I believe that women represent a tremendous, untapped resource that has produced and will continue to yield huge returns for organizations and the communities they support. Through the power of women’s entrepreneurial activity, we create growth and prosperity while driving solutions for business and social problems. I am empowered and excited that now, today, the power of women’s entrepreneurship has hit a media tipping point – we, in partnership with men, are now a driving force of entrepreneurial growth and leading real, fundamental economic change that is reshaping the world.
Nowhere was this more visible than at EMC last week. In partnership with EMC’s West Coast Women’s Leadership Forum we hosted The Leader of Impact Award 2013, which honors a Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) graduate for her outstanding contributions. This, the second annual award program also recognizes their entire graduate community, a group of women who have committed their lives to changing the world while creating new opportunities for women and girls around the world. The contest celebrates the dedicated work of all GWLN graduates who are making a difference in over 40 countries. The judges including Linda Alepin, Jeff Chow, Keren Pavese, Sandya Puchalapalli and Michelle Swensen who are leaders in their own right and are to be thanked for their demanding, yet fulfilling job of selecting the five finalists with the support of GWLN graduates, friends, family and colleagues.
EMC Diversity Leaders and LOL Award Recipient Smarita Sengupta
This year’s LOL award recipient is Smarita Sengupta, (GWLN 2010) founded the Destiny Foundation in India. Her vision is Liberation of the Sold Soul. Her mission is to end sex trafficking and slavery through the economic empowerment of women. The foundation employs women who are at high risk of being trafficked while living in brothels, red light areas and shelter homes. They provide them with vocational training in sewing and textiles. When girls master the skills of sewing and textiles, they are offered a position at Destiny Reflection. Through this employment, women are able to become economically self-sufficient under dignified working conditions.
Equally empowered visionaries included the four other finalists. 1) Diti Mookherjee (GWLN 2011) – her vision is Youth Nuture Nature. While in the U.S. as a Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Fellow, Diti attended the GWLN leadership program and conceived of the Green Rhinos Program, a global transformational youth nature leadership program. One year later, there are more than 600 youth nature leaders known as “Green Rhinos”, including 300 girls. 2) Isha Darmy (GWLN 2011) – her vision is reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates in Sierra Leone. Supporting the community of Magbil and surrounding villages, she helped build a Health Centre and trained 42 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) to care for women during their ante-natal, labor and post-natal periods.
3) Mariana Faerron-Gutierrez (GWLN 2011) – her vision is Making Social Impact One Cup At A Time and is accomplished by helping the coffee bean farmer buying beans at double the Fair Trade price and thereby improving the lives of their families and communities.
4) Martine Bolsens-Peeterman (GWLN 2012 ) is living her dream through her vision, Scaling Impact through Connectivity. Today she is GWLN Global Ambassador. She is the bridge-builder connecting the passion of her peers with resources to accomplish their dreams. I have become an advocate for all of their projects by raising awareness for the work to which they have committed their time, talents, and resources.
Whether GWLN alumni are building schools, improving healthcare, eliminating poverty or creating new jobs, each leader is committed to improving the lives of individuals and communities. It is the dedicated work of all GWLN graduates who are making a difference in over 40 countries. You can learn more about these visionary leaders and about my vision (GWLN 2006), Using Influence and Vision to Inspire the Next Generation of Leaders and Innovators, by going to this link. Profiles of Leaders of Impact
Whether GWLN alumni are building schools, improving healthcare, eliminating poverty or creating new jobs, each leader is committed to improving the lives of individuals and communities. It is the dedicated work of all GWLN graduates who are making a difference in over 40 countries. You can learn more about these visionary leaders and about my vision (GWLN 2006), