Two women at the helm of Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Is that better than two men? Worse? Same?

First Female Executive Director for Chamber to assume duties January 2010

Lisa Gale is new BCCI Executive Director

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry is pleased to announce that Mrs. Lisa Gale will assume the responsibilities of Executive Director as of Monday 1st January 2010. Mrs. Gale is the first female Director in the history of the Chamber.

Having a wealth of experience in Economics and International Trade, Mrs. Gale’s prior immediate post was Senior Economist in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, where she advised Government on International Trade Policy for 8 years. This involved among other duties, interacting with CARICOM and other regional organisations, as well as preparing trade reports, briefs, Cabinet Papers and statistics. She also liaised with the public as it relates to International Trade matters – all of which suit the challenges of leading Barbados’ oldest Non-Governmental Organisation.

Madame President Glenda Medford observed that since both the Chamber’s President and Executive Director are ladies – as BCCI enters a new decade and era, the helm will benefit from ‘the feminine touch.’

Lisa Gale is a Combermerian who also received training at both the Cave Hill and Mona campuses of UWI, as well as graduating with Distinction from the College of International Broadcasting (Barbados). For three years she also tutored Micro-Economics at the University of the West Indies.

The Executive Director says she looks forward to ‘hit the ground running’ and implementing her mandate to carry the Chamber forward into the next decade. Mrs. Gale holds a bachelors degree in 
Economics and a Masters in International Trade Policy and has benefitted from a plethora of training courses organized by the World Trade Organization.

That’s the BCCI Press Release Above – Now for a Reality Check

BCCI President Glenda Medford

If a CV and experience are the sole qualities necessary for running any organisation, then President Glenda Medford and Executive Director Lisa Gale should be successful at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Both are qualified on paper.

But as we’ve seen time and time again in other organisations, paper qualifications are no substitute for the dynamic leadership necessary to make things happen. The education and technical skills are a necessary foundation, but unless “Capital L” LEADERSHIP is there no progress will be made.

The first question is: Can the BCCI make a real difference to our faltering financial and tourism sectors that are the very heart of our country’s economy?

We at Barbados Free Press aren’t sure that having “the feminine touch” or “a man’s hand” has anything to do with making the BCCI useful to Barbados and the Barbados business community.

Okay, ladies – we’ll have a day or two of celebration about an all-female leadership team at BCCI, but then let’s talk performance.

And please appreciate that we’re happy to see more of our sisters, wives, mothers and daughters actively taking leadership roles in Barbados (and that for BCCI like everyone, there is no such thing as bad publicity.)

But January 2nd is coming and then it will be time to get back to work. BCCI’s leadership team might want to consider the following questions that are on every business person’s mind when they hear “BCCI” – even if they are too polite to ask the questions directly…

What is the mission statement of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry?

Is the mission of the BCCI still valid? Does the mission need changing?

Is BCCI fulfilling its mission? How do we know that BCCI is fulfilling its mission?

What can the BCCI do to improve my business and my profit?

How do we measure BCCI’s performance and impact upon our economy and upon my business?


Filed under Barbados, Business, Offshore Investments

10 responses to “Two women at the helm of Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Is that better than two men? Worse? Same?

  1. Marsha Hinds-Layne

    None of the CEOs who crumbled for wrong doing in the USA as far as I know to date is female. That is one for performance. Has it taken two females taking over for us to ask these questions of the Chamber? Has the Chamber ever done these things or has it always been a boys’ club of elite business men?

    There are things to be done in this country which shall never be done as long as the top layer of management remains male….by things I mean the removal of sex as a bargaining tool in the work place…by things I mean the forward movement of our country based on sound statistical academic judgement. Not to say that men are incapable of the latter but we know that that must meet the Barbadian culture of doing business which promotes certain other business practices.

    Your congratulatory cord was not strong enough in this article BFP…and as a womanist feminist I ask you to alter that. Congratulations to the Chamber for finally coming into the 90s and we encourage the Senate, House of Representatives and many other institutions to follow suit.

    Happy New Year Everyone.

  2. Laughing

    Here Here. I agree with Ms. Marsha Hinds-Layne 500%. Whether she is a female or not, this is a young person, with verve and passion trying to make a difference and all you could do BFP is subtly degrade.
    I like to hear all sides so I come here but I also expect objectivity, not stupid, callous, seemingly drink induced drivel. I think this is the most appaling story I have ever seen you write.
    Please 2010 is coming; spend some time reflecting and raise your standards again.

    It is the very least you could do for yourselves.

  3. passin thru

    I’d like “Madame President” to explain what she means that the BCCI will benefit from “the feminine touch.” What does that mean? What tangible “benefits” will be realized by BCCI as a result of two women being at the helm?

    Hollow tripe if you ask me. Free press is asking valid questions about performance. BCCI themselves made the issue of deriving benefits from “the feminine touch”. How dare BFP ask what these benefits are and how the performance of the BCCI is impacted!

    Keep your mouth shut BFP. Don’t ask real questions about performance. Smile. Say nice things about how nice it is that two nice ladies are in charge and how much better things will be at the BCCI because both top managers (presumably) sit down to pee.

    LOL 🙂

  4. The BCCI seeks to provide a network community through which commercial and industrial businesses shall be assisted with their growth and to provide members with a strong voice, vision and focused leadership to enhance and promote the interests of the business community.

    Recognised regionally and internationally as the authority on local business information, processes and practices, we play a leading role in influencing the social, economic and business environments in order to create sustainable economic progress and quality of life for all residents of Barbados.

  5. BFP Lurker

    I see nothing wrong or different with having 2 women at the helm of the BCCI. I do not even know what it is about but that is my own fault for not investigating.

    Female or not, I think it depends on the individuals at the helm. Ms. Layne is being silly by inferring that now that women are at the helm that something will be done. So too is the press.

    Valid questions BFP however I agree with Ms. Layne that we should not wait until the press brings up the BCCI (or any other company) for us to bring its validity into question. Let’s make it an ongoing search for quality from our business organizations.

  6. 212

    The Chamber has not progressed in any significant way over the last 20 years. The size of the staff like similar organisations remain small and the service offerings have not been particularly innovative.While other chambers in the Caribbean have been aggressive in attempting to penetrate extraregional markets out local chamber has been somewhat dormant. The challenge will be whether or not these two ladies are able to gain the respect and cooperation of the members and whether or not they can make a difference when compared to previous leaders who were retirees and who bought nothing else but administrative skills to the organisation. I wish them the best of luck.

  7. PETER 7

    Marsha Hinds Layne

    Women spell Trouble: they weaken every situation they have the misfortune of getting involved in

  8. J

    There are very few jobs in this world that require a penis or vagina. For everything else, either will do.
    Please remember when headlining articles in the future.Thanks.

  9. BFP

    Hi J,

    You’re right about the plumbing necessary to do the job – it shouldn’t matter. But you must also realize that it wasn’t BFP that brought up the “woman’s touch” issue. It was the Chamber itself.

  10. Love

    Marsha Hinds – Layne is a twitt.

    She and her WOMANIST FEMINIST drivel.

    So because there is a woman… we must put her in FRONT ?

    Look we tried it with our current Leader of the opposition !

    Did Ms. Hinds paid a attention to the comments of Owen Arthur about the woman who succeeded him ?