Diversity is economic advantage, says Rivers

| 21/01/2016 | 21 Comments
Cayman News Service

Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs

(CNS): Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, Tara Rivers, has said that gender diversity gives companies an economic advantage. Speaking at the Fidelity CEO conference Tuesday as a panel discussion guest, she said that women in the workplace have traditionally had to be “twice as good as men to be seen as half as competent”. However, as well as the obvious social advantages of gender balance at the top of companies there is evidence that companies embracing diversity reap economic rewards, she said.

During the panel discussion on women’s affairs and inequality, the minister said that, as the lone woman in Cabinet, she brought a different perspective and “added to the richness of the conversations”. She also said there were “profits to be gained by taking proactive approach” to gender balance and having women at the top of a company.

The introduction of the minimum wage in Cayman, set to be implemented in March, was a step toward addressing the wider economic inequities that Cayman faces, Rivers added.

While local unemployment is on the increase, Rivers said the latest “uptick” in the figures reflected the seasonal pattern of employment but in a global and historical context, the unemployment rate among Caymanians was still moving in the right direction

“We are doing quite well,” she said, adding, however, that this meant nothing for the man or woman on the street who was unemployed and wanted to know what their prospects were in an economy made up of imported labour. Government could not be content with the situation based on statistics, she said, and it would continue partnering with business and the financial services sector to ensure that the key industries offered equal opportunities to local workers.

Acknowledging problems in education, she said last year’s school inspection reports revealed that one of the key challenges was “the plague of low expectations” and said she was “adamant about trying to make it very clear” that education had to improve and policies were needed to help students aim higher.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I was a bit upset to be asked for Money to Feed hungry school children by donation…where exactly is that 4000 i paid to clear my car my God.the welfare state is aweful its a joke terrible abrogation by the state. I would hide if I was a politican until I Got this under control

    • Rhett says:

      The Humane Society can advise on how to seek donations for Humans. They have info all over seeking. Humane. It would be Humane to help Humans.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Diversity is a cost.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sick of tokenism being pushed as a “diversity” agenda. Next years Oscar nominations will be for the four best actors and if needed a token black guy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Government is very expensive and in many cases, unnecessary.
    Who pays for it?

  5. Anonymous says:

    How about Government leading the way in equality! do a poll on senior management in GOV and see how many are women! I find Tara hilarious and whenever speaking in public always tooting her own horn of what she claims she has achieved. Yawn Yawn yawn! Her speeches are so predictable and very rarely has she any emotion or compassion in her communication with people. I find this article especially from her hilarious like woman are making great strides!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree @3:24… Tara is the only Minister who repeats her title every sentence, especially on the radio when poor voters think that means they should be star struck when they gave her the job to work for them and now that she has failed so miserably I hope they remember in WB and separate their dreams from the reality of what she has done or will do.

  6. Capn Knuckles says:

    Clueless is the only word that can be used describe this woman she is only exercising her totally bogus agenda now! because our leader is desperately afraid she too now will leave the ppm sinking ship stranded on Cayman’s political Dead as a door nail Coral reef

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well I, too, was at the conference and contrary to what the naysayers here say, I believe Minister Rivers did a phenomenal job on the panel, and I am amazed that anyone would try to downplay or disregard her contributions. It is clear that certain posters on CNS have an agenda (and likely a very orchestrated one at that!) to try to discredit everything Minister Rivers says or does. Unna just can’t wait to see her name come up in an article!

    Minister Rivers is a very competent and intelligent leader who has demonstrated that she is not afraid to tackle some difficult and politically contentious issues, such Minimum Wage and improving the state of the education system. The pure “badmindedness” displayed here is a shame!

    Tara, don’t worry yourself. As Shaggy say, “strength of a woman”. Continue to represent the women and men of this country with dignity and pride, and know that your efforts are not going unnoticed.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tara sadly you do not add a perspective that is considered, intelligent and foreward thinking and you certainly “do not add to the richness of the conversation which is saying a lot!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was at the conference. She is soooooo totally out of her depth it is pathetic. Just resign Tara. You are an embarrassment.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Or the Cayman Islands Government could simply refuse to allow any resident foreign children, moron.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, Tara, you’re the least competent person I’ve ever met who holds high office. I remeber meeting you before the election and I thought you were some kind of bag lady who’d come in off the street. You had zero charisma, zero presence. Rolston is starting to look like a visionary genius compared to you. You’ve had three years and you’ve actually taken things backwards. You inherited a set of policies and plans that had been worked on for the two years before the election and were starting to be implemented and you ditched them all. The sad thing is, you didn’t even start again, you just pretended to. I sat in plenty of meetings, listening to your inane waffle because all you really care about is the sound of your own, droning voice. All I know is that you have a year left in office, which you will dedicate to try to get re-elected, meaning that you’ll ignore any of these issues and just try to showboat with facade and no substance.

  12. Fred the piemaker says:

    If you have to be twice as good to be viewed as half as competent, how good is she if we think she is completely useless?

    • Anonymous says:

      Its funny, Most people that are incompetent (men or women) always seem to view themselves as having to work twice as hard to be viewed as half as competent. Usually its because you are way above yourself and feel overwhelmed with the situation…sounds like that is why she doesn’t work for a law firm but chose to run for government office. If a man or woman is competent in this day and age they will succeed (perhaps women do work a little harder but usually that’s just in their nature). I have always been attracted to strong women and every truly strong woman I have known succeeds. (I don’t mean one that can beat me up)

  13. Anonymous says:

    tara rivers..minister for mindless waffle….

  14. Anonymous says:

    Policy, policy, policy – who is going to police all those policies?

    Hold parents responsible for:

    1. children not turning up to school unexcused by a parent
    2. kids turning up to school with electronics in their pockets
    3. kids acting disruptive and disrespectful
    4. kids turning up without proper uniform, school supplies
    5. kids turning up without having been fed
    6. kids being left at school way past pick-up time

    Parents should be given the option to come in and try to scream down teachers or intimidate them. Typically, in many cases the only time a teacher meets a parent is when their child has been disciplined.

    Schools are not there to fix what is broken at home…

    Afraid to step on voters toes? Yeah, thought so…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Or CIG could comply with their obligation to provide free primary and secondary education to all resident children and thereby introduce more middle class parents, which is well documented as the best way to improve standards. Have a look at Ponomaryovi v Bulgaria for some interesting reading.

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