Panton promises board diversity

| 17/06/2021 | 113 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton and Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn

(CNS): As the country waits on government to change the line-up of several public boards, authorities, councils, commissions and tribunals, the premier has signaled that when PACT begins appointing new members, there will be a change to the old recycled politically connected faces who have dominated these institutions for decades. Making a commitment to gender diversity on these until now male dominated boards, Wayne Panton also said the government would include people with disabilities, young people and the elderly in future appointments.

The membership of critical boards, such as those dealing with immigration issues and the ever-controversial Central Planning Authority, are political appointments. This has been criticised by the auditor general and others because in many case people are appointed on a basis of who they know rather than what they know.

However, in a press release announcing his plan to take a different approach, Panton said he had already put his proposals for greater diversity before Cabinet.

“We must be the change we want to see in the world,” Panton said. “A review has shown that the previous and current membership of government-appointed bodies is not equitable in terms of gender representation. After the past year of turmoil, many people may want to simply return to normal. But in this case, we have a tremendous opportunity to create a new normal; one in which women are equally represented at some of the highest levels of decision making in our Islands.”

A review of 69 boards by the Policy Coordination Unit (PCU) found that of the 446 voting members, 61% are currently men, and only 31% of the leaders of these boards are women. Men also outnumbered women in the deputy roles at 63%.

There was no data on other demographics, such as disabilities and age, so the PCU was only able to give an analysis on gender. But Panton said that, given those statistics, it was “clear that there is much room for improvement.” Cabinet has committed to carrying through and strengthening government policies that provide for the inclusion, participation and equal representation of persons with disabilities, older persons and youth, he said.

“We also have to include our young people,” Panton said. “We know that when they are engaged in the political process, they have a say in helping to formulate the politics of tomorrow. It is also critical in building a stable and peaceful society and helping to develop policies that address the specific needs of younger generations. Inclusion and diversity bring benefits to the wider community, including increased representation of differing viewpoints and experiences.”

He said the policy decision is based on the need to advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the Cayman Islands at a time when the people are ready for change and eager to address longstanding inequalities. “The members of the PACT Government hope to demonstrate that we understand our community and will continue to push the country forward through policies such as this,” he said.

The Cabinet Office will develop a guide to diversify appointed government bodies, as well as to advise ministers and chief officers in their approaches to diversity and inclusion.

Meanwhile, CNS understand that the country can expect to see changes to the line-up of important boards in less than one month.


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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (113)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Wayne. You the man!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s a certain individual from Cayman Brac who sits on basically all the boards in Government. He has done his time and some. Please give others a chance now.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A simple panel to vet all persons being put on boards made up by upstanding persons and both private sector and public sector employees a perfect example of this is the current prison board which is proof it can be done. This will insure the regular stooges and minions will get excluded off the bat before they bring their nasty little agendas and bias views and their political whims forward.

  4. Anonymous says:

    PACT government is made up of 11 independents who each promised their supporters something different.

    If there are 446 voting members to be appointed then let each MP nominate 40 people, and the Premier gets to nominate 46. Every one of them has one of whatever you are looking for in their family so you wont get more diverse than that.

    The Premier and his Cabinet gets to appoint the Chairpersons of the 69 boards, which could be completed in another six months after four or five more retreats.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Show of hands, how many PACT members got campaign donations from Dart? Maples? Walkers ? If we want transparency let’s start there

    CNS: PPM spent $480k on lost election campaign
    If you want more details, the full individual candidate expense returns are available for inspection at the Elections Office, Bay Town Office Suites, 68 West Bay Road in George Town between 9am to 4pm on weekdays. You can let us all know what you found out after you’ve been.

    • Anonymous says:

      Campaign donations are no big deal, that’s really just gambling money since nobody knows who is going to get elected, or if elected are they going to be in a position of power.

      What you need to look at is how their apparent wealth increases once they have power.

