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2015 World of Difference Award Winners & Champions

TIAW is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s TIAW World of Difference 100 Awards

Since their creation 10 years ago, the World of Difference 100 awards have recognized 600 women and men who have supported the economic empowerment for women in the following categories: entrepreneurship, corporate, non-profit, education, public service/government, young women leaders and champions.

Past award recipients include:

  • Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation
  • Madame Penehupifo Pohamba, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia
  • Viviane Reding, Luxembourg, Member of the European Parliament

This year’s recipients cover a wide range of activities on six continents, and TIAW is proud to be able to recognize the vital work that they do.

This year, nominations were received from 54 different countries and provided a vivid look at the inspiring work that women – and men – around the world are doing to support the economic empowerment of women.

The recipients cover a wide range of activities on six continents and we are proud to be able to recognize the vital work that they do, often with few resources and many obstacles.

Congratulations to all the recipients who are making all the difference in the world!

2015 World of Difference Special Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Awards

TIAW’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes one woman of distinguished, longstanding achievements towards economic empowerment for women.

This award has been bestowed upon global trailblazers such as:

  • Selima Ahmad, Bangladesh (2015)
  • Melanne Verveer, USA (2013/14)
  • Candace Johnson, France (2012)
  • Amanda Ellis, New Zealand (2011)
  • Virginia Littlejohn, USA, (2010)
  • Barbara Annis, USA (2009)
  • Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Arab International Women’s Forum (2008)
  • Riane Eisler, USA (2007)
  • Laura Liswood, USA (2006)
  • Sally Armstrong, Canada (2005)
  • The Honorable Mary G. Robinson, Ireland (2004)
  • Andrina Lever, Canada (2003)

selima_ahmadSelima Ahmad, 2015 World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient 

Selima Ahmad, Founder of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice Chairperson of Nitol-Niloy Group is the developing world’s personification working for the private sector development for last 28 years. With her deep understanding of business, she focused on developing entrepreneurial talent, organizing financial and marketing resources to enable women get over hurdles. She founded BWCCI in 2001 to empower women into businesses and developed more

diane_morris_crop_(2)Diane Morris2015 Mandy Goetze 21st Century Award Recipient

A graduate of the London School of Economics for whom she was the inaugural Chair of the Female Alumni Network, Diane has a marketing background, originally working in consumer magazines and advertising for IPC Women’s Magazines and Gillette in the UK, moving into international business media with BBC World, TIME and Fortune Magazine during the ten years she spent in Asia. She moved into conferences with DNMstrategies who were the producers and managers of the BusinessWeek

2015 World of Difference 100 Award Recipients

fatema AWFatema Abdulwahed M Al. Ahmed, Bahrain, Public Service/Government

Mrs. Fatema has dedicated her career to develop nursing as a profession of choice for women in Bahrain. Given Bahrain’s cultural challenges and conservative community, she worked with passion to encourage Bahraini women to join nursing. She visited high schools, social clubs, community groups and student societies giving lectures and sharing her experience as a female Bahraini nurse to promote nursing as a noble profession that contributes to healthy communities. When she started this

Photo©John Cassidy The Headshot Guy® 401009Miranda Abrahams, UK, Corporate

Miranda Abrahams is Head of Emerging Markets Loan Syndicate at Barclays. She is responsible for managing all aspects of underwriting, pricing, syndication strategy and liquidity for loans in the CEEMEA regions. She is also passionate about diversity and supporting women. Miranda is an Executive Director on the Board of Women in Banking & Finance and Head of the Women on Boards Program. Miranda is a driving force behind the appointment of more Women on Boards and has led

Olajumoke Adenowo - 1Olajumoke Adenowo, Nigeria, Non-Profit/NGO

Mrs. Adenowo is a multiple Award winning, Chartered Architect with a BSc. (Hons) and MSc in Architecture. She is an alumnus of a number of prestigious institutions including the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Program (2002) and The IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Barcelona, Spain (2005). She is the CEO of AD Consulting, an award winning boutique architectural firm and an NGO -Awesome Treasures Foundation which seeks to create awareness and empower its

gender-female-2-512Muna Al Gurg, UAE, Corporate

Muna Al Gurg is one of the UAE’s most prominent women in business, and was named Businesswoman of the Year at the 2013 Arab Woman Awards. She is Director of retail at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, and sits on several company boards, often being the only woman on the team. She instigated the launch of the Al Gurg Women’s Empowerment Forum to offer both training to female employees, but also to enable women to share their opinions to people at the board level within the Easa Al Gurg organization.

Rohini Anand, USA, Corporate

Dr. Rohini Anand is Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer for Sodexo, a leading provider of Quality of Life Services with $20 billion or 13.4 billion euro in annual revenue and nearly 420,000 employees in 80 countries. In her current role, Dr. Anand is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation and alignment of Sodexo’s integrated global diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as Sodexo USA’s sustainable development and corporate social responsibility

Julie_AnkersJulie Ankers, Australia,Education

Julie Ankers, is an outstanding woman leader who has led Women Chief of Enterprises International (WCEI) as their president through a particularly difficult period, guiding the organization back from the brink of financial disaster. Her successful style of leadership is in understanding the need for good communication, dedication and compassion, working hard within the network of remarkable women that is WCEI, to facilitate its recovery. Julie is Managing Director of E&S Training and Development

meazaMeaza Ashenafi, Ethiopia, Entrepreneurship

Meaza Ashenafi is one of the prominent women leaders in Ethiopia. Lawyer by profession, she established and managed the most successful national women’s rights advocacy organization the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association. She was very instrumental in working on reforms, amendments and additions on existing laws affecting women’s rights.   The Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association helps African women with legal aid when their rights have been violated. They also provide

marsha bailey.011_editedMarsha Bailey, USA, Entrepreneurship

Marsha Bailey is the founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) and the Small Business Loan Fund of Santa Barbara. Marsha has been developing educational programs and services for women since 1983 and is the primary author of WEV’s self-employment training curriculum, From Vision to Venture. Under Marsha’s leadership, WEV has grown from a small organization with two employees and an annual budget of $75,000 to a nationally recognized women’s business development

Stephanie BaricStephanie Baric, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

Stephanie Baric, Executive Director of the AHA Foundation, has long-been a champion for gender equality and women’s empowerment generally and economically.   With more than 20 years of experience empowering women and girls around the world through her work with Child Fund, CARE, Counterpart, the United Nations and the AHA Foundation, Stephanie has led and implemented initiatives that advance women economically, so they can lift themselves, their families and their

