Mia Mottley: Leader, Trailblazer, Visionary, Phenomenal Woman

Mia Mottley:  Leader, Trailblazer, Visionary, Phenomenal Woman

New York, NY – September 12, 2019: Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley attends 5th Annual Diamond Ball benefiting the Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street. (Shutterstock)

By Victoria Falk, Special to CAW

During this Women’s History Month, Caribbean American Weekly recognizes Mia Mottley, also known as Mia Amor Mottley, for her exceptional leadership and accomplishments.

Mottley, a Barbadian born on Barbados Island in Barbados in 1965, has proven herself time and time again, both as an attorney and throughout her political career. She has held different positions where she was the youngest person to hold that position and other positions where she was the only woman to be in that position. She has made great strides for her homeland, Barbados, and is recognized worldwide for her leadership abilities.

When Ms. Mottley was 29 years old, she was the youngest Queen’s Counsel in Barbados.

Mia Mottley was the first female Attorney General and the first female leader of the Barbados Labour Party. She is the eighth person to hold the position of Prime Minister for Barbados, and when she first assumed that position in 2018, she became the first female to hold that position. In addition to her role as Prime Minister, she is also the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs, and Investment.

Ms. Mandeep Rai, Contributor for Forbes Women, interviewed Mia Mottley for International Women’s Day, described her as an “inspirational woman,” and said she’s “learned so much from her.” Ms. Rai asked Ms. Mottley about her views on female leadership and what kind of role model she feels she’s been for women. Ms. Mottley responded, “I don’t focus on the gender angle…I know it’s there, but I have so much to do.” Rai added that Ms. Mottley “…doesn’t dwell on being a woman as a handicap or hurdle.

Her gender isn’t an area of focus, and this enables her to get on with as wide an agenda as possible in life.”

Last year, Mia Mottley rose to international fame during discussions with global leaders about climate change. She boldly shared her views about global warming and saw this as a significant concern for Barbados. Of particular concern to Barbados was last year’s hurricane and volcanic ash falls.

Mottley also drew attention when she led Barbados in a break from the Queen of England as Head of State and elevated world-renowned entertainer and entrepreneur Rihanna as a national hero of the island. Despite the challenges Barbados faced when Mottley assumed the position of Prime Minister in 2018 and the challenges that persisted when she was re-elected as Prime Minister for a second term, Barbadians continue to have confidence in her leadership. Her decisive victory over her opponent in the recent re-elections evidenced that confidence.

Mia Mottley has stated publicly that her goals for Barbados are to “lead the country first to safety and then to prosperity.” Barbados lost a considerable percentage of its tourism dollars during the Covid-19 pandemic and experienced a rise in cases with Barbadians being infected. She plans to “…prepare Barbados for the challenges of the next 10 to 15 years.” In addition to climate change and recovery from the pandemic, Ms. Mia Mottley plans to address the issue of Barbados’ aging population by attracting “digital nomads” to the island and luring “…back the Bajan diaspora.”

Barbadians and other Caribbean people have confidence in Mottley’s ability to keep moving Barbados towards progress. In an open letter to the press, Denise Murray said, I don’t agree with all that Prime Minister Mia Mottley did, has done, presently is doing, or will do in Barbados. However, I am convinced that she has shown the Caribbean that she is a leader who could ‘work it’ in the midst of many crises (not so in Guyana). If you are a parliamentary leader, a business leader, an NGO, or a spiritual leader – read the ‘tea leaves’ on what the Honorable Mia Mottley did.”

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