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A cross-section of the women who participated in the TTPS’ symposium in commemoration of International Women’s Day.

Loyse Vincent

The women of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s (TTPS) Tobago division are being urged to support each other so that they can break the proverbial ‘glass ceiling.’

The call came as female officers shed their identifiable uniforms and inhibitions as they spent a day commemorating International Women’s Day at a symposium at the Scarborough Library Facility on Monday (March 9).

The TTPS’ Social Work Uni hosted the event and officers discussed several topics, including health, personal care and financial management.

One of the presenters, Shorn Des Vignes-Daniel, showed those on hand the importance of self-love and accepting who you are as individuals. She demonstrated the concept by using two women who were physically different.

“Look at these two women, both are well dressed. While some persons may say one is better because she is built differently, understand and consider that while she may be well put together on the outside, there is no telling what is going on in her mind.”

Des Vignes-Daniel, the founder of an image consultancy firm, urged the officers to accept themselves for who they are. She said they should continuously practice having positive thoughts and should also repeat the affirmation: “I am beautiful just the way I am, but I can get better – I am a work in progress.”

Another presenter, Carlette Groome-Mathews, delivered a spirited presentation themed “Fixing Her Crown.” She referenced cultural norms and experiences from her own life to connect with the audience. Her presentations saw the officers move through a spectrum of emotions, including laughter and bewilderment.

“A lot of you here are struggling, I can see it in your eyes … (but) you will not seek help! The first sign of things falling down is when your foot white, you stop creaming it. They ask you how you going you say – ‘Im blessed and highly favoured!”’

Groome-Mathews urged the officers not to destroy each other’s characters by gossiping. She said they should see themselves as individuals responsible for nurturing and developing communities.

“For years, women have struggled to break the glass ceiling and some of you, when you get to a certain level you are taking the pieces and putting them back together!”

That behaviour must stop, Groome-Mathews said.