moving back to the caribbean with Janice Sutherland on Carry on friends the Caribbean American podcast

Moving back to the Caribbean

Are you of Caribbean Heritage and have considered moving back to the Caribbean?

Here’s a story that you won’t see on HGTV. Janice Sutherland was born in the UK to an Antiguan mother.  Moving back to the Caribbean became an option when she met her husband, Derrick who had plans to move back to Jamaica.
They later decided to moved back to Antigua where she worked her way to become the first woman CEO of a telecommunications company in the Caribbean. Among other entrepreneurial pursuits, Janice and is now doing executive leadership development for women in management or wanting to get to the C suite.
We spent the first half of the conversation discussing her decision to move from the UK back to Antigua, the process involved with moving back to the Caribbean, how she became the first woman CEO of Digicel, Antigua & Barbuda and the gap she recognized that lead her to her current role to Executive Coaching for Women. 
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Kerry-Ann: Hey everyone welcome to another episode of Carry On Friends the Caribbean American Podcast. I am excited that you are joining. I have a first for today’s episode, but I don’t want to give it away. Her name is Janice Sutherland. Janice, welcome to the show. 

Janice: Hi 

Kerry-Ann: You hear that little British accent in there? Yeah, so that’s kind of one of the first but also Janice tell the community of friends a little bit about who you are island you represent and all that good stuff.

Janice: My name is Janice: and I represent the beautiful twin island state of Antigua, Barbuda, and my husband and I have lived in Antigua for the past eight years. I was the former CEO for one of the major telecommunications companies out here. But I decided to step down for that role about a year ago and now I work independently, but I have no intention of moving back to the UK. All our family in fact, we don’t have any family out here. All our family live in the UK and Jamaica for my for my husband side.

Kerry-Ann: Wow. Alright, so we’re going to get into like, all right, so yes. So tell us the migration story from Antigua & Barbuda to the UK back to Antigua & Barbuda.

Janice: Yeah, well, I’m UK born and my tenuous link with Antigua is my mother was born here. My mother was born here. But she left Antigua when she was three years old, and then lived in St. Kitts for 10 years before migrating to the UK in early teens. So all I’ve really known was living in the – was growing up born and bred in the UK. When I met my, my now husband, he pretty much on our first date told me he had no intention of staying in the UK and that he planned to migrate to Jamaica. That’s where the family home was; he’d built the home with his father and his family. And he planned to leave the UK and migrate to the migrate to Jamaica. And I’m like, wow, this is our first date. He has potential. We need to have a conversation.

Kerry-Ann: Right out the gate ambition.

Janice: Yes. So we obviously…he gave me a timeline of 12 months. But that didn’t happen because we obviously had a relationship. I have two previous children. So we then I said, look, I like Jamaica. But if I’m honest, I never, I never feel 100% comfortable. I like to visit but I’ve been 100% comfortable that I could build a life there. So I was bringing mom back to Antigua for the first time for her 60th birthday. And I asked him to come along and see and I’d already been before myself and asked him to see Antigua and the rest, as they say history actually loved it said it reminds him of Jamaica but not as busy. You know, not as full on.

Kerry-Ann: You know, I’ve heard that. And actually, I’ve spoken to someone from Antigua. And it’s like, there’s this, this thing where there’s I can’t explain it. And I don’t want to offend anyone from Antigua. But there’s like a real love for Jamaican culture there. And it’s like, there’s this exactly what he said, like reminds him of Jamaica, but it’s not quite as it’s not as busy. But you’re right. That’s good. So you you’ve Okay, you’ve changed the timeline, and you’ve changed the location to Antigua and Barbuda. And so how did you determine or figure out how to settle roots was there a concern of a job or house or?