Julie BarkerMerzJulie Barker-Merz, Canada, Corporate

Julie Barker-Merz joined BMO Financial Group in 1996 and has served in various roles including in an executive capacity since 2011 and was appointed to her current position as President, BMO InvestoreLine and Head of Direct Investing Wealth Management for BMO Financial Group in 2014. Julie has been a tireless advocate for women and has been passionately involved in various committees, boards and groups both internally and externally that have been instrumental in promoting the

AvilPic1Avil Beckford, Canada, Entrepreneurship

Avil Beckford’s life is spent investing her knowledge, experience and vast intelligence in the service of advancing others, predominantly women, along their respective career paths.  Currently President of Ellevate (Toronto Chapter) an organization that promotes the corporate engagement of women, Avil is a well-known behind the scenes volunteer for organizations that are focused on the advancement of women. Specifically, many years of service to the then Canadian Women in Communications (CWC)

Ida-Beerhalter-BWIda Beerhalter, Germany, Corporate

Ida Beerhalter is Co-Head of IOME, a Multi Single Family Office and Private Investment Partnership formed by women Principles from the Gulf Region. Ida has also been working with women in Saudi Arabia and tirelessly supporting women entrepreneurs. Her inspiring, courageous, tenacious efforts have culminated in establishing the all-women Principles head office in Riyadh, KSA. Her successful involvement with various for profit and not for profit organizations around the Globe (Astia USA,

gender-female-2-512Elaine Bellezza, USA, Entrepreneurship

Elaine’s work and vision for the last 20 plus years has been about transforming and supporting the work of African and other country’s artisans, into products that shine with love and joy and are marketed locally and globally; Artisans whose creative work would be invisible and lost if she was not the conduit to global markets. In 2002 she birthed her own business Mia Mali in West Africa; she supported and inspired a group of artisan’s to transition away from selling small items tailored to

Ameera_photoAmeera Bin Karam, UAE, Non-Profit/NGO

HE Ameera Bin Karam, is Chairman, of the Sharjah Business Council for Women. In 2012, Ameera was awarded the UAE’s “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Arab Women Award, an organization whose jury she has since been invited to lead. She also serves on the board of Education for Employment, a non-profit organization dedicated to youth employment across the Middle East and North Africa. Her Excellency BinKaram is an ardent advocate of women’s participation in economic activities; is a

Paola BonomoPaola Bonomo, Italy, Entrepreneurship

Paola Bonomo is an independent Board member, angel investor, and advisor in the technology space with over 20 years of experience. Since 2009, Paola has participated in Italian Angels for Growth, Italy’s most prominent angel group, where she focuses on screening investments and supporting entrepreneurs in the digital space. She has actively recruited women to the group, which has more than doubled its share of women members (from 4% to 9%), and has recently lead the group’s first

gender-female-2-512Claire Braund & Ruth Medd, Australia, Education

Claire Braund and Ruth Medd, have worked tirelessly since founding their company, Women on Boards, in 2006 to improve the gender balance on Australian boards. Claire is the Executive Director and Ruth is the Chair. A truly dynamic duo, they partner with the private, public and non-profit sectors to hold events, run programs, create opportunities and coach and mentor women into career and director roles. They carry out frequent research (Claire wrote a report on Gender Balance in Global

Sonia Brown Head shot-1Sonia Brown, UK, Entrepreneurship

Sonia Brown is the Founder and Director of the National Black Women’s Network (NBWN) and sits on the boards of several UK government agencies. She is a top networker and mover and shaker dedicated to the empowerment of women in business. Sonia is passionate about supporting personal achievement and professional development for women and was awarded an MBE for her work.   NBWN is a non-profit organization founded by Sonia in 1999, dedicated to raising the status and position of black

inekepasppIneke Bussemaker, The Netherlands, Corporate

Ineke Bussemaker has been working for more than 25 years in the international banking. In the various countries where she has lived and worked, she is an active member in business networks (Member of the Board, American Chamber of Commerce Denmark) and business women’s networks. Ineke is a global ambassador of TIAW (The International Alliance for Women) and a member of the Rosenblatt Committee. It is thanks to Ineke and Sybilla Dekker, past TIAW award winner who led the Rosenblatt

Donnetta campbell  Donnetta Campbell, USA, Entrepreneurship

Donnetta Campbell is a social media innovator for the “digital influencer” age.  She has created a unique social media architecture and methodology that delivers authentic social engagement for causes, brands, institutions, and senior leaders.  Her current projects include leading global influencers at Harry Walker Speaker’s Agency, Weber Shandwick, Interbrand, Tribeca & Harvard’s Disruptor Foundation, Techweek, Oxford’s Power Shift Forum and The DoubleXEconomy.  Advisory Board positions  include United Nations FSUN, Global Partnerships Forum, Games For Change,

Margareth chachaMargareth Chacha, Tanzania, Corporate

Ms. Margareth Mataba Chacha is the Managing Director of the Tanzania Women’s Bank Ltd. She has over 28 years of experience in senior managerial positions including Operation’s Manager, UNDP Tanzania, Budget Officer – UN Mission Sudan, Director of Banking – CRDB Bank and Compliance Manager – NPF (NSSF). Margareth is a member of Global Women Banks Association, President of Women in Agri-Business in Sub Sahara Africa Alliance (WASAA). Margareth is a woman of many firsts:

Chamlou,-Nadereh(PR2_F)Nadereh Chamlou, USA, Corporate

Mrs. Nadereh Chamlou is an International Development Expert and Former Senior Advisor to the Chief Economist for the MENA Region at the World Bank. Mrs. Chamlou is a valued Board Member of the Arab International Women’s Forum. Nadereh is originally Iranian and has dedicated a lifetime of work towards empowering women in the international labor market. In her three decades with the World Bank, she has held various managerial and advisory positions across the World Bank in areas such as

gender-female-2-512Maria Helena deFelipe Lehtonen, Spain, Entrepreneurship

Maria Helena de Felipe Lehtonen founded an organization in Spain which serves as a platform for international projects that promote gender equality in the marketplace. Bearing in mind that in the Mediterranean area, there are religious stereotypes and inequality she founded and became President of the Association of Organizations of Mediterranean Businesswomen (AFAEMME) in 2002. Over the years, AFAEMME has expanded and is comprised of 36 women entrepreneur organizations from 21

gender-female-2-512Ruth DeGolia, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

Cleveland native Ruth DeGolia began working with artisans in rural Latin America in 2002 while studying at Yale University. She worked with NGOs and rural indigenous communities in Guatemala on a range of local development initiatives, including community health, education, and income-generation projects. With a start-up grant from Echoing Green, Ruth founded Mercado Global in 2004 to provide sustainable income opportunities to one of the region’s most economically, socially and