      • Anonymous says:

        Absolutely – ‘real estate consulting’ for developers who need rules changed or ignored has been a winner for decades – get elected broke and within a term or two mysteriously acquire multi-million dollar condos for no money down and no payments ever – or at least no payments from their own pockets

        • Anonymous says:

          5.31 I hope that the PACT regime will be keeping an eye on their new best friend, the usual suspect , so he won’t get up to those tricks again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    He better control Jay Ebanks. He cussing everybody out. Ole Ezzard must be lol.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Any doubts now, that we elected a woke government?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Please just select the best person suited for the job.

    • Caymanian says:

      Agreed. Change up is much needed on all boards.
      PACT, thank you for listening to your people.

      Dissolve all boards. Especially those in Immigration and Health Sector. Start afresh with individuals who aren’t placed there because of their last names, exchange of money for favors and those who haven’t a clue about the Board they are placed to represent.

    • Anonymous says:

      We really don’t have an issue with diversity…why make one? Time better spent…

    • Anonymous says:

      Many retired professionals and experienced businessmen would be available, if the politicians can look past returning favors.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Immigration Board needs a serious change. Caymanian men should not be allowed to get domestic helper permits for their non-Caymanian baby mamas. That is happening all over the country. Cayman Brac for sure is a joke with this.

    • Bracker says:

      On point💯

    • Anonymous says:

      A little bitter?

    • Anonymous says:

      Chhh them Latinas and Filipinas know how to take care of their men. Since we are being transparent why not create a “baby mamma permit” then there will be no need for the backdoor way of getting them to stay here.

      I am being funny of course, if you read the law it allows the mother of a Caymanian child to remain here on RERC till the child is 18 so your argument really has no merit. they are already entitled to be here as the mother of a Caymanian.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Diversity and inclusion are pretty names without any true meaning in society. The absolute only thing you want in any business is the best available talent. If you are going to hire someone because they fit the diversity and inclusion frame instead of the most qualified then prepare yourself for disappointment. I am 100% in favor of hiring a Nigerian lesbian over the hated straight white male as long as she is more qualified. Keep it simple.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Many of the statutory and constitutional commissions have real difficulty recruiting any members at all, and many of those who are recruited regard working long hours on them as an act of public service and are paid nothing for doing so. It’s all very well to say they must be more diverse, but if it’s hard to find competent members in the first place, how much more difficult will it be if those who are prepared to contribute their time to the general good are deliberately ignored because of their sex or the color of their skin?

    This is just public virtue-signaling by a premier who is appearing increasingly indecisive and out of his depth and really needs to start focusing on the hard issues instead of modish low-hanging fruit like diversity. As soon as the authorities, particularly the governor who makes these appointments, realize that there are even fewer decent candidates as a result of it, it’ll be back to business as usual.

    • Anonymous says:

      Creating a commission (or whatever name it needs) for mere oversight, double-checks and policy recommendations, can justifiably be volunteer positions, with volunteers getting expenses.

      Doing real work should be the responsibility of employees, properly remunerated for the work, even if it is part-time and not full-time work.

      Most mature organisations in Cayman will allow minor regular absences in the service of the islands. Its just the prospect of being saddled on committees with political appointees who are incompetent, which deters the honest Joe from putting his/her name forward.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Seems like conflicts of interest are a focus of the public. Inside the PACT government – not so much would be my guess.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wait till unna see who he replacing them with. LOL 😂

    • Disgusted says:

      Can’t be any be worse than whose already there…..old farts, confidentially breachers, power hungry individuals, surname benefactors and, of course, those who are paid quietly to cast their vote in favor of for an “outside friend”.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How about we get diversity for Speaker of the House, Wayne? Someone other than a woman beater.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be great, if only the PPM had ensured the DPP prosecuted him with the actual crimes committed rather than lesser ones, he would have been ineligible to run for election in the first instance. As it is, he was still eligible to run and won his seat for his district and is their MP for the next 4 years whether we like it or not.