Janice: Yeah, I mean, we were coming backwards and forwards. And we decided to build, we decided to build so we found a piece of land, we did the dream we bought a piece of the rock. Well before that I made sure that my citizenship because it was much easier to navigate legalities if you have a passport if you have citizenship. So I gained citizenship through my mother. And we came bought a piece of the rock we managed to get a turnkey build, because again, there were reservations because you heard a lot of stories about people returning to Jamaica sending money home to build properties. And when they get there, there’s just a pile of bricks and no home. So we’re lucky enough to get a turnkey build with a company out here with, Western Diesel Oil that was moving into real estate and had land and they were developing the land. And they offered us an all in package deal. So we knew how much it cost us to build the house. We knew the builder, we liaise with the architect. Challenges kind of I suppose managing a build from a distance 4000 miles away. So we had a neighbor that would send us photographs and somebody would check the build was happening. We because back happy three months. And then we had what I call operation family acclimatization, because it wasn’t real until we decided we said we were actually going, they could see all this activity. So when we got married, we got married here in Antigua. And we bought our close family and friends to see where we’re going to move where we’re going to live and see the hole in the ground what was then a hole in the ground where the house would be. And basically said, look, this is real, this is going to happen. We have a plan. We had a five-year plan, which kind of got bought forward. But we had a plan and we were moving. So yes.

Kerry-Ann:  And I mean, everything that you’re saying I’ve heard it, you know, the concerns. I mean, we watch enough HGTV to see the same concerns. Where people want to build and the horror stories. But you were able to get this done. And then you kind of you kind of glanced over this this one accomplishment. You’re like, yeah, the first female CEO of a telecoms thing. I’m like, yeah, you just kind of glanced over that. You know, let’s talk a little bit about that.

Janice: Yeah, I think I think when I was, um, we knew that we would have to work because we’re we weren’t, we’re not a retirement age. As much as we’d love to retire, we didn’t have that kind of money. And everything had been sunk into the house. Because at the time we were building, there was also the dive in the US dollar against pound. So it cost us more to build than we expected. So we knew we’d have to do something to keep us. So we were looking, we were looking for work. And as I said, it was much easier for me to look for work because I had the citizenship; we still have to wait for three years before we could apply for Derrick my husband’s citizenship. So I managed to get a job with the telecoms company here with a major telecom company here. And as a commercial manager was a step down from what I was doing, but then I didn’t want to work as hard as I’ve worked in the UK. But then I didn’t know the company at the time, to be honest. That didn’t happen. I worked just as hard if not harder out here than I did in the UK. And I worked there for seven years. And that culminated with me being the CEO, the first female CEO, in the telecoms industry, for Antigua and for Montserrat, because I managed two islands. So I think that also helped with the transition. Because for me, I could build contacts. I was able to network, I was able to, I suppose yeah, build a network, really, of people and get to know the island a lot more on a business level or a commercial level that you wouldn’t normally do. If you were just coming here as an expat, maybe to live.

Kerry-Ann: Right. Right. Right. And do you mind saying the name of that telecoms company?

Janice:  Digicel. I worked for Digicel the bigger, better network.

Kerry-Ann: Yeah, yes. Yeah, that one of the more popular networks in the Caribbean. So this is really, really exciting. You, you met this ambitious Jamaican man who had plans. And you made adjustments to those plans. But really, you know, the goal was still to go back to the region, which you did and do. You built a home. And you’ve really laid roots down by becoming, you know, working your way to become the first CEO of a telecoms company, Digicel in the Caribbean. Now, let’s talk about the real stuff here. Which is part of why we started having this conversation. Essentially, this is reverse migration that no one really talks about. And so what, like, where do I begin with that question? Actually, I don’t know where to begin. So you tell me.