Dana AL DAIRANIDana Derani,Syria, Non-Profit/NGO

Dana Al Derani’s development work empowering girls and women has included managing a Syrian project that integrates technology in the education system. In one village, girls at a primary level were not allowed to access the internet for fear of exposure to the world of possibilities the internet brings. Realizing that the main barrier was of a religious nature, Dana spoke to religious and community leaders to explain the positive impact of girls’ empowerment on the entire village. These leaders

Marcia DysonMarcia Dyson, USA, Entrepreneurship

Marcia L. Dyson is a social entrepreneur who companies include Women’s Global Initiative; M and M Dyson, LLC; and Global Alliance. She was the first chief of staff for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s International Trade Bureau; Public Information Officer for the City of Chicago where she promoted her hometown as “the world by the lake.” Dyson has worked tirelessly for women globally for most of her professional life. As a consultant to the Clinton Foundation, Dyson worked with women in Haiti to create a gender

MERYAM (1)Meryam El Ouafi, Morocco, Non-Profit/NGO

Meryam El Ouafi, a VV GROW Fellow, founded her business ten years ago at the age of 20 by competing on a national television show for the best entrepreneur in Morocco. After participating, Meryam established ChemsAyour, a tourist complex which offers dinner shows, weddings, catering, and conferences while employing more than 60 people from the community. Meryam has ambitious plans to grow ChemsAyour in the coming years, reaching new customers all while building the internal systems

gender-female-2-512Rima El-Husseini, Lebanon, Entrepreneurship

Vital Voices first became acquainted with Rima El-Husseini in 2012 when she was selected to participate in a prestigious mentoring program, the FORTUNE/U.S. State Department’s Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, implemented by Vital Voices. As the Co-Owner of Blessing, a successful fine chocolates business in Beirut, Rima was focused on continuing the growth of her business. Following the program, it became clear that she had a deep interest in giving back to other

Patricia EllisPatricia Ellis, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

DC Patricia Ellis is the founder of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group (WFPG) an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational membership organization that promotes global engagement and the leadership, visibility and participation of women in international affairs. WFPG’s in-depth global issues programs feature women leaders and highlight their contributions and voices. The organization also hosts leadership development activities to promote the next generation of women leaders. WFPG is

GLADYS 194 (2)Gladys England, Sierra Leone, Entrepreneurship

Gladys England BSc. is the Managing Director of Oasis Juice Bar & Cafe, an enterprise which she started in February 2011. Gladys is a sterling example of an entrepreneurial woman who has not let typical ongoing challenges or the recent Ebola crisis in the Sierra Leone business world stand in her way of success. She has encountered and overcome the stigma of women’s role in society as homemakers only; she runs her enterprise singlehandedly with a complement of 15 staff of which 80%

Denise EvansDenise Evans, USA, Corporate

Denise Evans has served as Vice President of Market Development for the IBM corporation since 2012. In this capacity she empowers women entrepreneurs globally. Her focus has been to use social media, (pod casts, webinars, text, email, face book, twitter and Skype) to connect women business influencers around the globe. Throughout her tenure, Ms. Evans has mentored a small health company in New Jersey, served on the Board of the Better Business Bureaus, and many other achievements too

Stephenie FosterStephenie Foster, USA, Public Service/Government

Stephenie Foster has focused on women’s economic and political empowerment over 25 years of domestic and international policy advocacy, government affairs, program development and training and law. Currently Senior Advisor, Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI), U.S. State Department, she reports directly to the Ambassador-at-Large, playing a pivotal role in a wide range of policies and programs central to the work done by S/GWI, including women’s economic empowerment;

FarrahFarah Foustok, UK, Corporate

Farah Foustok is the CEO and Senior Executive Officer of Lazard Gulf Ltd. (Dubai). She began working in the investment field in 1994. She has risen up the ranks to become one of the few women in her position in the Middle East. In April 2014 Farah completed her accreditation with Mudara, Institute of Directors, to become only the 4th female certified board director in the Gulf region. When not working in the Boardroom, where she is often the only woman, she works tirelessly on projects to support the

Lynne Franks TIAW 2015Lynne Franks, UK, Entrepreneurship

Lynne Franks wrote The SEED Handbook, the feminine way to do business, in 2000, which was simultaneously published in the U.S., UK and the English-speaking world as the first book to teach women how to start a sustainable business from the grass roots. Subsequently published in Germany, Japan, Brazil and China, SEED (Sustainable Enterprise and Empowerment Dynamics) became a mixed-media learning business empowerment program for women, delivered in diverse formats across

MargotMargot Franssen, Canada, Non-Profit/NGO

Margot Franssen has a saying that she uses often and which sums up her approach to life and business: “If you are looking for the starting point to unlock prosperity, look no farther than changing the life of a woman.” Margot co-founded The Body Shop Canada with her husband and together they built it into one of Canada’s 50 best-managed private companies and one of the 100 best companies to work for in Canada, known for its ethical approach to business practices. Integral to her success was a passion to

J Gassman HZTLJoanne Gassman, Canada, Corporate

Joanne Gassman was a driving force for the economic empowerment of women throughout her four decades with BMO Bank of Montreal retiring as Senior Vice President, Personal & Commercial Banking for BC and Yukon Division. Joanne’s positive impact on women has been so strongly valued by BMO, that she is now SVP, Women’s Market (in retirement!). Thus, Joanne continues to promote BMO’s focus on women entrepreneurs by improving the business and financial information available

Malli GeroStephanie Sonnabend 4x6 color Purple-p1a0ds76pmab41esc11ql17gb153qMalli Gero & Stephanie Sonnabend, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

The idea for 2020 Women on Boards (WOB) grew out of co-founders’ Stephanie Sonnabend and Malli Gero, work on women’s leadership issues. As the President and former CEO of an international hospitality company, Stephanie Sonnabend sits on two public boards and is a member of a number of women’s leadership organizations. Malli Gero, a public relations consultant, has worked on women’s leadership issues for over a decade. They were frustrated with the slow progress made in increasing the

gender-female-2-512Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo, Philippines, Public Service/Government

Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo, Representative of the Third District of Camarines Sur, is a lawyer by profession. She isn’t using her legal profession to enrich herself but to empower the weak and the marginalized, including the peasants, fishermen, laborers, women, children, and urban/rural poor. She became the President of the Naga City Council for Women where the position is an elective post without salary, honorarium, or bonuses from the government. The Council itself is a policy recommendatory

Official PortraitKirsten Gillibrand, USA, Public Service/Government

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, has been an advocate for women for many years. Since her days as a lawyer taking on pro bono cases defending battered women, to working with Hillary Clinton to encourage women to enter politics and leadership, Gillibrand has always taken a strong stance towards the advancement of women and girls. Her story is told in her book ‘Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World.’ Gillibrand’s office released Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit, a research

CarolineGCaroline Graham, UK, Community

Caroline Graham is an experienced and highly driven business Change Director with a successful track record in delivering strategic global projects.   A global practitioner, Caroline spent three years from 2012-2014 in India as Head of Location Change. During her time in India, Caroline oversaw the build out of Barclays Operations in Chennai and Mumbai.   Caroline has directed her change and communications experience to establish Diversity and Inclusion frameworks and run Diversity

Heilmanfull - Version 2Pamela Heilman, USA, Entrepreneurship

Pamela Heilman, partner at Hodgson Russ law firm, has devoted substantial time to the development of cross-border business relationships and the promotion of women in international business. She helped found the firm’s first Canadian office in 1989, focusing her practice on cross-border business and charities law. She regularly counseled Canadian organizations and businesses considering expansion into the United States. Pam recently served as a director of TIAW, which acts as the umbrella

Tanya Hine picTanya Hine, UK, Entrepreneurship

Tanya Hine has supported women in a variety of fields and endeavors and in all cases has had a major impact upon their lives. Without her influence, WCEI would not be a member of the Association Les Femmes Chefs D’Entreprises Mondial (FCEM). After completing her education, Tanya joined the Royal Air Force and in addition to her Supply and Accounting Branch duties, she acted as interpreter for United Nations Forces, being fluent in English, German and Russian. After many years serving in

gender-female-2-512Hind Hobeika, Lebanon, Entrepreneurship

Hind is the founder and CEO of Instabeat, an award winning startup based in Beirut, Lebanon developing a heads-up display for swimmers to monitor their performance. Hind is the brainchild and inventor who coined this innovative idea while training with the American University of Beirut’s swimming varsity team. Her background is in Mechanical engineering which helped her put the first prototype together. Fast forward only three years and she has a team of nine engineers shipping her

gender-female-2-512Thanan Hok, Cambodia, Entrepreneurship

Thanan Hok is an inspiring woman whose social enterprise, Kravan House, is providing livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable women in Cambodia; disabled women, their families, and women who have been affected by land evictions. Her venture was founded in 2003 and coordinates the work of more than 30 expert silk and cotton weavers and seamstresses, from both city and rural areas. Kravan House, located in Phnom Penh, helps artisans sell their wares through its shop and by accessing export

Ling-Hsiang HuangLing-Hsiang (Sunny) Huang, Taiwan, Public Service/Government

Since 1997, Ling-Hsiang (Sunny) Huang has been Vice Director of the Foundation for Women’s Rights Promotion and Development, Taiwan. The Foundation serves as a bridge for dialogue between the government and the private sectors to build a centre of resource and information exchange for all women in Taiwan. It is comprised of chiefs from ministries engaged in women’s issues, women’s rights specialists, and representatives from women’s organizations and reports directly to the head of

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarina Hughson, Serbia, Non-Profit/NGO

Dr. Marina Hughson has devoted 30 years of her life, as an academic, women’s activist and international gender expert, to the improvement of women’s economic condition especially in the post-communist world. Marina’s work has made an impact on economic empowerment of many different women in different countries: from women in rural areas (in Azerbaijan, Bosnia or Vojvodina) or single parents (Montenegro, Serbia) to women professionals and scientists (in Central and Eastern

Clara IsmalClara Isama, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

Sparks flew when Clara Isama met TIAW World of Difference Award winner Diago Ndiaye in 2011. They shared a common heritage in West Africa (Clara is originally from Nigeria and Diago is from Senegal) and a common interest in improving the economic status of women. In 2013, Clara formed the non-profit, Global Women’s Initiative for Advancement and raised funds to start three projects in Nigeria, Senegal and The Gambia. Diago helped Clara make contacts on the ground to work

elizabethisele3Elizabeth Isele, USA, Entrepreneurship

Recognized globally as a pioneering senior entrepreneurship expert, 72-year-old, Elizabeth Isele, is leading the transformation of the culture of aging and retirement from one of seniors as liabilities to one of seniors as assets. She has created a comprehensive program to empower and unleash the potential of seniors age 50+ in what she has coined the 21st-century “Experienced Economy” including: Education Programs to support senior entrepreneurs fully across the entrepreneurial developmental

Narmin IsmailNarmin Ismail, Canada, Education/Community (2noms)

When Narmin Ismail founded the Spark of Hope Foundation in April 2014, she wanted to raise funds for university level needs-based scholarships for bright young women with strong leadership potential, so that these women can make a huge social and economic impact in their communities as tomorrow’s leaders. Her hope was that by September 2015, the Foundation would be supporting six to ten such bright women. But she had no funds, no charitable status, no board, no students, no, on-ground

S Jalbert-9720 HeadshotSusanne Jalbert, USA, Entrepreneurship

Dr. Susanne Jalbert works for the economic development for women, humanitarian action, peace and security and elimination of discrimination against women and girls. As an independent consultant for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Dr. Jalbert completed over 85 projects in over 45 countries for more than 30 USAID contractors, thereby accruing regional expertise in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, Central Asia

gender-female-2-512Marieme Jamme, UK, Non-Profit/NGO

Marieme Jamme. Marieme was born in Senegal. At birth, her mother gave her and her twin brother for adoption. She then sent them to an orphanage until the age of 15 where she was sold to be a prostitute in France. Her twin was a beggar on the streets of Senegal. Marieme never attended school until the age of 16. Despite a difficult and challenging childhood, Marieme has turned her life around. She moved from being an autodidact to a leader, a blogger, tech and education activist who works tirelessly

Jeffery_Pamela_1Pamela Jeffery, Canada, Entrepreneurship

Pamela Jeffery, founder and CEO of WXN (Women’s Executive Network) conducts business in both Canada and Dublin, Ireland. In 1997, Ms. Jeffrey envisioned a ground breaking format to empower and profile Canadian business women by brilliantly conceiving the now established list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. Since then, hundreds of women have been celebrated, empowering many of them to market their brand, describe their accomplishments and most importantly to inspire

DorothyDorothy Kanduhukye, Uganda, Entrepreneurship

At 30 years of age, Dorothy Kanduhukye is an extraordinary development/community worker and business management professional. She has actively served the enterprise education movement in Uganda with a selfless approach to community service, focusing primarily on helping women access business opportunities by coordinating their efforts and helping them grow capacity to exploit opportunities available to them. She has worked with the media to highlight the challenges that women

Maha Khatib, Jordan, Non-Profit/NGOgender-female-2-512

Maha Khatib was the Director General of the Jordan River Foundation [JRF]. In seven years, Maha was able to transform JRF to become the most successful NGO in Jordan, with a portfolio of over 100 million dollars of development programs across Jordan. While JRF targeted underprivileged groups of all backgrounds, special focus was put on supporting women economically. Under her leadership, JRF helped thousands of women receive training, funding, and guidance to become economically

SufianaDr. Sufiana Khatoon, Pakistan Education

The exemplary courage of conviction in one’s destiny is exhibited by Dr. Sufiana Khatoon who belongs to the far-flung area of Isa Khel (District Mianwali Punjab, Pakistan) where resistance to female education is at its highest and the rate of literacy is in the lowest range. She herself is an example of the cause of female education and empowerment. After school education, her father did not allow for her for college education and she continued further education at home till master level. Finally realizing Dr.

gender-female-2-512Shulamith Koenig, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

In 1998, Shulamith Koenig founded, PDHRE: People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning (formerly Peoples Decade for Human Rights Education)   She has worked since 1989, with civil society leaders in over 100 countries and visited 60, facilitating grassroots discussions between women and man of all ages evoking critical thinking and systemic analysis, invigorating social responsibility, promoting equality without discrimination, and deciphering between symptoms

RANORano Kosimova, Tajikistan, Non-Profit/NGO

Mrs. Rano Kosimova has played an important role in improving women’s access to education, health and economic resources to help them become active participants in developing their families and society. In 1996, she established a non-governmental, public organization, ‘Parastor’ (in English Care) with women from the Zargar community of Dushanbe City. She was elected as a chief executive at the general meeting of the organization. The organization works on poverty alleviation in the communities

Iwona Kozera 1 016 exaIwona Kozera, Poland, Non-Profit/NGO

Iwona Kozera is the Founder of the Women Leadership in Business Foundation, EY Partner, Capital Market Group Director for the EMEA Region. She has been working for EY (formerly Ernest and Young) since the beginning of her professional career in 1992. Ms. Kozera is an active participant in the transformation of the Polish financial sector, providing advice to the biggest Polish and global financial institutions. She graduated from Warsaw University of Technology and completed management

Kellie Leitch Dr Kellie Leitch, Canada, Public Service/Government

As Canada’s Minister of Labour & Minister of Status of Women since July 2013, Dr. Kellie Leitch is in a unique position to influence the economic empowerment of women through government policies and programs. Status of Women Canada (SWC), a federal government organization that promotes full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada, has had a Minister responsible since 1971. However, it is under Minister Leitch’s leadership that this agency

Isabella LenarduzziIsabella Lenarduzzi, Belgium, Entrepreneurship

Isabella Lenarduzzi is a European social entrepreneur who founded her business, JUMP, in 2006 with the aim of advancing economic development by empowering women and promoting gender equality. The business today consists of annual Forums in Brussels and Paris (conferences attended by hundreds of women with high-profile speakers on a wide range of topical issues), workshops to support women in achieving their professional aspirations, surveys, a multilingual web platform and e-newsletter

gender-female-2-512Chin Mei Lu, Taiwan, Non-Profit/NGO

Ms. Chin Mei Lu is the 14th and 15th president of Taiwanese Women’s Entrepreneurs Association (TWEA) in Taiwan. During her days in office, she has successfully brought spotlight onto Taiwanese women entrepreneurs by leading them into the global community and helping her country in diplomatic affairs.   Under her leadership, many friendship treaties have been signed between women entrepreneurs associations of other countries and the TWEA, fully demonstrating women’s strength

Miriam LuyomboMariam Luyombo, Uganda, Education

Mariam started a girls-only school over 20 years ago with the theme “Education with a Difference.” The young girls were treated as individuals and encouraged in all aspects of life. Girls who had been written off that they cannot succeed because they had performed very badly were given a chance in her school, many performed very well and were molded into very good citizens and are now successful in their careers. Her teaching methods were recognized by other schools and she was asked to train

Kalaiarasi ManikamKalairasi Manikam, Malaysia, Entrepreneurship

Ms. Kalairasi Manikam is a Malaysian, an electrical engineer by profession, with a Masters in High Voltage Engineering. She however chose to be an entrepreneur, in E-network marketing/ distribution with a global company called Qnet. In 2002, in conjunction with friends from Uganda, she founded Northstar Success Academy, which has now crossed borders in more than ten countries in Africa and Asia. Over 60% of her business partners are women from all walks of life, many older than her yet

Mariam MatarMariam Matar, UAE, Public Service/Government

Her Excellency Dr. Mariam Matar is among the 20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World and is listed in Arabian Business’ 100 Most Powerful Arab Women. Dr. Matar is the first Emirati woman to become a Director General in the Dubai Government and the first appointed Under Secretary of Ministry of Health. Dr. Matar is Deputy Chairperson of Dubai Cares (a non-profit providing childhood education in developing countries). In Yemen and Mali, Dubai Cares built private restrooms,

JosieJosie Mousseau, Canada, Public Service/Government

From the big picture to the smallest detail, from organizing international events to advising the smallest woman-owned business, Josie Mousseau excels at them all. She has the ability to make connections for the development of women-owned businesses. Helping women succeed is what drives her. She is the kind of person who inspires.   Her goal is to see women-owned businesses thrive nationally and internationally. Josie works with governments, organizations and businesses to connect people

Sally-Muggeridge-013Sally Muggeridge, UK, Corporate

The Reverend Sally Muggeridge is a senior businesswoman who has championed women’s economic empowerment both in her corporate life and voluntary work throughout her career. She is currently a board member of Total Upstream UK Ltd, a leading supplier of gas and power to UK businesses. Sally has worked at Board level in several major international firms including British Telecom, Cable and Wireless and Pearson, the international media and publishing group, as Global Head of Diversity.

Indrani Mukherjiee BAMBOOOZ INDIAIndrani Mukherjee, India, Entrepreneurship

Indrani Mukherjee a Civil Engineer and Management PG is the co-founder and Managing Director of Bamboooz, established in 2010 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The company is comprised of highly skilled Artisans, Designers and Engineers concentrated around environment friendly engineering services, project management and structural design made of bamboo. Bamboooz introduced bamboo mat boards in vehicle body building and received approval from the Association of State Road

Tahira Naseem - 1Tahira Naseem, Pakistan, Community

Tahira Naseem is a social entrepreneur and Co-Convener S/C Women Resource Centre of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Pakistan, with extensive women economic empowerment accomplishments, providing home-based work and economic opportunities to rural poor women in Lahore ,Pakistan; increasing their income self-sufficiency and reducing the cycle of extreme poverty. Tahira founded her social enterprise, Tahira Enterprises in 1990 with a two-fold goal;

gender-female-2-512Janet Nkubana, Rwanda, Entrepreneurship

Janet Nkubana and her sister Joy Ndungutse co-founded Gahaya Links. They have been recognized internationally for not only creating business opportunities for hundreds of women (and men) in rural Rwanda after a dark point in Rwandan history, but also by taking that business to international markets, particularly with a major U.S. purchaser Macy’s, Fair Winds Trading and Oprah Magazine, among many others. Gahaya Links is now the leader of Rwanda’s one-of-a-kind baskets

gender-female-2-512Odette Nyrimilamo, Rwanda, Public Service/Government

Dr. Odette Nyiramilimo has contributed to the economic empowerment of women while in Government as a Minister and Senator of Rwanda, and continues to empower women whilst serving in the East African Legislative Assembly since 2009. Odette was born in 1956, where she was 17th  in a family of 21, including nine sisters and two mothers, in which girls were not well valued. In 1959, her home was destroyed and family cattle slaughtered resulting in poverty. Despising poverty, Odette

yanee page profile photoYaneek Page, Jamaica, Entrepreneurship

In running her company providing access to justice for Jamaicans lacking resources to navigate the legal system, Yaneek Page observed how entrepreneurship could drive economic growth in Jamaica so she expanded her focus to entrepreneurship and has combined this with her passion for women’s economic empowerment. Yaneek is a regular contributor to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, with a column devoted to providing advice to answer the questions of entrepreneurs and is the founder of

Claudia ParzaniClaudia Parzani, Italy, Community

Claudia Parzani is a Capital Markets partner in the Milan office and co-head of the global Consumer sector group at law firm Linklaters. She specializes in capital markets and public M&A transactions. Claudia is Chair of the corporate association Valore D and was the co-creator of “In the Boardroom”, an initiative she developed in 2012 with GE Capital and Egon Zehnder to provide training and skills to prepare women for boardroom positions. Over 100 women have graduated from the program, and

gender-female-2-512Lynne Patterson, USA, Entrepreneurship

Lynne Patterson is the Co-Founder and Director Emerita of Pro Mujer, a leading women’s development organization providing women in Latin American with the vital services necessary to become financially independent, healthy leaders in their communities. Founded in 1990 in Bolivia, Pro Mujer now transforms the lives of low-income women and their families in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, Mexico and Argentina.

Joyce PhekaniJoyce Phekani, Malawi, Non-Profit/NGO

Joyce Phekani is a tireless advocate for women and children suffering from domestic abuse, especially in addressing the lack of financial empowerment faced by women. Joyce is Executive Director of the Centre for Alternatives for Victimized Women and Children (CAVWC) in Blantyre, Malawi, ensuring that women who suffer from sexual, physical, financial or psychological abuse

Lisa Marie PlatskeLisa Marie Platske, USA, Entrepreneurship

Believing there is no “magic formula” for success, award-winning leadership expert, Lisa Marie Platske, devotes her life to economically empowering women entrepreneurs. Fifty percent of her clients have doubled or tripled their bottom line. The tools she provides last a life-time, not merely responding to the newest economic trends. Successful, like-minded women learn to connect

Linda ResnikLinda Resnick, USA, Entrepreneurship

A life-long innovator and advocate for women’s economic empowerment, Linda Resnick heads an executive search firm, CEO Resources. An entrepreneur who “gets” entrepreneurs, Linda wrote a guide to finding a job in a small company, A Big Splash in a Small Pond, 1994 and has used her own business experience to further women’s economic empowerment. In 2007 she co-founded Women International Leaders of Greater Philadelphia (WIL)

Denise RestauriDenise Restauri, USA, Entrepreneurship

15 years ago after a 25-year career in sales and marketing, Denise Restauri left her corner-office job as VP of Sales at USA TODAY to empower girls and women. She founded, the first-ever safe social networking site and Summits for pre-adolescent girls, platforms to speak up and be heard. Seeing that girls and women needed better role models than celebrities the media was celebrating,

Pramila RijalPramila Acharya Rijal, Nepal, Non-Profit/NGO

Pramila Acharya Rijal is Founder and President of the South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF) and Immediate Past Chairperson of SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council. SAWDF is an independent, not-for-profit organization with the aim of pursuing sustainable development. Pramila has been instrumental in successfully advocating with the government of Nepal to grant

Andrena headshot1Andrena Sawyer, USA, Community

At age 25, Andrena Sawyer stepped away from her full-time position as a social worker to pursue the dream of owning her own business. Three years later, this dream is providing much needed economic empowerment programs to hundreds of women in the Washington, DC area.   With Master’s Degree in Women’s Development Studies, Ms. Sawyer founded and is President of P.E.R.K., a non-profit consulting company

LindaScottRedGlassesLinda Scott, UK, Public Service/Government

Linda Scott, DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Oxford has worked to develop and test market-based means for empowering women economically, especially poor women in developing countries. In these projects, she engages multinational corporations, such as Wal-Mart and ExxonMobil, global NGOs, such as CARE and Oxfam, and intergovernmental agencies, such as UNICEF. 

VeronikaScott.jpg-2Veronika Scott, USA, Young Woman Leader

25-year-old Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, has built an organization that began around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless. The coat is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets,

Diane Sears headshotDiane Sears, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

Founder and president of DiVerse Media LLC, Diane Sears helps people become published authors in her business and worked to support women entrepreneurs as a not for profit leader. A career journalist, Diane knows how to leverage her expertise and her networks to advance economic empowerment for women. She is the former founding editor-in-chief of Venture Woman, a national magazine for women business owners

Beena SebastianBeena Sebastian, India, Non-Profit/NGO

Beena Sebastian is the creator and director of the “Cultural Academy for Peace”. A true Gandhian, she has devoted her life to the principals of non-violent conflict resolution and empowerment of abused and oppressed women in her community. The academy has two shelters: one devoted to victims of domestic and sexual abuse, the other to young victims of the sex trade. In both shelters, residents participate

ALICIA SIERRA MORALESAlicia Sierra, Mexico, Non-Profit/NGO

Alicia Sierra has been Program Manager of WEConnect International (WECI) in Mexico since November 2012. Her passion and conviction about women entrepreneurship has enabled the success of the WECI program in Mexico, where today more than 600 women entrepreneurs are self-registered members. Alicia has been tireless in promoting the program of supplier diversity in the value chain of WECI corporate members.

sevi simaviSevi Simavi, UK, Entrepreneurship

Sevi is a global expert on women’s entrepreneurship. She has undertaken primary research on the investment climate as part of her work with the World Bank Group. This research has enabled the World Bank Group’s engagement in this space to be done in a gender aware manner. Since taking the helm of the Cherie Blair Foundation, she has expanded the work around financial access for women entrepreneurs

Marilyn SkonyMarilyn Skony Stamm, USA, Education

By her mentoring and philanthropic work, Marilyn Skony Stamm has helped at least hundreds (and possibly thousands) of businesswomen and women students to reach success and personal economic empowerment.   As CEO of Stamm International Corp., Marilyn employs over 400 people in 40+ countries, with female branch managers, female local CFOs and women working on the shop floor.

