Determining Success

Born in Nassau, Bahamas, Rochelle Dean is an innovative entrepreneur and a rising star in the field of economics. Strongly advocating rights of women – with a special focus on motherhood and breastfeeding, she is also the founder of Candid Concepts Development: a policy reform, research and development company.

Tell us about yourself and your professional journey?

I was born in Nassau, Bahamas in the 80’s. I am a very motivated, driven person and this gives me the resilience to succeed despite adversity. I have worked in diverse professional fields including hospitality, insurance and banking industries; before launching my own business Candid Concepts Development. I work with many global initiatives that contribute to sustainable development.

What do you consider some of the most significant achievements in your career?

Launching my company has been very significant to my career. In addition to this, I have also been given the opportunity of being an editorial board member of a scholarly journal, which is a great honor for me.

What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?

I face challenges daily, especially the negativity that is now part and parcel of this competitive world. I do believe being a female economist in itself is very challenging, especially if you are single that unfortunately gives rise to many stereotype as well as negativity even from your female compatriots. But of course I do understand that it comes with the territory when you want to be successful.

What do you think entails women’s economic empowerment?

I think women’s economic empowerment entails women wanting to see each other succeed. I think women should invest in each other. We must must share and collaborate, in addition to making resources and opportunities readily available to one other. I believe we must stand together outside of the relationships we have with men and men must respect that, then can we truly empower other women economically.

In your opinion, do gender biases or unconscious biases exist within your field of work?

I don’t think that gender biases or unconscious biases exist in the field of economics. It is a field that is based on meritocracy and being the best at what you do. Janet Yellen is an excellent example of a female economist who has gone to the top in the field from a professor to the chairperson of the Federal Reserve.

Why do you think activism is important in this day and age?

I think activism is important because it allows people to fight for something that they believe in. I think people think it is hard to do something meaningful but activism is a means by which you can express how you feel about the injustices in the world or endorse something that is making a difference. It is very important for our young people to commit to something and become passionate about issues that impact society and the world at large.

What are the challenges we face globally in terms of women economic empowerment?

I think women themselves are the biggest challenge. We have become a detriment to our own economic empowerment. Writer and women’s rights advocate, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks about women being empowered economically through accomplishments and jobs. Women, however, continue to hide behind men. Women who are doing it, are then fighting alone because women who are married say, “Get married, then you can go to school, then you can be empowered, then you be successful.” While there is nothing wrong with this, what about women who don’t want to submit to that ideology? Women are taught or conditioned to conform.

How can public and private sectors empower professional women who are also breastfeeding mothers?

I think that both sectors should encourage professional women to breastfeed. Perhaps giving a longer lunch hour for mother’s who breastfeed to encourage exclusive breastfeeding as means to foster a concern for mother and baby. I do think that both sectors can also unite to disseminate information on the benefits of breastfeeding and also give professional women a gateway and platform to further promote an international campaign.

Anything you wish to add.

I believe that I have been given the opportunity to diversify myself and this has allowed me to yield maximum returns in every area of my life and on the pathway to expertise. I believe these layers are what make you successful and its these skills that will determine my success and allow me to empower other women.

Share This: