Caribbean women in Antigua and Barbuda, The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica, have made significant progress in assuming leadership and decision-making positions in their respective foreign services. This study examines their progress and seeks to identify enabling and inhibiting factors that have influenced these trends.
The analysis is based on primary and secondary qualitative and quantitative data which has been collected through interviews with officials and key diplomatic representatives from or working in the English-speaking Caribbean as well as analysis of secondary sources.
The study seeks to understand how gender roles in the Caribbean’s private and public sphere influence women’s participation in the labour force, their career choices and their advancement to leadership positions generally as well as in the diplomatic service. The key variables examined are education, the labour market, gender stereotypes, career choices and leadership. These emerge from a need to understand issues surrounding women in the public service and the extent to which they are making progress into decision-making positions.
The study concluded that increasingly, women are becoming more involved in decision-making positions within the foreign services in the Caribbean space. It also showed that education and the labour market are important for the advancement of women in the foreign service. The study recommended more extensive research on women in the foreign service and the influence women have on the public service. It also recommended that that every opportunity be used to highlight the achievements of women in the Caribbean society.