Sagicor Bank CEO Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham inspires women to climb the corporate ladderSunday, November 14, 2021
CHORVELLE Johnson Cunningham, CEO of Sagicor Bank Jamaica, wants women to climb the rungs of the corporate ladder, and she encourages them to do so by working hard, constantly assessing themselves, and surrounding themselves with the right people.
Johnson Cunningham shared some of her key principles with the ladies who attended the We Inspire Women Resolve to Rise brunch, which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus on Saturday, November 6.
In alignment with the event's 'Gold Standard' theme, Johnson Cunningham, adorned in a floor-length bedazzled gold dress, delivered nuggets of advice to the women from her gold mine of experiences as an educator, businesswoman, Christian, wife, and mother.
She began her address by sharing some of her experiences in which she felt as if her faith was being tested and she was being taught how to listen to God. The devoted Christian woman said these experiences contributed to her spiritual growth, and ultimately her professional development.
Johnson Cunningham recounted a period in her life when she became very ill and found herself asking God, 'Why me?'
“Do you know why that happened?” she asked her captivated audience. “I asked God 'Why me?' and his response was 'Why not you, Chorvelle?' God, during that period, showed me that I had the support system around me, the faith and the strength to overcome illness.”
Johnson Cunningham urged the women to choose their friends carefully and keep their families close as they seek to climb higher up the corporate ladder.
“The people you should keep closest to you are your family, and those friends who share your positive energy,” she advised. “They are the ones who you will need to give you honest feedback, and to be there for you when you have tough days at work.”
She underscored that nothing beats hard work, and that it is ultimately by the sweat of their brows that women will rise to the top with their values intact.
“And you must put in the work,” she continued. “Your role is to give 100 per cent all the time. If you work for someone, or yourself, and you expect to succeed, you must give your all.”
She advised that if women are not motivated to give their best in their current roles, then they should seek out environments in which they feel more valuable.
Johnson Cunningham shared that as the CEO of Sagicor Bank, one of the country's premier financial institutions, she holds herself accountable to a standard of excellence. She noted that she assesses her impact in the role at the end of each day and pauses twice per year to reflect on her performance in her professional life and set new goals.
The wife and mother also used the opportunity to remind the parents in the room to do their best to be good parents for their children, pointing out that a lot of focus is usually on raising daughters to be good women, but they also need to raise their sons to be good men.
Johnson Cunningham closed by reminding the women present that they have the power to choose who they become.
“Queens think about what you need. Think about everything you're doing. Think about the impact that you want to have on your families, your organisations, your country, and the world. What do you want Jamaica to look like? What do you want your circle to look like? Think about it. At the end of the day, every woman has the right to decide her own destiny,” she said.