Janice: I think, you know, the first things for us is that we’re actually we’re still surprised at how many I’ll say, UK Brits, and English people there are that the black Britain British, that have decided and made the same move. For us, it wasn’t necessary to have the you know, we have 365 beaches. We don’t we don’t really go to the beach. We do you know, it’s here. But we’re not we’re not on holiday when we’re not on holiday. So for us, we’re always surprised at how many sometimes we come across a Brit and the accent’s still there and they hear the accent and you have a connection. So we’re always surprised at how many see over here. We don’t see many from the US if I’m honest. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s too much colder in the UK. But we don’t see the reverse. But I wouldn’t say I have any, but no we don’t have any regrets. I’ve always said if anything was to happen, even though my only family here is my husband, if anything was to happen to either one of us. Well, personally, for me, I wouldn’t return back to the UK. I built a life here that I’m really happy with. Yes, there are drawbacks. There are there are some drawbacks. There are some drawbacks. But I think you have to have the mindset that you are not coming to, say a first world country, you’re not coming to that even with the bigger islands with Trinidad with Jamaica, which I’ve had opportunity to visit all of those. There are still drawbacks to all those countries that you wouldn’t find in the developed world. I said that in air quotes developed world.

Kerry-Ann: Yeah, cuz Yeah, we still dealing with some whatever they consider developed, but okay. All right.

Janice: Yeah. So you know, we have the usual things we have power outages. Antigua itself doesn’t have any natural water. So we have a, I feel like a constant drought right now. So we have to capture water. You get used simple things like different foods. Like personally, for me, there’s certain things I won’t buy in the supermarket. Because I think it’s just far too inflated. So I learned to do without. I learned to eat local, I’m happy. I love local food, I grew up, when I say local, I grew up on it West Indian food. That’s what we grew up on anyway. And you have so I suppose sometimes you think the locals will sometimes look at you strange, because they’re like, well, why have you left the UK? Because they see the UK as the, you know, they say the motherland or the land of opportunity. But you’ve come to Antigua Why have you come to Antigua and left that opportunity in the UK come to come to this small island. And but you don’t know our life? And you know, for me there was 160 mile commute every day. It was work, work work. You didn’t really have a social life. And it’s a different out here for me now.

Kerry-Ann: Yes, yes. And then, you know, you moved back and then you had the hurricane to deal with?

Janice: Yeah, we didn’t know. I don’t think we actually really thought about hurricanes to be honest. No, well, I say that we built the house to be hurricane proofed. We put hurricane shutters on, we touch wood, we’ve never really experienced significant damage. On until since I’ve been here. We’ve been through storms. And yes it’s scary. But we’ve not had, apart from trees be felled trees and stuff and losing my mango tree, you know. So we’ve not we’ve been fortunate enough not to be in not to be too impacted. But you do have to make sure like we won’t take for granted like insurance, house insurance. It’s expensive. But again, it’s insurance, you never know what’s going to happen. So we will definitely pay for and make sure we have a and medical health cover as well.

Kerry-Ann: You know, are you still adjusting to the difference in life? Because you said that there’s still some drawbacks. Are you still adjusting to, you know, just things that you took for granted living in the UK for this many years? And now you’re in the Caribbean? I mean, I know you said you’ve adjusted to the food, which I believe like when we go to visit so like and I go to Jamaica, and I see American Apple, I’m like I didn’t come to Jamaica, to eat American Apple. Yeah, whatever. Some craziness. So when it comes to the food, I think, you know, as people in the diaspora we are like, we go to Jamaica, we go back home to eat home food not American food at home. So I think that’s an easier part. But like when you think of, like, a way of life, so you know, and because I, it’s so part of the way of my life here in New York, I take it for granted that I can’t even pick something but when you go back to Jamaica, you like waiting minute what’s happening? So like, are there any things that you are kind of still adjusting to with moving back home?

