In a rousing event organised by the M’Power Women’s Group, for the female staff of Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited Group (MMS) to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, Chairman and CEO of the organisation, M. Audrey Stewart-Hinchcliffe, announced her imminent departure from the CEO’s position, informing those attending that “this is my last dance in the chair as CEO”.
Stewart-Hinchcliffe, who revealed earlier this year that she would be stepping down from the post after close to 33 years, reminded the gathering that women have always been important to MMS, hence the formation of the Women’s Group.
“M’Power Women’s Group is a symbol of what women mean to the group of companies and what MMS is doing for women,” she said.
In chronicling the achievements of women in Jamaica and elsewhere in the world, in areas including business, education and other sectors, Stewart-Hinchcliffe said: “International Women’s Day is worthy of celebration. There are gaps in the development of women but there are achievements.”
WORTHY OF CELEBRATION
She urged the women to “seek continuing education” and to refrain from contributing to or condoning the violence and abuse perpetrated against them.
She also cautioned against “man bashing” and suggested collaborating with the men “who are not our competitors but there to support us and partner with us in development”.
Stewart-Hinchcliffe also announced Ricona Hemmings, daughter of MMS employee Yvonne Harriott, as this year’s recipient of the Kareen Foster-Jones scholarship launched last year to honour the memory of the former Director of Facilities Management Services who was a victim of COVID-19.
Hemmings is currently completing her studies in nursing at the University of Technology (UTech) in St Andrew.
Also speaking at the event was Karen Gayle, principal of MMS’ sister company, the Institute for Workforce Education and Development (IWED), who also endorsed the celebration of International Women’s Day.
“We have made gains and we must acknowledge the strides made to improve the lives of women although we still have so much more to accomplish,” said Gayle.
She encouraged the women to embrace the new technologies that are now “at the centre of our lives”.
Gayle added: “As members of the workforce, we must keep up with the evolving skill demand.”
She reminded the group that, “when women and girls are involved in innovation and technological developments, a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increases”.
Decked in the colour purple to mark the day, the women were served lunch by their male colleagues.
The M’Power Women’s Group was founded by Stewart-Hinchcliffe and is dedicated to the “upliftment of women through work and education”.
The Group aims to address issues that affect women at the workplace and motivate them to improve their education and upgrade their skills while on the job, either through the Institute for Workforce Education & Development, or other educational institutions.
Motivating the female children of employees is also a priority as well as fund raising to provide scholarships to benefit women both in and outside of the organisation.
The Group also recognises the male MMS employees who are achievers.