The 8th of March is celebrated as International Women’s Day. In the United States, the week of 8th March was designated Women’s History Week in 1980, expanded to the entire month, Women’s History Month, in 1987.
The history books have, for the most part, ignored outstanding women so let’s all celebrate women who have made a difference, or are making a difference, for the entire month. Let’s celebrate our strong, resilient Caribbean women!
We invite you, our reader, to tell us which Caribbean woman you think is making a mark internationally.
While we’re all justifiably proud of Rihanna and Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce, let’s think about those women outside of sports and entertainment; the writers, the politicians, and especially the scientists. Send us a sentence, a paragraph, or even a page, about a Caribbean woman who you think has made or is making a difference on the world stage.
Let’s start very close to home with an actuarial trailblazer:
Muriel Maud Phillips Mudie was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica on the 10th December 1897. After graduating from University College London in 1921 she taught mathematics in Kingston. Upon her father’s death in 1924, she moved with her mother and brothers to Canada where she supported the family of five by working, first at the Royal Bank of Canada, then moving to Confederation Life Association. One of the actuaries there noticed her mathematical capabilities and suggested she write actuarial exams. He convinced her by saying that, once qualified, she would earn the same as a man. In 1927, Muriel achieved her associateship from the American Institute of Actuaries and thus became the first woman in the profession in Canada. Her fellowship followed in 1937. She worked at Confederation for almost 40 years, retiring in 1964. During her time there she became recognised as one of Canada’s leading experts in life company taxation. After retirement, Sam Eckler convinced her to work with him part time during tax season. She did that for a few years, eventually leaving to look after one or another of her ailing brothers. Muriel died in Toronto on 28th May 1993, having had an exceptional 95 years.
Read Muriel’s story again, paying particular attention to the dates. A remarkable woman who broke down barriers and earned respect in her field.
Information from CIA and SOA obituaries and recollections of people who knew her at Eckler.
International Women’s Day official UN commemoration: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world on the way to the Generation Equality Forum; 8th March 2021, 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. (EST)
- IFoA: Supporting Mental Health in a Virtual Workplace, 3rd March
- Institute of Actuaries of India: Virtual Actuarial Conclave 2021, 10th-13th March
- IAA Paper: Introduction to Climate-Related Scenarios; associated webinar, 17th March
- National University of Singapore: Data Visualization Competition, Deadline 19th March
- IFoA: Finance in the Public Interest, 16th-23rd March
- SOA Life Meeting: Call for Proposals Now Open
The CAA’s 2020 CPD attestation is now open. Ordinary, Associate and Affiliate members must attest each year that they are in compliance with the CPD Policy of their primary professional body. Please read our CPD Policy and complete your online attestation here.
Stay safe and be happy,
Your News Team: Shubhash, Betty, Pedro and Brian
The views expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.