Janice: No, I don’t think, no. I can honestly say I am settled. I am home. This is home. This is home for me. When I traveled to the UK, I traveled regular every year for the first few years, because I always had something to go back for family related for the children or my mom and you know, my family. Last year, I didn’t go back at all. And I’m trying not to go back this year. I don’t miss I really apart from missing the family, I don’t miss anything. Technology is great because I can communicate via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp calling, you know, that’s taken away all the, literally all the expensive international calling of having that. So that for the drawback from that respect. And I think if you, I see it, because we because I sometimes do a lot of tourists, and the expectations of tourists are coming here. And they’re expecting to find what they’ve left. If you come with that attitude, then you’re going to be disappointed. Yeah. But if you come with the attitude of you know, I didn’t I didn’t leave one city life or one country to replicate that somewhere else with sun, I you know, I’m in this all in, it’s a much easier way for a much easier way for you to adjust. So no, and even trying. And the differences sometimes is when you’re here. You see it because when people come to visit you, they’re on holiday, they come from the UK, they’re on holiday. If I go back to the UK, they class me as being home. So the same courtesy, the courtesies, they expect to be extended to them, you know, you don’t get it. You don’t get it at all. I’m like, hang on a minute I’ve just traveled 4000 miles with a four or five hour time difference. Yet, I’m the one that has to make all the effort to come and see you. Yeah, so now I’m home. This is this is home. This is home.

Kerry-Ann: Yeah, I think you just said a lot of really key stuff where, you know, if you’re deciding to move back to the Caribbean, I shouldn’t be thinking, Oh, I’m going, I want to take New York back with me to Montego Bay. It’s like, that shouldn’t be my expectation. It never is. But you know, when you when you look at it, I’m going to Jamaica, and I’m not I can’t reasonably expect to have all the I don’t want to say luxuries. But the things that I’m accustomed to living in New York, I mean, I should just prepare myself that that might not be the case when I go back to Jamaica, or any island. Now, in terms of lessons like what would you have done differently? So if anyone is considering to go back home, like, what would you do differently? How would you prepare better? How would you? What would you have done differently?

Janice: I think what would have done differently is probably would have had more money into the build into my into my house. In hindsight, because there’s things I would have done differently. There’s sometimes because it was a turnkey build, and you had a set price you didn’t and you weren’t here, you didn’t see the quality of the materials that were being used. You know, so when you come back and you and you know, you probably got lopsided lights, light fittings, and but the house is built by that point, you know, so that’s probably something I would have been here I’d probably been here during the build. Let me think, what else what I’ve done?

Clothes. I have, I have an abundance of clothes that I don’t wear. What I would say it’s great place to save money because there’s nothing to purchase. There’s no there’s no impulse buying, you know, I’ve learned I’ve got over the you know, let me go on a Saturday morning, go to the go to the mall and go shopping. That doesn’t exist. You know, if you want something, you got to be prepared to wait two weeks to order it online. Have it shipped in, you know, and deal with your broker?

Kerry-Ann: Yeah. Yes. Customs.

Janice:  Yeah, customs, that’s why I go for the broker and don’t deal with customs. Apart for having my barrel. I’m truly West Indian, because I still ship a barrel, I ship a barrel from the UK, of my little luxuries, some of the little luxuries once a year. The things I just would I wouldn’t get here I wouldn’t get from the US either. But I really, I would say something I would have done differently, I would like to I probably would like to see more family if I’m honest. I thought we would have seen more family visiting, but then it’s a cost. But then it’s also a cost for us to go back even more for us to go back to the UK. Yeah, even more so than them coming here, because, but it takes time to get there. We do not have property anymore. So we have to find somewhere to live, then you inconvenience somebody, you know, then you have to find a car and stuff like that. Whereas if they come here? It’s, dare I say it’s like a little Airbnb.

Kerry-Ann: Yeah, that’s the best thing about I’m sorry. Now, um, let’s talk about you said you, you left. So now you’ve left Digicel about a year now and you’re doing your own thing. So what tell me a little bit about what you’re doing? And why did you decide to leave?

