WOMEN LEADERS CELEBRATED AT ACE FORUM
Bermuda's female leaders of the past and present were celebrated at the Ace Women's Forum (AWF) to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.
A panel comprising Premier Paul Cox, US Consul General Grace Shelton, Bermuda College president Duranda Greene, Jill Husbands, head of office and managing director, Marsh IAS Management Services (Bermuda) Ltd, Shanna Lespere, director of insurance supervisions, complex institutions and restoration, Bermuda Monetary Authority, Sheila Nicoll, senior vice-president of operations, White Mountains Re Bermuda, and moderator Allison Towlson, regional executive and chief operations officer, Ace Bermuda, shared their personal experiences and knowledge gained through their careers at the event entitled ‘Spotlight on Women Leaders: Past, Present and Visions for the Future'.
They also provided advice for women actively seeking to pursue leadership roles and imparted their visions for the Island's businesswomen of the future at the forum held at the Ace Building.
“The Ace Women's Forum is delighted to support the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day and participate in Bermuda's celebrations”, said Samantha Froud, chief administration officer for the Ace Group in Bermuda.
“Ace's goal is to provide a venue where Bermuda's Women Leaders can share their insights and personal experiences with our female colleagues and business partners and inspire the women leaders of the future.
“Women form the majority of our employee base at Ace in Bermuda; therefore, we see a distinct business benefit in engaging female employees and business partners in this form of development and networking opportunity.”
A number of key themes emerged from the panel discussion providing the all-female audience with tips on how to achieve success and pursue leadership roles, including; the importance of a support system, leveraging the power of networking, taking risks by stepping outside your comfort zone, and knowing your requirements in order to seize the opportunities.
As part of Ace's partnership with the Bermuda College, young women from the College's own women's forum WOMYN, attended the event. They had an opportunity to meet with Premier Cox after the session and receive some professional advice.
Ms Cox said: “The Ace Women's Forum was a hit. There were a lot of queries. The panelists brought their own life experiences into their interchange and their exchanges with the audience. What was particularly heartening was the amount of active engagement and participation after the formal discussion concluded.
“As panellists, we thought, dialogued, discussed. For me, I thought it was important to have an open, frank exchange as to how to best further the agenda. Issues such as maintaining balance, how to challenge the glass ceiling, the value of networking, the importance of not allowing others to define who we are
“There was warmth and camaraderie by the ‘new women' who are also determined to participate as game changers going forward, women who are prepared to dance with the wolves and who are prepared to tilt at windmills.
“There was a buoyant mood as we had a crucial conversation as to where we go from here. The overriding message as to where to find the solution was that as women, we have to first believe in ourselves and to believe that we can make a difference.”
The Ace Women's Forum was launched globally in 2008 with a mission is to ensure the company maximises business opportunities by providing a culture that actively fosters career development for women within the organisation.