As part of the territory’s celebration of International Women’s Day on May 8, women across the territory were honoured for their contributions in fields including information technology, politics, policing and business.
The Office of Gender Affairs and BVI Finance presented awards to three public officers and three private-sector managers under the theme “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.”
“While innovation and technology have the potential to create a more inclusive and equitable society, we must ensure that technology is developed and used in ways that promote gender equality,” said Health and Social Development Minister Marlon Penn, adding, “The digital transformation of the Virgin Islands must not leave women and girls behind. It should instead be used as a tool to bridge the gender gap and the digital divide and ensure inclusive development.”
The OGA recognised Department of Information Technology Director Annabelle Skelton-Malone for contributions to the department she and one other officer launched in 1989 under the leadership of then-Financial Secretary Robert Mathavious, according to Government Information Services.
In her current position, Ms. Skelton-Malone has overseen the implementation of the government accounting system, the rebranding of various websites to a central site, the expansion of network connectivity to public agencies around the territory, and the digitation of public school administration, GIS stated.
Another honouree was Karen Liburd-Anselm, the senior database administrator at the Financial Services Commission. Having worked at the agency since 2003, Ms. Liburd-Anselm is now responsible for databases and applications including the VIRRGIN network, which is used to register companies, pay annual fees, and carry out other business, according to GIS.
Also recognised was Candia Rabsatt-Thompson, a biomedical engineer manager at the BVI Health Services Authority. Ms. Rabsatt-Thompson is responsible for health care technology management including installation and maintenance of medical equipment.
Outside the public service, the OGA honoured Irma Harrigan for her work as information technology manager at Roadtown Wholesale Trading, Limited.
Ms. Harrigan joined RTW in 1983 as a trainee programmer and was promoted to senior analyst and programmer after graduating from Salisbury State University with a computer information systems degree, according to GIS. In 1993, she attained her current position.
BVI Finance recognised two women under the same theme. Reva Daulo, an advisory manager who has worked for BDO since 2014, leads many of the firm’s digital engagements and innovations internally, according to BVIF.
Julia Shamini Chase is the founder and CEO of Gold Leaf Consulting Limited, a legal services firm that specialises in commercial and financial regulatory law in the VI. Under her leadership, Gold Leaf was the first firm to successfully steer a fintech sandbox application in the VI, which was later upscaled to the first cryptocurrency exchange licensed in the jurisdiction, according to BVIF.
Also in observance of International Women’s Day, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force selected two VI officers to travel to Scotland to attend training.
Acting Inspector Angeline Stevens and Detective Sergeant Sherry-Ann Lavia-Lennon were joined by female police officers from Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Anguilla, according to the Police Information Office.
The training, which is coordinated through the Governor’s Office and funded by the United Kingdom government, is part of the new global Women and Girls Strategy launched March 8 to promote gender equality, police said.
The officers arrived last week and spent two days learning from senior officers at Police Scotland before attending the Women in Policing Conference.
VI Assistant Commissioner Pam Trevillion was also scheduled to attend the conference.
The officers then proceeded to attend leadership training delivered by a retired UK police officer, according to the PIO.
Other VI women were also honoured last week.
The VI Party used Facebook to recognise several women, including former Deputy Premier Dancia Penn, Jost Van Dyke businesswoman Gertrude Callwood, cultural promoter Kyra James, Olympian Chantel Malone, and fashion designer Kristin Fraser.
Also as part of the observance, Guavaberry Media hosted a cocktail reception on March 8 featuring Alexandra Durante, Keiyia Jackson-George, Jenifer O’Neal and Italia McMillan.