Initiative to Promote Women’s Economic Empowerment
New York, October 12, 2012--Americas Society and Council of the Americas launched a hemispheric women’s network at a full-day interactive workshop on women’s economic empowerment and leadership today in New York. Drawing on its convening power, AS/COA hosted businesswomen, professionals, entrepreneurs, and other private and public sector leaders from Latin America, the United States and Canada to actively engage in this interactive workshop. The event is the first step towards developing an ongoing dialogue set on building a hemispheric network that promotes the economic empowerment of women in business and other professions that will in turn increase women’s political participation and decision-making across the region.
“The only way we can cause a significant impact is by changing the culture. And what better way to make a change than through the creation of a women’s network? Role models, networks, and mentors are crucial to women’s professional success,” said AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal during her opening remarks.
Former President of Chile and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet opened the first session of the workshop stressing how women’s economic autonomy is the road to achieve empowerment.
Keynote speaker Margarita Zavala, first lady of Mexico, emphasized the importance of women´s participation. “Social, economic and political development is not feasible if it excludes women. Women’s empowerment opens up pathways not only for women, but it makes families and entire societies more prosperous,” said Zavala.
Other keynote speakers and participants at the event included former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and former President and CEO of Discovery Communications Judith McHale; President and CEO of Grupo Diarq Gina Diez Barroso; and Susana Balbo, founder of Dominio del Plata.
The full-day networking workshop revolved around key topics such as the state of gender equality at the international level, the importance of role models, the impact of economic development on women’s inclusion in the labor market, the challenges and opportunities for female entrepreneurs, and the road towards attaining executive and corporate positions.
To continue building the hemispheric women’s network, AS/COA’s full-day event on women’s economic empowerment and leadership will be followed by annual workshops in New York and select roundtables in Latin America.
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Americas Society is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship.
Council of the Americas is the premier international business organization whose members share a common commitment to economic and social development, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere.