NASSAU, The Bahamas — Women have proven over the years that they have the stamina to withstand challenges, and the perseverance to stay the course to achieve desired goals and unite for a common cause, Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Development the Hon. Loretta Butler-Turner said.
However, there is a need for wider participation and commitment from women who are in a position to help others still facing social and economic challenges, Mrs Butler-Turner explained during her keynote address at the Positioning Women for Promotion and Prosperity seminar organised by the Bahamas Public Services Union Women’s Association, Thursday, February 17.
For women to prepare for promotions and prosperity, they must take advantage of opportunities to get a more formal education, through such institutions as The College of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, she said.
“While on the job experience is a valuable asset for upward mobility, the possession of educational qualifications will certainly place one at a distinct advantage, Mrs Butler-Turner said. This sometimes involves sacrifices, which include time and money, she explained.
“This will have to be balanced with your other responsibilities, especially those of your family. “Then there is a cost involved and many may not want to expend the money or may have to forgo something else, but in the long run it will be money well spent,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.
“Living above their means” is another setback standing in the way of many female public servants achieving promotions and prosperity, she stressed.
“Too many of our people including public officers, have chosen the easy path of salary deductions to obtain almost everything.
“Far too many of us are spending more than we make and this is creating untold strain in our homes and even on the job,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.
“Similarly, too few Bahamians have chosen the path of saving money, showing financial prudence and plain common sense, which though difficult leads to peace of mind.” The Minister of State noted that promotions require hard work.
“If you wish to be promoted you have to work harder and smarter than those around you.”
Preparing for a promotion involves a change in thinking and attitude, which means going the extra mile, paying attention to details, performing additional duties when necessary even though they may not be part of your job description without having to be asked or told, she said. When it comes to becoming prosperous, Mrs Butler-Turner told the women participating in the seminar that it is important to be industrious, control expenses and save a portion of earnings.
“Finding new ways to spend money is always easy, but finding ways to save is hard. It takes effort to manage one’s money wisely, and my advice to you is to be honest and realistic in respect to your needs versus your wants. Take care of your needs rather than your wants,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.
Women from around the public service and some private firms heard from such diverse speakers as former Permanent Secretary and diplomat Missouri Sherman-Peter speak on “Preparing Women for Public Life”; Co-founder of the GEMS Radio Station Debbie Bartlett on “Climbing the Corporate Ladder”; Rev Anna Russell on “Working Women Pursuing a Purpose” and Dr Ismae Whyms from the Public Hospital Authority on “Quality Assurance on Work Ethics.”
By Llonella Gilbert
Bahamas Information Services