Paola Juarez-Robinson has been elected as the new president of the Business and Professional Women’s Club.
Ms. Juarez-Robinson was appointed as president during the installation of the new executive board for the Cayman Chapter of the International Business and Professional Women’s Club at the George Town Yacht Club on Wednesday. She takes over the role from past president Annie Multon.
At the installation event, Cheryl Myles was elected first vice president, Andrea Williams was elected second vice president and fundraising chair, Rachael Gaunt was elected secretary, Tracey Patino takes on the role of membership officer, the treasurer is Hazel O’Brien, and the Young Business and Professional Women’s Club committee leaders are Dr. Alexandra Bodden and Alexandra Simonova.
In her acceptance speech, Ms. Juarez-Robinson encouraged women to work together and said the club would be taking the initiative to reach out to former female prison inmates.
She said she believes the club needs to reach out to women who have served their time and are about to start over with their personal and professional lives.
“Getting out comes with a mixture of overwhelming joy and anxiety,” she said. “They often want to start over, but don’t know how to achieve that. They need counseling on how to re-enter society. It is critical to find ways to help these women.”
She also hopes the club can help empower young people and teach them about their capacity to control their lives and change society, and to instill a sense of their value.
According to a press release from the club, the organization plans to focus on finding new venues to reach out to young girls and to create activities for them to feel empowered.
“Empowering students through a variety of activities that will challenge their minds, empower their sense of well-being, and rekindle their hearts with a commitment to values and beliefs, is essential for them to becoming whole individuals,” Ms. Juarez-Robinson said.
She said there already are many women in the community contributing to make Cayman a better society, but she would like to see this done more collectively.
“I have an ambitious goal of growing our membership to welcome women of diverse backgrounds – diverse in age, in thought, in occupation and in industry,” she told members. “So I am taking this responsibility and I aim to inspire past members to join – to continue the projects they started; inspiring the new generations to learn to be ‘hands on’ in their efforts, and enjoy the satisfaction of contributing towards a better Cayman.
“While women continue to outnumber men in the world of higher education, gender equality in the workforce remains elusive for female students,” she said. “As they continue to carve out their places in professional roles, BPW will continue to help, by granting scholarships to deserving young women in Cayman.”
As president, Ms. Juarez-Robinson said she will be attending the BPW annual international summit in New York on March 9, as well as a regional meeting in Florida in July.