Key Moments from the 12th Annual International Women's Day Forum: Business Powering Gender Equity
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we’re sharing key highlights from our 12th Annual International Women’s Day Forum: Business Powering Gender Equity. These conversations showcased female leadership and activism, along with a focus on everyday issues that many women face, such as navigating work while seeking eldercare and childcare support, as well as experiencing full inclusion and equity in the workplace.
Interview with National Geographic Society CEO
Carolyn Cawley, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, joined Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO of the National Geographic Society, for an inspiring discussion on what leadership looks like for the first female CEO of the 133-year-old global nonprofit.
“I believe it is incredibly important to find opportunities to pave the way for women and BIPOC leaders and others that are historically underrepresented. At National Geographic, it is now one of our key commitments to focus on DE&I on every level of our work. It’s part of our core values and integral to our new strategic plan, NG Next. I think my appointment by the board signals we’re headed to a much more inclusive and accountable community.” – Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO of the National Geographic Society
Tiefenthaler, who joined National Geographic in 2020 during the pandemic, previously led Colorado College as president. When she first arrived in Washington, D.C., she began a four-month listening tour via Zoom to engage with her coworkers virtually so she could develop a knowledgeable strategic plan. Watch the full conversation.
The Intersectional Experiences of Women of Color in the Workplace
“The value that I bring is only evident when I don’t have to pretend or perform, when I can be my true authentic self, I can be the best version of me that I can be. That’s the true value of inclusion.” – Kim Jenkins, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging, PayPal
The discussion, moderated by Desirée Cormier Smith, senior advisor at the U.S. State Department, along with Allison Lawrence, president of BLACK+DECKER at Stanley Black & Decker, Kim Jenkins, global head of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at PayPal, and Vanessa Okwuraiwe, principal at Edward Jones, offered each woman the opportunity to discuss their individual experiences on intersectionality in the workplace. Hear more from this discussion.
Okwuraiwe recently wrote a blog outlining how companies can help build this critical network and foster an inclusive environment for all through mentorship and sponsorships. Read more here.
The Labor Crisis and Getting Women Back To Work
As employers grapple with staggering labor shortages, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 11 million job openings in the U.S. economy at the end of 2021. Many women continue to leave the workforce as they grapple with high burnout rates, childcare issues, and other challenges. Hear from Spring Lacy, vice president of HR talent and capabilities at Prudential, along with Julie Lukas, divisional vice president of global human resources services and technology at Abbott, and Glenn Williams, vice president of HR at Qualcomm on ways to support women in the workplace. Watch the full conversation.
The session was moderated by Carol Juel, executive vice president and CTO and COO at Synchrony. Juel recently authored a blog discussing innovative ways to support women in the workplace. Read more here.
Other highlights include:
The Road to Growth
This session explores the multi-sector partnerships in Guyana, including investments by companies like ExxonMobil, that are helping drive social and economic progress for women.
“If we limit important opportunities and services for women, we prevent women from doing what they do so well, which is giving back. If you invest in women, they are more likely to invest in the education and health of their children, more likely to give back to their wider community, and as a result, they make sure the whole nation benefits from development.” – Cherie Blair, CBE, QC, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Care 2.0: Accelerating the Adoption of Technology in the Care Space
Women are disproportionately impacted by unpaid childcare and eldercare. This discussion looks at life-changing health technologies as well as reskilling homecare workers to ease the burden of care and features perspectives from executives at AARP, EY, CareAcademy, and Bright Horizons.
The U.S. Chamber Foundation and The Education Trust recently released a report identifying opportunities for supporting working families with young children by supporting female providers of color. Read the report.
“Caregiving wasn’t only something that happened in the home over the last couple years. In workplaces, people needed different types of engagement with their colleagues, their bosses, their employees as the environment was so unusual and stressful. We’re taking the concept of caregiving to be more universally applied in different settings where we find ourselves.” – Susan Garfield, Principal, EY
Cultivating the New Generation of Trailblazers
Along with focusing on the issues of today, we need to support the next generation of women and girls as they navigate new challenges and barriers. Procter & Gamble’s Allison Tummon Kamphuis shared insights on the company’s We See Equal project, a partnership with Save the Children to eliminate gender bias among young adolescents, and Save the Children President and CEO Janti Soeripto talked about the importance of empowering girls.
“Achieving equity for women begins with equity for girls. It begins in childhood. Girls have brilliant ideas, they have a fantastic voice – they deserve a seat at the table, particularly when it comes to decisions that affect them.” – Janti Soeripto, President and CEO, Save the Children US
Supporting Women’s Mental Health
Women are more burned out now than they were a year ago, and the gap in burnout between women and men has almost doubled, according to a recent report from McKinsey. Hear from Kana Enomoto, Co-Lead for McKinsey’s Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare, and Taryn Bird, Senior Director at Kate Spade New York, as they discuss specific ways the woman-founded fashion brand implemented holistic practices to care for the mental health of their employees.
Women and Skills: Diverse Pathways to Prosperity
While the labor shortage has made headlines in recent months, women’s participation in the workforce has continuously declined since the 1990s. It remains critical to close the skills gap for women and girls so they can continue to thrive in sectors where they are underrepresented. This session features insights from executives and leaders from Grow with Google, Panasonic, U.S. Department of Labor, and more.
Catch all recordings from our 12th Annual International Women’s Day Forum here.