As Jamaicans continue to grabble with the shock of the recent hike in cruelties against women, the Sandals Resorts in the Montego Bay (Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Inn) saw it fit to empower their female managers and middle managers as well as female members of the neighbouring community, Flankers at a recently held forum at Sandals Royal Caribbean. Approximately 50 females turned out to hear the powerful address by guest speaker, Novelette Grant- Jamaica’s first female Acting Commissioner of Police.

Grant, who has over 20 years of demonstrable experience in human rights practices and intervention, human resource development, law enforcement, domestic, sexual and gender-based violence prevention among others, led an influential discourse urging women to be “Heroes of Tomorrow” by living exemplary lives and performing simple acts of kindness that will prove to be transactional to the wider society.

“Life is a lesson repeated until learned and therefore kindness and respect will play a fundamental role in shaping our youths who are the future of Jamaica,” Grant explained, highlighting that how we treat others and the lessons we teach our youths will impact the nature of our communities.

“In Montego Bay, there is a growing concern regarding the number of young girls being kidnapped and stripped of their adolescence. It is important that we (women) are reassured of our strength and not seen as easy prey,” expressed, Shana Spence, attendee and front desk manager at Sandals Royal Caribbean.

(From left) Sandals Montego Bay’s hotel manager, Dawn Smith commends the Acting Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant on her insightful address.

The event which emphasized the resilience of women who have beaten the odds for success despite rejection, gender inequality or an overall lack of support prompted attendees including Sandals Montego Bay’s first Hotel Manager Dawn Smith, to share testimonies of overcoming doubt and stepping into the realm of continued success.

“It was not an easy road to get to this point as many doubted my potential but persistence, faith and a positive attitude are the answers to a progressive path,” Smith expressed.

Grant also encouraged the audience to practice giving positive reinforcement whether at work, home or in the community as a means of showing support and encouraging others to do well.

Games, question and answer segments and testimonials were only a few of the activities carried out to empower the female attendees and underpin the message of Beating the Odds for Success.

“It was refreshing to really be given the opportunity to talk about some of our everyday challenges as women and just be encouraged and given advice as to how to overcome them.  I believe everyone in attendance benefitted from the discussions in some way. Great initiative!” commended Noresia Simms, executive assistant at Sandals Montego Bay.