Janice: Oh, well, I just I decided to leave because when I came, I was going to work for an organization for say three to four years, which turned into seven. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. But then I also saw a gap, a couple of couple of gaps in the market for things. And right now I executive coach. So I coach female executives, mainly female executives, on how to get to the C suite level. And with the power of technology, it’s great because my clients can be anywhere in the world, it can be global. So that read that that really opened up an avenue having better internet connectivity here has opened up an avenue for me there. We have a tourism business, that’s a bicycle base for cycling. So for tourists, we’re cyclists ourselves. So it’s a kind of a hobby, passion, doesn’t pay the bills, doesn’t pay all the bills, but it but it helps. And then the other piece we’ve started doing and getting more and more requests for now, is people asking for support like this asking us? How do we do it? How can we move? What does it look like? What do we need to know? And it’s the little ins and outs about which broker to use? Who safe to use? Who do you need to speak to? You know, how do you get your passport? How do you put, buy a piece of land cost effectively? Where do I go on the island to buy land and stuff like that. So we will start talking for a little more advice to the diaspora that wants to come about what’s to come across? So yeah,

Kerry-Ann: Yeah. And possibly offering the service where you wish you had where someone would go. Look on the property makes sure that the light fixtures aren’t lopsided. Yeah.

Janice: Yes, yeah. So I had a call with a young girl, a young woman that was moving to St. Kitts, and she wants to know what my experience was moved from the UK. And I said, well, this is my draw, this has been the drawback. This is what I recommend, for best in this business. What do you want to do to set up business if you come here, thinking you’re going to set the world on fire, and be the next big thing you’ll be you could be sorely disappointed. You know, you really have to come and feel, don’t just think that you can come in and rock up and just set this business on fire. Everything’s going to be all roses. Come and experience it don’t come as a tourist, because it’s a totally different, it’s a totally different vibe to coming here for Carnival, you know, for two weeks to coming here to live. Yeah, totally. Totally, totally different. We’re not we’re not. It may sound like we’re all doing Soca and wining up on a street corner. But that’s not how we live.

Kerry-Ann: No, you know, after the Soca done, you gotta go work. Yeah.

Janice: Yes, definitely. Definitely.

Kerry-Ann: Yeah. I it’s easy to be caught up in the euphoria of, you know, being on holiday. And, you know, being at Carnival thinking, yeah, I want to come back and do this. I want to live here. Because, you know, there’s some expectations that seriously need to be managed. So I’m really glad that, you know, you’ve taken your experiences, and you’re having, you know, entrepreneurial, you know, multiple streams of revenue.

Janice:  I’m truly Caribbean. I absolutely, truly West Indian, Caribbean, from the barrel to the multiple streams of income.

Kerry-Ann: Yes. But I love that you’re honest and saying, you know what? Yeah, I was CEO of Digicel, I left that because I wanted to do something else. But I still need to do all these other things to survive. And, you know, making it real that like you said, it’s, it’s not all a bed of roses, it’s not going to be pretty you have to put in the work. But I want to go back to something you said with the executive coaching, and you said you noticed a gap? What are, what’s the gap, you noticed, with women in, whether in the Caribbean or in the diaspora, trying to get to the C suite?

Janice:  Across the Caribbean, the one thing that stood out for me coming here was the level of qualification, Caribbean women had. I never had that, I do now. But you know, when I was growing up, there was never that level of focus on education. I really see it here, you know, everybody has to have top marks on everything. But when you look at, when you look at the business environment, you very rarely see women at senior level C suite level, I could probably count on my hands definitely in Antigua, how many people, how many women I know, that have made the C suite level. And I see that throughout the other islands in the Caribbean. So very patriarchal environment, it’s very much, it can be an old boys network. You know, it’s who they pick, you know, people traditionally employ who they know. And, you know, it’s who it’s not what you know, necessarily sometimes who, you know, a hell of a lot out here. And one of the things I found was that the women were I want to get there, I don’t know how to do it. And how did you do it? How did you navigate? MeToo really hasn’t hit here.

You know, it’d be a while before that actually permeates we’re aware of it. And yes, you know, that there’s conversation, but it’s not as heightened as it would be in the US or the UK, from that respect. So it’s really working with women, you know, how they can balance the two. And we again, we still have here, the strong black woman narrative, you know, we do everything, you know, you have to do everything, this is your role, you have the house, the kids, the job, you know, everything has to be perfect. From the way you look way through to what you do. And it’s really worked with me how they navigate that and, you know, be able to set boundaries, be able to say no be able to make time for themselves. We’re no different out here than we are, in the US or the UK. You know, we just our stories just aren’t heard.

