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A local attorney-in-waiting and entrepreneur is the winner of the Emerging Female Leaders’ (EFL) Public Speaking Competition.

Zoe Teague won the competition from a field of nine young women who competed in two rounds, displaying their research, analysis, and public speaking skills. Teague, along with Francesca Southwell and Marver Woodley, stood out from among the nine, emerging first, second, and, third, respectively, a release from the Directorate of Gender Affairs (DoGA) said.

The event was organised by the DoGA, in partnership with the UWI Open Campus, Caribbean Union Bank, and the Halo Foundation in honour of International Women’s Day on March 8.

The contest’s participants will also take part in the Emerging Female Leaders’ Programme.

DoGA’s IWD 2021 event coordinator, Raisa Charles, said the initiative forms part of the DoGA’s Women and Political participation portfolio.

“A significant part of the Directorate’s work involves increasing women’s representation in the political arena and ensuring they have the skills to become transformative leaders.

“We are looking forward to helping the ladies who participated in this year’s IWD event hone their skills and channel their passion into whatever area of leadership suits them,” Charles added.

During a prize-giving ceremony on March 16, Teague said she is excited to have placed first in the competition, and plans to invest her winnings in her online accessories boutique, Shop Zoe Mercedes.

“I knew this injection would be perfect for my business. I’ve been looking at changing my packaging, which is a significant investment. I know I can save some of this for a rainy day, but I can also use it to help get me further along in my goals, so I’m really excited.”

The first prize sponsor for the event, Caribbean Union Bank, said that entrepreneurship like Zoe’s is at the heart of the company’s strategy for supporting economic growth.

“We believe that even in these challenging times, there are opportunities,” said the bank’s General Manager, Karen Richardson. “The Caribbean Union Bank looks forward to working with and empowering our women entrepreneurs through our wide range of products and services.”

The UWI Open Campus provided a professional development course for the second prize winner, Southwell, and the head of the UWI Open Campus, Coleen Letlow, said the competition was a product of the excellent relationship the UWI and the DoGA has enjoyed for several years.

“Through this partnership, the university is continuing to celebrate women’s success locally and globally. It also demonstrates our involvement and support in educating and preparing emerging female leaders,” she noted.

Third placed winner, Woodley, received two complimentary day passes courtesy of the Halo Foundation.

Interested parties who need more information about the Emerging Female Leaders’ Programme, are invited to contact the Directorate of Gender Affairs at 462-3990.