NICOLE STILLNicole Still, Italy, Entrepreneurship

Not yet 40, Nicole has had an amazing professional journey from award winning journalist to senior corporate positions to launching three companies, earning numerous awards including Australia’s Top 40 Under 40 along the way. She is also the founder of Viajiyu srl in Italy. The name refers to the road less traveled by today’s women. Viajiyu produces high end custom shoes for women and recently men in Italy.

gender-female-2-512Shahnaz Taplin, USA, Non-Profit/NGO

Shahnaz Taplin is Founder and CEO of Invest in Muslim Women, a fiscal project of the Global Fund for Women that has operated since 2009 in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Invest in Muslim Women pioneers tipping point projects targeted to economically empower Muslim women, while taking a pluralistic view to accommodate women of other faiths in the community who would like to be included in their projects.

Tina Tchen Valerie JarrettTina Tchen & Valerie Jarrett, USA, Public Service/Government

On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. Tina Tchen serves as the Executive Director of the Council which is chaired by Valerie Jarrett. Its members include the head of every federal agency and major White House office, so that everyone shares in the responsibility. The Council on Women and Girls is a continuation

Yvonne ThompsonYvonne Thompson, UK, Entrepreneurship

Dr Yvonne Thompson, CBE, is widely recognized for her tireless capacity building work relating to the inequalities of women in business. She is a dynamic entrepreneur who established the first annual national business awards program for minority women, which is patronized by national and international politicians. The awards have officially recognised over 1,000 women business owners and entrepreneurs

gender-female-2-512Rashmi Tiwari, India, Community

Growing up in India, Dr. Rashmi Tiwari defied the gender bias faced by most women and girls by pursuing an education. However, she recognized her experience was rare and that two decades later there has been little progress made for girls in India. In a Washington Post op-ed, Rashmi decried the status of tribal girls: “With no one listening and no support in their fight for survival,

Myra TobinMyra Leigh Tobin, USA, Corporate

Myra Leigh Tobin has been a leader of, mentor to, and role model for corporate women for 50 years.   Myra was one of the first women to enter the professional ranks of the commercial insurance industry. Throughout her career she marked a long series of firsts: first woman hired with an M.B.A. (1970), first woman managing director (1982), first “Head” of any gender — of the Chemical/Pharmaceutical Insurance Committee

Brenda TrenowdonBrenda Trenowden, UK, Corporate

Brenda Trenowden is one of the key champions in the UK today pushing women’s economic progress and empowerment both nationally and far beyond through an extraordinarily wide variety of very high profile channels. She was president of City Women Network from April 2012 to April 2014 and prior to that chaired its professional development committee for a year. She has been an instrumental part of the success

Yasemin Tümer - 1Yasemin Tumer, The Netherlands, Entrepreneurship

Yasemin has spent her entire career focusing on women’s empowerment. After University she started a community center to assist migrant women who arrived in The Netherlands totally unprepared, followed a few years later by a vocational training center for women re-entering working life, introducing women to ICT in the late 1980s. The concept was so successful the Dutch Ministry took the total package

A_Katarzyna Twarowska cz2 131 by Paweł KrzywickiexaKatarzyna Twarowska, Poland, Non-Profit/NGO

Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Women Leadership in Business Foundation.  She graduated from Warsaw University of Technology. She is an EY Director in Assurance, Central and South East Europe Real Estate Assurance Leader, senior auditor, recently CEO of family business ProfiLab. Global Ambassador of TIAW (The International Alliance for Women) in Poland. She has been working for EY (formerly Ernst & Young) since the beginning of her professional career in 2003.

Urzaiz, JosefinaJosefina Urzaiz, USA, Entrepreneurship

Josefina is a Social entrepreneur, co-founder of Hammock Boutique and Fundacion Cielo. A native of Yucatan, Mexico, Josefina holds a Graduate degree from Georgetown University and worked as an Investment Banker in New York. But she wanted to give back and decided to apply her skills in business as a social Entrepreneur. She developed the concept for SHE Network: Sustainable Holistic Empowerment Network.

Vicini_headshotCristina Vicini, Italy, Non-Profit/NGO

Cristina Vicini is an international senior executive and board member with companies and charities in Europe and North America. Cristina is also the Honorary President of the Professional Women International Network in Brussels and, together with Candace Johnson, one of the co-founders of the Global Board-Ready Women Initiative, a global grass-roots movement originating in Europe with the support

Bev Wybrow-colour (2)Beverly Wybrow, Canada, Non-Profit/NGO

Beverley Wybrow was President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation from its beginning in 1991 until her retirement in 2013. CWF is Canada’s only national foundation dedicated to giving women and girls in Canada a chance for a better life through its work in violence prevention, helping women out of poverty, empowering girls and ending the traffic in women for sexual exploitation.

Junko YodaJunko Yoda, Singapore, Non-Profit/NGO

Junko worked in Financial Services prior to retiring and enrolling in a leadership program at Harvard so she could set up an NGO called CLinked. CLinked ( stands for Community Linked and is past tense of the slang word ‘clink’, meaning prison. CLinked uses education and economic development to achieve community based prevention of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children.

JanetZagorinJanet Zagorin, USA, Corporate

Janet Zagorin is truly one of the unsung heroes of women’s economic advancement. While Janet serves in a business role as client service officer at Sidley Austin LLP, it is how she supports the firm’s Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women and her work through the Financial Women’s Association and other organizations that has impacted thousands of women. In her role on the Board of New York Cares,

Lindsey Zeihl 6Lindsay Ziehl

Lindsay Ziehl is a 65 year old cancer survivor who has dedicated her life in the past 13 years to be an activist for women’s rights in Port Elizabeth South Africa. She lives and works in a shelter, to assist victims of violence, as South Africa is one of the most violent places in the world. Lindsay is a counsellor and is also the co- founder of Port Elizabeth Lobby for change,

Zrelova1Tatyana Zrelova, Russia, Corporate

Tatyana Zrelova holds a Ph.D. in computer systems and is one of the main founders of the Joint Venture “Dialogue”, one of the first private companies in the former Soviet Union in 1987. The key concept of the company was introducing family and social ethical values into the management/development strategy of the business. While being true to the ethical values of the company,

World of Difference Champions

For some time, TIAW has recognized men as champions for outstanding individual contribution and effort to organizations, and achievements in the corporate world, which support the economic empowerment of women.