Kerry-Ann:   Yeah. And you know, I just wrapped I just did an episode on social capital. And I’ve had this conversation before, when I’ve done one on, you know, I’ve done workshops in the New York area. And I think a lot of the struggle comes from, you know, how we were brought up in the messages, we were told, like, yes, you know, work hard, keep your head down, don’t give any trouble. And you will be rewarded for your hard work. Yeah, I know that that absolutely does not work, especially for women. Because we were Yeah, we were taught you know, if you start speaking up, then a woman is labeled, you know, she too harsh. And as much as you try to break out of that, you know, you know, our parents didn’t intentionally mean to cement or minds down. But that’s kind of they had no choice. That’s what they were hearing. So trying to break free of that label of you can’t be too aggressive. And all you have to do, do your hard work and pay your dues. And when you’re 50. Or when you’re 60. You can be CEO, and it’s like, why can’t I be CEO in the 20s, or in the 30s? And the 40s? Why you have to, you know, wait until you’re at a certain age before you you’re deemed to have enough experience to be a CEO, woman in the C suite. So I think, yeah, we struggle with a lot of that. And I think the other thing is, culturally, you know, Caribbean culture, a lot of the business and stuff are built around like merchant families. You know, part of it is like, yeah, you, you know, they have a whole family that they’re going to rotate into the business. So it’s even that much harder for anyone outside of that. And I’m not saying it’s wrong, because if I have a family business, I’m looking to my kids to come in, but I think it makes it harder, because an island is smaller, unlike the US or the UK, where you have so many more opportunities. You know, it’s really that challenge of, you know, how do I get here, and there’s a lot to be said about, you know, executive presence. And, you know, I can’t even I don’t want to say holding your own, but really having that business, you know, observation, observing this keen sense of how you communicate across Yes. Yeah. Get what you want. I can articulate. 

Janice: No, definitely. I know, I totally understand. I mean, the thing is, you know, there’s no merit… you know, people thinking there’s a meritocracy when it comes to work. It doesn’t exist not for not for not for women.  And if I can just make an observation as well, because one of the things you talked about the merchant families, but when I came, and I’m going to when I came to Digicel, the reality was at the top at the top of the job, all the CEOs that I had seen for, Digicel we’re definitely we’re definitely male. And we’re definitely Caucasian, because they were imported. Because it was probably easier for the organization to import the talent, they needed to do the job, because the speed and the and the, you know, the speed, they move they moved at. And even with the competition, it was always male, again, you know, because, again, it’s a technical field, you just didn’t see women in that environment in that environment at that level. For me, when I came into when I came to the organization, I already came with a level of commercial savviness, because I operated at a senior level in the UK. So for them, they kind of hit kind of hits a bit of a pay dirt because here was a woman who has the credentials already. And she’s a local, so we don’t have to pay it. The expat diaspora type, salary, you know, that came with the family, the kids, the private school that those executives at that point would have got. I was employed as a local. You know, so and so even though even the international organizations that are coming in to these, to these to these countries, are still bringing in the expertise. Now, I’m happy to say that it’s changed. I’ve seen that change over the past couple of years. Where did Digicel, I definitely know, took a took a stance to actually develop local talent on island that will female to head up the CEO roles. So you’ll see a lot more GM, CEO type role, women in the smaller definitely the smaller markets that I’m aware that I know of that I’m still in touch with. Now managing but that is, but that is not that would that I think that’s up for them. You know, I don’t want to talk to them. But I think they are also to add it up how expensive it was to bring in being external talent.

