It was a delight to walk through the corridors or Bahamar’s Convention Centre to once again, attend Fidelity Bank Bahamas’ Women’s Seminar and this year once again, it was Women+ (which means men were also included).
The entry process was well managed, with several Fidelity ambassadors greeting participants outside the convention centre, with registered names in hand. It was a much more constructive process than a long line leading to 1 or 2 tables, with a slow process. Inside I was quickly greeted and given an event band, before walking past the beautiful and inviting decor (art and designs) that line the walls of the convention centre. This year they had an overflow room which was a much `needed addition as there were easily 1200-1500 participants who were eager to be engaged, entertained and of course – win prizes! Shout out to Fidelity Bank for these amazingly soft and eco-friendly reusable bags. The fabric, neutral color and everything about it is winning in the areas of durability and sustainability. The entrance was magical, as it allowed you to walk through a branded tall curtain display, into the breakfast and doors to the seating area.
The continental spread did not disappoint as there was a selection of melons (honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon), strawberries, pineapples and blueberries. Various pastries including chocolate croissants, muffins, berry options and even plain yogurt with granola! The beverage stations were well stocked and always filled, as participants enjoyed coffee, tea and juices. I was spotted by my AWE sister Veola Stewart, who is a proud educator at C.R. Walker and gave me an excellent seat that had a bird's eye view of the stage and festivities. Yay networking!
Event hosts Carmel Parker-Dean and Odia Gaskin kept the energy alive and guests flowing, we even had a surprise guest, Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle (Minister of State for the Public Service), shared an incredible message on having the right support system, her belief that a successful woman should have a successful family life and how this success, looks different for every woman. She urged women to maintain their feminine energy, have multiple mentors, never lose touch with their families and invest in themselves. She spoke to us, not from a political standpoint, but as a woman who wants to see other women thrive and truly showed her humanistic side.
Touching on emotional and mental health was Dr. Michelle Major (Psychologist), whose presentation on Fear and trauma, showed that stress, anxiety and anger (emotions we all commonly face) are secondary emotions to fear. She also shared on trauma responses – Flight, Fawn, Free, Fight (2 of which were new to me) and how road rage is simply someone in survival mode. A key part of her presentation was the benefit of stress management which includes having stable and positive emotions, the ability to focus and have more energy and asking these 3 questions will guide your emotions (those of which we have 60, 000 – 80,000 of in 1 day!):
· What Am I Thinking Right Now?
· Why Am I Stressed?
· Does It Really Matter?
The entertaining and enlightening Harrison Thompson (Behavioural Therapist & Relationship Consultant) spoke on the valuable topic of empowerment, with his signature style of analogies and honest openness. This tends to deliver hard realities and honest truths that we all know but dislike admitting to. Here are a few takeaways he gave for us to think on:
You can feel better or choose to be better
If you want peace in your relationships, you have to have uncomfortable relationships
Don’t mistake long-suffering for patience
An anxious woman is one basing a relationship on her feelings without communication
Know your worth, and be in a relationship that betters you.
The panelists regarding debt, and what men wish women knew about men (and how to get their money) were informative, funny and left the audience with many words of wisdom. Here are a few points:
Men know a woman’s value but try to get it cheaply
Don’t let a man talk about his finances, let him show his finances.
There were giveaways galore, with the first money machine participant (17 yr. old student) receiving less than $500, being gifted $2,000 by Stacia Bowe (Fidelity’s HR Director), the total of which she said she’d give to her mother. Many other persons received cash, phones, airfare and even a stay for 2 at Bahamar! After the uneasiness of COVID-19, the surprises, joys, laughter and community built during Fidelity’s Women+ Seminar was welcomed and well received. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.
Let me know your favorite part about the seminar and stay tuned for a post on the financial points that Fidelity shared (they definitely needed its own blog post).