Mon | Sep 25, 2023

Maia Wilson: Proud advocate for equity and inclusion

Published:Monday | March 6, 2023 | 12:47 AM
Maia Wilson with her three sons.
Maia Wilson with her three sons.

Maia Wilson, vice-president of Scotiabank’s Legal and Regulatory Department.
Maia Wilson, vice-president of Scotiabank’s Legal and Regulatory Department.

Senior legal professional Maia Wilson has a passion for the empowerment of people, especially women, and girls, which began during her time spent at St Andrew High School.

“As the ladies of ‘The St Andrew High School for Girls’, we were always advocating for the success of our school (an all-female institution) and each other and I truly benefited from the positive role models and nurturers that instilled in me self-confidence and drive to go after any aspiration. Following my years at ‘Andrews’ I also left with a family of friends who are all now successful and empowered in their own right,” Wilson shared.

These values further propelled her successful journey to becoming a solicitor after studying law in the United Kingdom before returning to Jamaica. Wilson also comes from a lineage of women who shared these sentiments, the most influential of which is her mother Lorna Lee, who is currently the sitting chair of the Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC) in Kingston and who she said is among her most influential role models.

Wilson took from her a philosophy that both work and personal life are to be empathic. “As a wife, a mother, and a daughter, it keeps me humble and makes me grateful for what I have and what I have achieved,” she shared. This philosophy and her approachable nature have also allowed her to connect with her mentor, and inspire many female young professionals.

Her warm, calm demeanour is no reflection of her abilities within her chosen field and over the past 15 years, Wilson has honed a reputation for her astuteness and competence within the legal realm. At the end of 2022, Wilson was appointed to the top job of vice president in Scotiabank’s Legal and Regulatory Department, where she leads a team of legal professionals and is the guardian of the Group’s reputational risk and legal and regulatory status across its 28-branch and corporate network and insurance and investment entities.

A fearless advocate for matters of environmental and climate action, Wilson is the Chair of the Caribbean Environment and Climate Action Employee Resource Group the mandate of which is to foster a community that educates and raises awareness to drive action for a more sustainable future. She also champions diversity and equality in business and serves on Scotiabank’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, which is responsible for ensuring representation and accommodations for all employees including persons of diverse needs, which includes women.

Reflecting on this year’s theme International Women’s Day #EmbraceEquity, “We are moving into an exciting time in our history where the world now expects not only equality, but diversity, equity, and inclusion. While Jamaica has made great progress in recognising that both women and men have something to bring to the table, there is still more to be done to ensure that women have not only a seat at the table, but the right seat and a fair opportunity to use it. I am proud to be among those fostering these changes,” she shared.

A wife and mother of three boys, Wilson said “for me, our men must be allies in this vision. In my household, I ensure that the male members of my household also gain a great appreciation for the concepts of both equity and equality.” She also credits her husband, Gregory Wilson, father Errol Lee, other members of her extended family, and several male and female colleagues in her profession who were mentors and facilitators for her success as a lawyer.

“I believe in being a living example of what I want other women to see. I encourage women to work hard, but be their authentic selves and be confident. I do not want to do the job like a man does, I want to do the job like a woman does, for me personally, this means exuding grace under fire. Both women and men have something to bring to the table and when the space is given for all to be heard the results can be a beautiful thing,” Wilson said in closing.