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A case of getting maternity leave before works starts

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A case of getting maternity leave before works starts

BY HG HELPS
Editor-at-Large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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The circumstances that characterised an arrangement between a potential executive and the leadership of J Wray & Nephew Ltd are not things that you see and hear every day.

For Tanikie McClarthy Allen, the company’s Senior Director of public affairs & sustainability and CEO of the J Wray & Nephew Foundation, her taking up a job offer at the largest distributor of liquor in Jamaica would almost never have happened four years ago. She was pregnant with her first child when the opportunity arose.

But shocking to her, the company kept her listed on its ‘Most Wanted’ poster, for the right reasons and would stop at nothing to get its targeted woman.

So the ground was soon paved, and the welcome home party sensitised to start rehearsing for the latest addition to the corporate giant.

“When I got the call from the headhunter, I was with a regional group that has a large footprint, and I said I am interested but I am pregnant, which would have meant a closed door for a lot of other companies,” McClarthy Allen said as she recounted her story to newspaper journalists in an interview at J Wray & Nephew recently.

“The recruiter said to me: ‘that is not a hindrance for joining this company,’ and throughout the recruitment process that was affirmed. I had persons who adjusted their schedule to accommodate me for when I was available and at no point did it become a negative. They went for the talent that they wanted, the skill set that they wanted, and made allowances for family.

“Immediately, that was the game changer and it allowed for Wray & Nephew to stand out from the other companies. It endeared me to the company and it brought about immediate loyalty,” she stated.

Executives of the company were speaking against the background of the progressive movement of women within the company’s senior management ranks, now numbering eight of 11.

In fact, a record of sorts was set, as maternity leave, introduced by Prime Minister Michael Manley during the 1970s, was offered to her, at least a part of the mandatory three months, before she had even started the new job.

“Before I got into this company, I got maternity leave. This company recruited me and offered me a month’s maternity leave. That told me they were serious about selecting the best recruit and serious about making allowances so that their employees can attend to family. And I have seen that represented over the last three years as I have navigated the role of mother, wife and executive,” continued McClarthy Allen.

Has she ever heard of such a scenario occurring elsewhere?

“This is not unique to Jamaica, it happened to another Campari Group colleague in Australia, who was also recruited by Campari during pregnancy. It’s a part of how the Campari Group does business,” McClarthy Allen said.

McClarthy Allen’s recent promotion to senior director seems to have validated the company’s recruitment process, as in a notification of her promotion, Managing Director Jean-Philippe Beyer said: “Since her appointment as director of public affairs & Sustainability on July 1, 2016, Tanikie has led initiatives that have resulted in significant savings to the business unit; raised the corporate profile of J Wray & Nephew; operationalised the JWN Foundation; and created and implemented stakeholder and community engagement strategies that have greatly improved our relationships with these groups.”

McClarthy Allen is proud of the achievements thus far but counts the growth and the impact of the JWN Foundation as her proudest achievement. “In three years we have moved the number of community scholarships allocated from 25 to 200, driven a major intervention initiative. ‘Focused on Boys’, renovated the Middlesex Infant School and driven investments into programmes that affect the day-to-day lives of residents in our communities.”

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Photo: Advancing science education

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Photo: Advancing science education

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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Jamaican American Connection (JAC) New Haven President Karaine Holness (left) presents equipment, including SMART whiteboards, books, lab equipment such as lab glassware, stationery supplies and various labspecific consumables, to the principal of Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha”, Kali McMorris (second left), and Arthens Smith (second right) of Holy Trinity High School while JAC member Janice Hart looks on, at Alpha in Kingston on Tuesday. As part of the initiative to advance science education, equipment was also handed over to Kingston College.
(Photo: Garfield Robinson)


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Gov’t gets support from Church to fight challenge to buggery laws

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Gov’t gets support from Church to fight challenge to buggery laws

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — High Court Judge Justice Esco Henry yesterday ruled to allow 10 churches, calling themselves the Christian Coalition, to join the Ralph Gonsalves Government in responding to the constitutional challenge to the buggery and gross indecency laws in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Justice Henry handed down the ruling one week after hearing arguments from the Christian Coalition and lawyers for the claimants, gay Vincentians Sean MacLeish and Javin Johnson.

Shirlan “Zita” Barnwell, one of the two lawyers representing the claimants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the judge agreed to allow the churches to join the lawsuit as an interested party.

He said they will be allowed to file written submissions and make oral arguments to the court.

However, in terms of evidence, the churches are restricted to filing two affidavits, Barnwell said.

Justice Henry is expected to issue her written ruling today.

Barnwell and Jomo Thomas are representing the claimants, who say the country’s anti-buggery and gross indecency laws contravene their constitutional rights.

Under the Criminal Code, any person who commits buggery with any other person, commits buggery with an animal, or permits any person to commit buggery with him or her is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

The Criminal Code also says that any person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person of the same sex, or procures or attempts to procure another person of the same sex to commit an act of gross indecency with him or her, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years.

The men are asking the court to declare the laws unconstitutional, void and of no effect.

Ten churches had asked to join the attorney general in responding to the challenge to these laws. They include the Seventh-day Adventist Church; Evangelical Church of the West Indies; New Testament Church of God; Spiritual Baptist Church; Church of God St  Vincent; New Life Ministries; Light of Truth Church of God; Kingstown Baptist Church; Living Water Ministries International; and Hope Evangelism Outreach Ministries.

Last week Wednesday, hundreds of Vincentians took to the streets in support of the present legislation and urged the authorities not to amend the legislation to suit the claimants.

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Nine Caribbean countries to participate in new UN project

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Nine Caribbean countries to participate in new UN project

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is launching a multi million-dollar project in nine Caribbean countries that will enable gender responsive disaster recovery, climate and environmental resilience (EnGenDER) in the Caribbean.

The US$15 million project will ensure equal access to sustainable solutions for the improved resilience of women and men in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.

It is being funded by Canada and the United Kingdom Department for International Development.

UNDP said that its prior support to the development of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) will now be scaled up as a result of the new project.

The NAP process was created by the United Nations as an opportunity for countries to plan for sustainable development in the face of climate stress while NAMAs, on the other hand, focus on mitigation – reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

EnGenDER will support the implementation of priority areas, as identified by partner governments, within these policy documents, ensuring that plans are gender-responsive – considering the vulnerabilities, strengths and needs of different groups of women and men. This work will be undertaken through consultative and participatory approaches, with key stakeholders identifying and leading priority actions.

UNDP resident representative for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Magdy Martinez Soliman, said “Canada and the United Kingdom have been working collaboratively in the region for many years and this project provides a new opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to increasing resilience in the Caribbean.

“It is anticipated that the partnerships built at the regional and national levels will produce important results as the region faces the increasing impacts of climate change.”

The UNDP said that it is coordinating the collaborative project that includes UN Women, partnering to build capacity in developing gender-responsive plans, and conducting behavioural analysis of gender-responsiveness in risk governance among decision makers as well as the World Food Programme (WFP), which is working to enhance social protection systems to make them more shock-responsive.

EnGenDER will integrate a gender equality and human rights-based approach into disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and environmental actions.

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