George Town, Grand Cayman (27 February 2023): 100 Women in Finance (“100WF”) hosted HRH The Countess of Wessex, Global Ambassador of the organisation, for several special events as part of her official visit to the Cayman Islands from 20-22 February 2023.
HRH The Countess of Wessex has served as Global Ambassador since 2015 and, in this role, travels to 100WF locations around the world to represent 100WF initiatives.
While in the Cayman Islands, HRH The Countess of Wessex attended numerous events highlighting the work of 100WF and GirlForce100, which included education, community focused and social events, and was joined by GirlForce100 mentees, teachers and parents, as well as industry professionals and community leaders.
On Tuesday morning, HRH The Countess of Wessex and 100WF members attended an informative education event where Ms. Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100WF, and Ms. Christina Bodden, Partner with The Maples Group and Board Member of 100WF, discussed how to empower women and girls both in the finance industry and beyond. After a lively discussion and questions from the audience, HRH The Countess of Wessex shared insights from her own global work championing gender balance and diversity as well as women, peace, and security.
Her Royal Highness then met with 100WF Angel members at a luncheon hosted by local businesswoman and long-standing Rotarian, Ms. Betty Baraud. At the luncheon, guests heard about the impactful work of The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and Rotary International. Rotarians Mr. Jeremy Hurst and Mr. David Kirkaldy, local businessmen in the Cayman Islands, provided an informative overview and insight into both the local and international work of Rotary to invited guests which included local business and community leaders as well as Sir Alden McLaughlin, KCMG, MBE, KC, JP and MP for Red Bay and Ms. Barbara Conolly, MP for George Town South.
In the early evening, HRH The Countess of Wessex joined 100WF for its inaugural Cayman Islands First Impressions Dinner, an evening dedicated to the next generation of female leaders in financial services. Around 60 girls from local high schools attended the dinner. Joining them were special guests including Deputy Premier, Minister for Border Control & Labour and MP for Bodden Town West, Hon. Chris Saunders, Ms. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, Speaker of Parliament and MP for West Bay Central and Mrs. Elisabeth Roper.
The event’s unique format saw a panel of female rising stars share insights from their career journeys with GirlForce100 mentees and their parents. The panel discussion was followed by moderated round table discussions that gave the attending young mentees not only an opportunity to discuss their own career aspirations with industry leaders, but also their individual time with HRH The Countess of Wessex who provided guidance and inspiration.
Finally, selected local GirlForce100 mentees were hosted for a private reception with HRH The Countess of Wessex held at Government House the following day. The mentees were each able to ask their career related question to Her Royal Highness.
The Deputy Premier of the Cayman Islands, Hon. Chris Saunders said, “100WF has consistently delivered and exceeded expectations. They have created a platform that encourages, empowers, and uplifts young women while simultaneously providing a forum for young women to network amongst their peers while being mentored by seasoned professionals within the financial services industry. I commend and congratulate the organisers for a great event.”
“HRH The Countess of Wessex is a strong advocate for professional women globally. Through Her Royal Highness’ visit to our Cayman Islands location, we can raise the visibility of the work 100WF is doing locally and globally to empower women in our industry and open doors for them,” explained Ms. Pullinger. “On behalf of 100WF, I would like to thank Her Royal Highness for her continued service which is helping to increase diversity within financial services and raise the industry’s appeal for the next generation of female leaders.”
Mr. Jonathan Green, Global Managing Partner for The Maples Group said, “The Maples Group is proud to support the work of 100WF in the Cayman Islands, Europe, Asia and the Americas. We are especially proud to have supported GirlForce100 since its inception in 2015 and to see programme mentees joining both local and international internship and scholarship programmes, as well as joining the industry in successful career launches. We wish this fantastic community programme every continued success.”
100WF’s achievements are made possible by a committee of dedicated volunteers and industry sponsors. These recent 100WF Cayman events were generously supported by The Maples Group, Baraud International, and Travers Thorp Alberga. Learn more about 100WF and upcoming 100WF Cayman events by visiting 100women.org.
100WF Global Ambassador HRH The Countess of Wessex shares insights from her global work that focuses on championing gender balance and diversity as well as women, peace and security at 100WF’s Empowering Women in Finance and Beyond education session.
The 100WF Empowering Women in Finance and Beyond education session was organised by the 100WF Cayman Islands Education Committee, pictured here with HRH The Countess of Wessex and special guests.
HRH The Countess of Wessex meets (from left to right) Mr. David Kirkaldy, Mr. Matthew Gardner, Mr. Frank Schilling, Ms. Betty Baraud and Ms. Christina Bodden, at a luncheon hosted by Ms. Baraud.
HRH The Countess of Wessex and Sir Alden McLaughlin at the 100WF luncheon.
Pictured from left to right: Speaker of Parliament, Ms. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks; Mrs. Elisabeth Roper; HRH The Countess of Wessex; Deputy Premier and Minister for Border Control & Labour, Hon. Chris Saunders; and Ms. Barbara Conolly, at the 100WF Inaugural Cayman First Impressions Dinner.
HRH The Countess of Wessex with 100WF staff members, including CEO Ms. Amanda Pullinger (centre), and 100WF Board Member, Ms. Christina Bodden (third from right), at the 100WF Inaugural Cayman First Impressions Dinner.
HRH The Countess of Wessex, 100WF CEO Ms. Amanda Pullinger (third from left) and Mrs. Elisabeth Roper (fourth from right) meet with 100WF GirlForce100 mentees at Government House.
About 100 Women in Finance
100 Women in Finance is a global organisation committed to gender equity in finance by promoting diversity, raising visibility, and empowering women to find their personal path to success. It connects women at every career stage, including pre-career, to a global network of people and resources. The organisation’s mission is to strengthen the global finance industry by empowering women to achieve their professional potential at each career stage. It operates under a guiding principle that it calls Vision 30/40. It is the goal for women to occupy 30% of investment team and executive leadership roles by 2040.
About 100 Women in Finance Cayman
Since 2013, 100 Women in Finance Cayman has been making connections and creating opportunities that encourage female students to look favourably at careers in the Cayman Islands financial industry and presenting greater visibility of local female role models. To support Vision 30/40, all the local chapter’s fundraising efforts go towards Investing in the Next Generation initiatives including its flagship mentoring programme in partnership with the Cayman Islands Ministry of Education, GirlForce100.