Ved at Ashoka Pune_RPL_3427Ved Arya, India

Mr. Ved Ayra is a social   entrepreneur committed to rural development.   In 1997,   he founded   SRIJAN to enhance ‘poor   peoples’ access to   natural resources and build their capacity   to manage   them in a sustainable manner. A non-profit organization, SRIJAN work at the grass roots level in the states of Rajasthan,   Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. Mr. Arya and his team work   directly   with   farmer to design and implement water resource management and livelihood projects.   The   essential components of its livelihoods program includes improving access to water and its management, improve soil health, bring appropriate technology to the poor, improve access to finance, markets and consumers; and build a community institution with a focus on women. Mr. Ayra has been instrumental in securing livelihood for over 16,000 poor, rural families.   He also established the Education for Employability Foundation, an organization that trains rural school drop outs in marketable skills. Mr. Ayra serves on committees at the World Bank, IMF, and the Planning Commission, Government of India. In 2014, SRIJAN was selected as a winner in the Emerging Non-Profit category for the ICCI Foundation and CNBC TV 18‘s Inclusive India Awards.

59th Cannes Lions - Campaign Magazine PartyPaul Bainsfair, UK

Paul Bainsfair is the Director General of the IPA, the trade and professional body for UK advertising agencies. For two years, the IPA has run the Women of Tomorrow competition within the advertising sector to nominate its rising female stars. In that period, over 250 women were nominated and 20 extraordinary women were   shortlisted. The initiative caught the imagination of the trade magazine, Campaign to get involved and the ‘who’s won’ story reached 19 million on social media. Paul Bainsfair as IPA Director General has supported this competition as sponsor, mentor, and judge ensuring these   women of tomorrow receive the support and profile they need.

male-silhouetteWaswa Balunya, Uganda

Processor Balunywa is the Principal, Makerere University Business School (MUBS). He is a prominent researcher, consultant and trainer in different disciplines and as the Board of Trust Chairperson for the Kinawataka Women initiative, has shared his expertise to mentor, support and build networks for the organization. At MUBS, he established Entrepreneurship, Leadership, ICT, and Micro-finance outreach centers which have specific programs for women. Professor Balunywa founded an empowerment program for young women preparing them for leadership roles in both the corporate and political worlds. Finally he also established the Balunywa Foundation to train vulnerable women in rural communities to start or enhance small businesses.

David ChavernDavid Chavern, USA

David Chavern is executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation (CATI). He was founder and president of the Center for Women in Business, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation which promotes and empowers women business leaders to achieve their personal and professional goals by increasing opportunities for women to serve on corporate boards and in the C-suite; mentoring women at every stage of their career and building networks for women entrepreneurs to encourage peer networking, education, and professional growth.

MoctarMoctar Mamadou Diallo, Mauritania

Moctar Diallo has dedicated years to facilitating and leading international programs to create export market opportunities for Mauritanian women entrepreneurs in the United States and globally. In2002, he led the first ever delegation of dozens of Mauritanian women entrepreneurs to attend the Business Women Network Conference in Washington DC. He envisions that when women are succeeding in earning an income, they are able to contribute to sustaining the family, to fully participate in democracy and human rights, and contribute to Mauritania’s development. He is presently the coordinator of Focal Point of the Civil Society of Mauritania, an umbrella network of non-governmental organizations, local, state and international partners where he continues to facilitate women economic empowerment programs. His work has earned him several awards including in 2012, the ONU award in Senegal for Excellence in Governance and Leadership.

Tung Do - TIAW Award 2015Tung Do, Vietnam

Tung Do is the founder of XO Tours, the first all-female motorbike tour company in Vietnam voted number one by Trip Advisor. Mr. Do has created has created an unique company utilizing the motorbike culture of the country as an entrée for women into the tourism industry. Recruiting over 100 female drivers, XO Tours has created financial security for Vietnamese women enabling them to continue their education, provide for their families, and contribute to the country’s economy by helping to develop the tourism sector.

male-silhouetteBart Egnal, Canada

Bart Engal is the President and CEO of the Humphrey Group, a premier North American leadership communications firm which has made a significant difference in teaching women how to fully project their leadership qualities through their diversity and inclusion programs aimed at women. In 2011, the Humphrey Group made this program available to women entrepreneurs and non-profit organization leaders in British Columbia through a strategic partnership with the Women’s Enterprise Centre. As a result hundreds of women have become strong, confident leaders able to speak with strength on any stage.

male-silhouetteUmar Kasule, Uganda

In 2003, Dr. Kasule introduced to Uganda a global e-commerce business. He has built an organization of over 30,000 business partners (55% women), stretching the entire, country, region, and Africa. Women of all backgrounds have gained enormous benefit from his vision and grown into strong entrepreneurs. The Northstar Success Academy has a vision of creating a family of one million households in Sub Saharan Africa with the ability to earn at least $500 per month through the business he introduced

male-silhouetteHayden Majajas, Hong Kong

Hayden Majajas is a leader in building gender equality into business strategies across Asia through four areas related to gender inequality: Unconscious Bias, Sponsorship, Navigating Politics, and Engaging Men. He launched the ‘Leading Women’ initiative in Hong Kong and Singapore engaging 100 women in those locations from across all industries to create a forum for women with influence to address gender issues. Mr. Majajas actively partners with organizations around the globe supporting regional gender issues.

1_largeAkira Matsumoto, Japan

Mr. Matsumoto is the Representative Director, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Calbee, a leading company in the snack food sector in Japan. After taking the helm in 2009, he included diversity and inclusion in his change management agenda along with consistent messaging that organizations which do not implement diversity are not sustainable.   Due to his diversity drive, the number of women in management at Calbee has grown from 5.9% to 14.3% while the national average remains at 6.6%. In 2014, Calbee received the ‘NADESHIKO’ award, given by the Japanese Cabinet to organizations which have shown superior progress in driving women’s diversity.

Jinsar PhotoJinsar Hussain Soomro, Pakistan

Mr. Hussain is the Provincial Coordinator of the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, a network for small farmers. He has 14 years of experience in the community and social development fields and has established and developed vocational training centers for women, a micro credit rural development program that has benefitted over 1500 rural women, established schools enrolling 2245 girls, provided awareness and advocacy for the rights of women, and installed 550 hand pumps to access safe drinking water benefitting over 2500 men, women and children.

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