Kerry-Ann: I was just about to say, talking about it. I mean, and I mean, I can see it even from watching HGTV Caribbean life, you know, yeah, they, they need to get the kid, like you said that the kids have to be set up, you have to pay for them to move, you know, they have a budget what they have for rent for a month. And you have all of these expenses, right? That you built into this compensation model for these execs that you bring in a company, they could save more in their bottom line if one because I’m in learning and development here. So one, you know, it’s if you look at learning and development as a investment, and you could take the money that you some of the money that you would allocate to bringing executives to build a very formidable leadership development program. And, and then build your leadership bench because you have to start and then over time, you will one save the overhead costs for housing, and schooling because now you have the local talent, but you will also be developing. I don’t like to say the word but you’ll, you’ll develop a loyal kind of workforce, they’ll stay with you a little longer, because you’ve invested in their professional development. But also, you now have a talent pool that is much larger for you to select from. And you could also use that as an opportunity to expand into different markets, even regionally, you know, expand to another Caribbean island, it’s the culture isn’t that much different.

Janice: Yes. And it’s a different dynamic. It’s a very much different dynamic, because I saw the difference that you know, I was regarded as one of us, you know, because we’re so proud there’s an Antiguan, there’s a woman that is heading up the operation we’ve always had, I always called it the PMS, the pale male and stale, you know, heading up the organizations and it’s a very different dynamic. And I think for me, I was, I cast myself as a local. You know, I didn’t see myself as anything different. I didn’t. Yes, I had a decent house, that I built before I got here. But I didn’t have the pool. You know, the big car. I was realistic. Yes I’ll eat a mango off the tree. Yes, I’ve got bread, yes, grow breadfruit, or grow my own vegetables. You know, I’m one of you, and it’s a different level.

Kerry-Ann: And you also have a keener a more keen understanding of the culture. You know, and that cultural intelligence, helps you from a business angle, which is often missing when you import executive into these roles.

Janice:  And I’ve definitely seen that I definitely see where that’s gone wrong.

Kerry-Ann: I’m really, I’m really glad that we’re having this conversation because it really shows the value the diaspora, however you pronounce it, you know, can have on their home island, you know, they, they could come back and I mean, look at what you’re doing, it’s like, fine, you know, you didn’t think you’d be working this hard. But you’ve turned that experience into something valuable that you can, you know, also help women, you know, rise to the ranks of management and C suite, because we need more of that to build the talent pool. I shouldn’t want to I don’t want to say build the talent pool because the talent pool is there to develop the talent pool. The way to be competitive, because that is essentially the challenge that we see across the board. You know, whether you live in New York or UK or you live in the region, it’s just developing the social capital, how do we network build relationships and leverage that for when we are moving through, you know, are going to towards the C suite. So I’m really I’m really glad we’re having this conversation. I’m, I’m glad you moved back with Derrick. You know, I’m laughing because I’m like, you know, sometimes you make fun and you’re like, Derrick, I wonder if he’s Jamaican because there’s some, there’s some names that we are like, they’re very Jamaican, but I’m glad that you know, everything, I don’t want to say it’s perfect, but you found your footing, you know,

Janice: And you have to be you have to be prepared to be flexible. Not everything’s going to go, it’s life. Not everything is gonna go exactly as you think. You know, and you just have to be, you know, what are the, are the ups, and what are the downs or the pros and cons? And I’m not prepared to I’m prepared to do this. I’m like, Well, yeah, because life I don’t I think life be miserable, in the UK, I could probably visualize what my life would be like in the UK right now. And it wouldn’t be like this. I wouldn’t enjoy it as much.

Kerry-Ann: Alright, so before we wrap up, I want you to try to finish this statement right? So being a Caribbean woman in business is to or means what does that mean for you?

Janice: Whoa, it means being steadfast. It means knowing for, knowing your worth, that’s the other thing is actually being you know, knowing what you’re worth and sticking to it, and only compromise if the terms are acceptable to you.

Kerry-Ann: And on that note, everyone, I am extremely happy that I’ve had Janice on the show. And as I like to say at the end of the show, walk good.


Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown is Founder & host of Carry On Friends one of the first podcasts dedicated to the Caribbean American Experience. She is leading the way for Caribbean Podcast as the founder of Breadfruit Media, the first Caribbean podcast production company; and founder of the Caribbean Podcast Directory a place to discover podcasts by people of Caribbean Heritage.