Terry-Ann Segree, strategy, programming and innovation lead officer at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has said that inclusion and education are at the core of Jamaica ensuring that the advantages of economic growth are evenly distributed across the society.
Segree was part of a panel discussion at the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s (PSOJ’s) President’s Breakfast Forum held today (June 6) at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel Jamaica in St Andrew. The forum was held under the theme, ‘Beyond Macroeconomic Stability; Igniting Growth’.
She was responding to questions that asked ‘how can Jamaica ensure that the advantages of economic growth are distributed across all segments of society with a particular emphasis on marginalised communities?’ and ‘How can Jamaica ensure that there is an equal distribution of policies that are gender specific?’
“I think that inclusion sits at the centre of what the IDB is all about – improving lives and having that inclusion within the work that we do. Generally, we work with the government towards coming with strategies in priority areas for intervention in each country,” she said.
“For the case of Jamaica, we came up with a country strategy in November last year (2022), identifying some priority areas for intervention. Right now, we are implementing that strategy under two broad pillars. The first pillar is reactivating the productive sector. So, working along with the private sector, providing financial support, trying to provide access to finance, capacity strengthening, and providing the digital transformation that is needed also to improve efficiency,” she outlined.
Segree went on to say that the second pillar is about social agenda and how the private sector works with the government to provide the infrastructure that is needed to provide greater access for inclusion.
“So, [it’s about] how do we ensure that these communities have clean water, sanitation, energy, and education which are tremendously important because that’s some of the ways we will get over this hurdle”.
The IDB officer made clear that education is at the core of both pillars.
As for gender equality within organisations and creating gender neutral policies and laws that support engagement at all levels, Segree said that equal pay and equal opportunity for leadership should be prioritised.
“We have seen in the past, in a 2017 report, where it says that we don’t have a lot of women at the head of organisations. [However], we’re seeing a transition and I think that greater effort needs to be placed on gender equality,” she said.
Segree stressed that gender equality should not just be geared towards women. She said that it should also be geared at men who, in some cases, need support and need encouragement to be a part of the different sectors.
“We should be removing the stereotyping that is engrained in us around roles and responsibilities and concentrating instead on providing equal opportunities for all,” declared Segree.
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