Elisabeth Marchant, Founder and CEO of Womenetics, welcoming everyone to the Global Initiative event

I was happy to be able to attend the Womenetics Global Women’s Initiative: The Ripple Effect November 10, 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. The event took an in-depth look at the role of women in many areas including corporate and economic responsibility. The panels, Globalization and the Business of Women: The Path to Prosperity and Peace and Women’s Empowerment and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Intersection of Markets, Mission and Action to Impact Business Success were moderated by Diane Osgood, Senior Advisor, Clinton Global Initiative and Business for Social Responsibility.

Globalization and the Business of Women: The Path to Prosperity and Peace featured speakers Astrid Pregel, President, Feminomics, Inc. and Edit Schlaffer, Ph. D., Founder, Women without Borders. Both speakers discussed the impact women play in the global economy and what can be done to further the conversation through a global dialogue about gender equality and the economic empowerment of women.

Women’s Empowerment and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Intersection of Markets, Mission and Action to Impact Business Success featured panelists Karen Sherman, Executive Director for Global Programs Women for Women International, Jeff Peterson, Director, Innovation & Strategy, General Mills Foundation | Community Action, and Lyyn Heitman, Senior Vice President in Retail Payment Solutions, U.S. Bank. This panel discussed how community action and social change can begin on a corporate level.

The Advancing Aspirations Global Scholarship was also awarded to one outstanding student at the event. The Advancing Aspirations Global Scholarship was an essay competition encouraging students to research and investigate ways to empower women on topics such as economic empowerment, global leadership, security and political empowerment, gender imbalance and corporate social innovation. The scholarship recipient was Thuy-Khue Tran from the University of Chicago. It was great to see such a promising student awarded the prize while the conference was in Chicago!

Staff Management | SMX attendees at the event included (From L to R): Carmen Di Bartolomeo, Sara Lee Corporation; Chris Abbeduto, Staff Management | SMX, Sandy Morris, Chico & Nunes, Dawn McCartney, McDonald’s Corporation, Janice Weiner, Staff Management | SMX and Margie Doyle, Staff Management | SMX

Overall, the event was inspiring and the discussion important. The speakers all conveyed just how important the role of women are in the global and corporate economy. They provided thought-provoking suggestions of how it can be possible to shift people’s perception on these important issues and left everyone thinking about how each person individually can do more to make a difference. The event embodied the idea of the “ripple effect” – one small change really can create huge waves when given the chance.

 

To learn more about the Womenetics Global Women’s Initiative: The Ripple Effect please visit www.womenetics.com.