    • Anon says:

      On full display here:
      https://youtu.be/iMyPZ99hj7U

  15. Anonymous says:

    Long time residents should sit on boards why are they exclusively for Caymanians ? Thank you Wayne

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they are xenophobic. Wouldn’t want to topple the corruption apple cart.

      • Anonymous says:

        If anyone is corrupt it would be the foreign residents who come in here thinking they run shit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you joking with this comment? Why are boards in the Cayman Islands exclusively for Caymanians…hmm I wonder 🤔

  16. Anonymous says:

    We should have statutory ‘term limits’ for people appointed to boards like the CPA to prevent ever developing deeply entrenched conflicts of interest.

    • Perfect point!
      We Caymanians have the choice to vote every 4 years for a new Government.

      Why do the same individuals sit on these same boards for decades???

      PACT! Change them out!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Finally a Premier that will look out for the minority LGBT persons among us. Diversity also means we can expect to see some non-Caymanian residents in these boards as well. Way to go PACT, a Government for everyone. Christian Atheist Gay Straight Caymanian and Expat

  18. anon says:

    Words cost nothing, let us see the “Plan” and the “appointments”, then we can assess the competence of Pact.

  19. SMH says:

    How about focusing on weeding out the corrupt and conflicted political appointed persons on the boards as a priority? SMH

    • Anonymous says:

      Check Planning Board in Cayman Brac,, Look at the Dock/Barricade at Stake Bay that was passed by the Planning Board, its walled off from the tip of the Iron Shore to the Main Road. No one can walk across the shore line there. Plus big rocks by the side of the road, if they fall over will be in the road in Cotton Tree Bay, that was Passed also .

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean the private dock on a persons private property? Tell that to some of the big property owners in Grand.

        • Anonymous says:

          2:42 pm, government owns from the sea to the high water mark, so that not private property . I though everyone knew that

          • Anonymous says:

            You mean like crossing along the waters edge in Patrick’s Island through private property? Try to get to the beach through the public right aways that are blocked or locked in South Sound and 7 Mile Beach? Now maybe you understand.

      • Anonymous says:

        Check who they been replaced with, then you’ll understand the going from frying pan into the fire.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What I would really like to see is a headline that says, “Panton promises to end conflicts of interest on statutory authority and government owned company boards within their first 6 months in office.” Not holding my breath however. So far they don’t seem to even be able to get agreement on that with respect to Cabinet and its Code of Conduct.

  21. Nothing to see here... move along. says:

    This is a smoke screen for wholesale changes and new political appointments. Just a more diverse set of appointments unless you count everyone being aligned with PAC.

    It happens with every gov’t and not just here

  22. Anonymous says:

    Fantasy land stuff Wayne. It is clear you do not have a plan for the pressing issues so this bollocks is meant to distract us. Nice try.

  23. Banana Republican says:

    Competence and integrity are more important qualities to have than gender equality or diversity. The priorities of Premier Panton are all messed up after two months on the job. The PPM are a disaster not to be trusted and PACT now has us all scratching our heads hoping they are better but on the evidence thus far I fear for the Caymans.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Caymans”? Clearly not a Caymanian; possibly not even a resident.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or a government school grad

      • Banana Republican says:

        I am a Caymanian fortunate to have status for over forty two years. I do not like what the Caymans have become. Integrity is not valued by leaders and it feels like we have become a Banana Republic where successive governments have sold out focused on their self interests and money. They work for dart and other big businesses now so the real issues are ignored. This is a great place but we are losing that magic because leaders do not demonstrate integrity consistently so corruption thrives unchecked and by design. It is important to remember what has made the Caymans great and keep things simple by being honest with the public in all decisions and think about what is best for the islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          Regardless of when you got your papers you clearly have no respect for becoming a resident if you refer to the islands as the Caymans. For God same at least spell the islands name right if you want to leave a comment worth reading. Ffs

        • Anonymous says:

          Why are you calling us the Caymans if you have had status for over forty-two years?

