GirlForce 100, 100 Women in Finance’s female youth-mentoring initiative, recently launched its fourth year of operation with an introductory session to 45 mentees at ArtNest Studio in the Cayman Islands.
GirlForce 100 pairs local organisation members with girls aged 13 to 18, from John Gray High School and Clifton Hunter High School, who have indicated an interest in a career in finance.
At the introductory session, the students learned about what the programme would offer in the 2020/2021 school year.
International model, actress and producer Selita Ebanks featured as guest speaker and spoke candidly to the mentees about her road to success, overcoming obstacles and the experiences that shaped her both personally and professionally throughout the course of her career.
Christina Bodden, 100 Women in Finance Global Association Board member and partner at the Maples Group, explained the organisation empowered women to achieve their professional potential at every career stage. “Our work inspires, equips and advocates for a new generation of female industry leaders. GirlForce 100 supports this mission by encouraging female students to enter careers in finance while providing them with the tools they need to succeed,” she said in a press release.
Bodden added that the ethos behind GirlForce 100 was to bring together members of 100 Women in Finance and young women to help guide their career paths from school, through tertiary education and into the finance industry.
GirlForce 100 has entered into several strategic local partnerships to expand the programme, including with the YMCA.
Jenny Stuesser, senior programme director at YMCA, said her association’s teambuilding programme is built on relationships and takes a unique approach to learning. “Through various icebreakers, group challenges and problem-solving activities we hope to help GirlForce 100 mentees build relationships and the confidence they need to develop overall leadership, teambuilding and communication skills. Partnering with GirlForce 100 provides us with the unique opportunity to work with and develop future leaders within our community and we look forward to being part of their leadership journey,” she said
During the launch session, mentees were invited to speak about their personal journey with GirlForce 100. Asia Bush, former Clifton Hunter student and winner of a 2019 essay competition, said, “GirlForce to me symbolises empowered females, who rise not just for themselves but for each other. GirlForce allows us to use our talents and abilities to move forward and build careers that better ourselves and the world around us, and we support each other in the process. GirlForce is you, me and the person next to you.”