On 22 November 2016, the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Cyprus) hosted a gala dinner and awards ceremony to mark 20 years of dynamic activity in Cyprus. Over the past two decades, BPW has been instrumental in empowering women and achieving recognition of their vital role in the business community, through regular initiatives and actions that promote and reinforce the presence of women in decision-making and leadership positions.
Since its establishment 20 years ago, BPW Cyprus has orchestrated islandwide events aimed at raising awareness of the results of various studies commissioned by the Federation to examine the role of women in Cypriot business organisations, taking a closer look at the extent of their participation, their advancement opportunities and the gender pay gap, alongside an examination of related best practice.
The gala dinner was attended by a number of VIP guests and dignitaries, including Mr Haris Georgiades – the Minister of Finance attending on behalf of the President of the Republic, a number of ambassadors, the President of BPW International – Dr Yasmin Darwich, the President and delegates of the European Steering Committee, the Presidents of European Federations, and several members of the local business community and social life.
In his address on behalf of the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, the Finance Minister Mr Haris Georgiades commended the work of BPW Cyprus and expressed the government’s full support for the Federation’s agenda and principles.
The President of BPW International, Dr. Yasmin Darwich, addressed the guests and highlighted the mission and efforts of member Federations around the world to achieve gender equality. Dr Darwich congratulated BPW Cyprus on its initiatives and actions towards this goal, mentioning in particular that BPW Cyprus had truly stood out and made a difference.
“Although a lot has been achieved, at this point, a lot still remains to be done,” Dr Darwich said. Finally, she offered her assurance that BPW Cyprus could always count on broad and consistent support from BPW International.
After welcoming the guests, the President of BPW Cyprus, Mrs Mary Papadopoulou, highlighted the principles and values upon which the 20-year progress of BPW Cyprus was built, and reiterated the commitment of BPW Cyprus to its mission. She emphasized that the Federation would always be at the forefront of the struggle for gender equality, the recognition and empowerment of women in the business community, and the promotion of women’s advancement in decision-making centres. Mrs Papadopoulou also referred to the Federation’s remarkable contribution to society through effective actions.
During the Awards Ceremony, the former Presidents of BPW Cyprus as well as the Founding Members and others were duly recognized and thanked. This was followed by the ‘He for She’ Award which acknowledges the significant contribution of a man to BPW Cyprus. This innovative annual award was introduced for the first time, and this year was presented to the Obstetrician-Gynaecologist, Dr Constantinos Stylianides, in recognition of his generous contribution to the Federations’ cervical cancer prevention awareness campaign.
Guests also enjoyed a short video which captured BPW Cyprus’s 20-year journey to date, with personal insights and inspiration from all the former Presidents of BPW Cyprus, the current President, as well as the President of Young BPW Cyprus, with reference to the milestones and main achievements of each.
BPW would like to offer special thanks to the event’s sponsors: CYTA, OPAP (Cyprus), Marks & Spencer, Alphamega Hypermarkets, and CyPrinters.