        • Anonymous says:

          You see this is one of the very simple reasons Caymanians by birth have an issue with status holders. What have you done to integrate into the community over those 42+ years? You haven’t even learned that “The Caymans” is incorrect and very much not Caymanian.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why is banana republic capitalized when Dart isn’t?

          Corruption was far worse in dem good ol days. In fact there’s an argument that it was corruption itself that “made the Caymans great”, whatever that means.

          This reminds me of MAGA. I always wonder when exactly was the period of America’s greatness that we now feel we need to recreate. The Civil War? Reconstruction? Jim Crow? Blackface? When we failed to stand up to Hitler until he declared war on us? Our resistance to allowing African Americans to be educated or to vote?

          Don’t expect MAGA’s inventor to answer this. Judging by the statuary he kept in the Oval Office, he’d think it was when Andrew Jackson slaughtered tens of thousands of indigenous Americans. True greatness, that!

          My point being: no era is any better or worse than another. Comparisons are meaningless.

          PS I’m a Republican too. But not of its swivel-eyed, pitchfork-wielding, mouth-frothing wing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where tf is the Caymans?

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymans? Never heard of it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Getting to a situation where no board member has any conflict of interest should be basis of all board selection. Selecting for diversity should only be from a non-conflicted pool of people.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Great idea, but why wait for two months after being elected to put this policy before Cabinet? In reality, you could have already appointed 100 people who meet the criteria to boards.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 10:26 am: And you really believe it’s that easy? It is possible that 100 people could be appointed in a day or two……… but I think you might be rushing things a bit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe you are new here, but appointing someone to a board is a simple letter that states “You have been appointed a Member” or “You have been appointed Chairman” of such and such. There is no further approval process.

      • Say it like it is. says:

        10.26am Was it not one of your “respected” politicians who gave 3500 people status in a day or two?.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Because competence and results are optional.

    What really matters when filling an important position where people lives are affected by government policies are race, gender and sexual orientation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since when have competence and results been a requisite for any Government?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have lived in Cayman for 30 years and I have never seen competence and results used in board appointments by CIG.

  27. Anonymous says:

    They want more women.
    Next thing you know they will be allowed to vote!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Diversity is great as long as the primary focus in member selection is competence relative to the particular board’s area of responsibility. Each and every board member should be bringing some form of proven and relevant experience and expertise to the boardroom. Thinking you have more common sense than the management team is not a qualification.

  29. Anonymous says:

    cayman speaks of diversity and inclusion but 50% of residents have zero representation or democratic rights.
    welcome to wonderland.

    • Anonymous says:

      Residents in the United States cannot vote in their democratic process.. Why is it that everyone believes that Caymanians, (all types) should not be the one to chart their future.

      I could never go to the USA or any other country for that matter and demand to have the rights to participate in their elections..I would most likely be deported.

      • anon says:

        10.46am If you are Caymanian, try going to the UK to reside.

      • Anonymous says:

        because usa is not made up 50% expats…. or is soley dependent on them economically….unlike cayman.
        remember there would be no cayman without expats.

        • Mary says:

          Yes sadly Caymanians made things so good for you all, you think the country won’t thrive without you. Perhaps if you all stopped coming we would actually have a real shot in our own country!

          • Anonymous says:

            Wow, what an ignorant comment. And I’m Caymanian. There are good and not so good ex-pats as well as Caymanians. However, it is fact that Cayman would not be anything like it is now without ex-pats.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you been drinking?

    • Anonymous says:

      9:18:

      The right to vote is ALWAYS reserved for citizens. No where in the world…..except for a wonderland….would allow noncitizens to vote. Stop spewing rubbish.

  30. Anonymous says:

    pure nonsense. put the best people in the job. end of story.
    that is true equality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm..you mean like AL’T?

      The best people, yes but not like in the past where the “best” people were put in these posts only to further their pocket books or those of certain elected members.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Diversity is good – removing those clearly conflicted would also be good – and long overdue.

  32. JTB says:

    Say the word Wayne, and I’ll happily quit my seat.

  33. Anonymous says:

    But no Gays. We are still CIG after all.

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