Imagine being in a large room surrounded by a sea of incredible leaders and amazing fish that are so inspiring they make you want to jump out of your chair and save the world…
This is precisely how I felt yesterday as I listened to two keynote speakers, 15 panelists, and five incredible essay contest finalists share their views on what we can be doing to make a difference in our local and global communities to create shared value and economic growth that can fuel revolutionary changes across the globe.
Yesterday I attended the Womenetics 2013 Global Women’s Initiative in Atlanta Georgia. The event was held at the Georgia Aquarium (hence, the aforementioned fish), and brought together over 20 female and male leaders from around the globe who shared inspirational stories and personal narratives that had participants ready to jump out of their seats to go do good. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have attended this seminar. From the opening keynote speaker, Laura Herman, Managing Director – FSG and Shared Value Initiative.org, to the discussion amongst the panel of essay finalists, this event inspired me, and I am sure so many more women in attendance, to consider the daily choices we make and how they impact the world around us.
As a graduate of a Liberal Arts, women’s college, I feel as though I am a fairly social-conscious individual. However, this group of leaders challenged me to consider the integrity of the products I use and purchase every day. To consider how, where and under what conditions things were produced takes time and careful research, but making the decision to buy fair-trade coffee, for instance, can help spur economic growth in developing countries and contribute to a better lifestyle for so many individuals worldwide.
The stories and advice shared by the women at yesterday’s event have inspired and challenged me to be a better global citizen. One of my favorite quotes from yesterday came from panelist Renuka Gadde, Vice President Global Health – BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company). She said that in order to be a global citizen, one must have “the strength of a man, the tenacity of a woman, and the curiosity of a child.” We all have something to bring to the table, and it takes a mutual effort to make a global impact. Men and women alike have to take on characteristics typical of the opposite sex in order to engender a global mindset. And a global mindset is imperative in this day and age as business becomes increasingly global.
I aspire to be an astute global citizen that makes conscious choices to better the society and world that I live in. Thank you, Womenetics, for the reminder and challenge to do so.
Sarah Bowen is an Associate Consultant with Turknett Leadership Group. She received her B.A. in Economics and Organizational Management from Agnes Scott College in 2011, and her M.S. in Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Maastricht in 2012.
Womenetics provides high caliber content, programs and services to accelerate business by advancing women leaders. It is a globally recognized center of influence regarding gender diversity and women’s leadership. Driven by the belief that women’s full engagement is an imperative for economic prosperity, Womenetics’ mission is to develop, support and inspire female leaders to create an impact in their fields. Womenetics focuses on three areas: woman as effective business leaders, as successful business owners and as change agents around global issues impacting the bottom line. To join the conversation, visit www.womenetics.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @womenetics. Learn more about the 2013 Womenetics Global Women’s Initiative.