that we should look at ownership and not necessarily leadership as the criteria for the selection of our presenters, which may allow for an open space to give a platform for more female presenters.”
The Business Outlook brand is now a franchise encompassing forums on seven of the major islands of The Bahamas. Albury is also the architect of such ZNS-TV classics as Tourism Today, You & Your Money, and Electric Air, as well as the country’s first live morning show, Bahamas @ Sunrise.
Higgs & Johnson continues to make strides in advancing more women to leadership positions boasting of female leaders for half of its practice groups as well as with the appointment of its first female Co-Managing Partner (2020) and Cayman Country Managing Partner (2014).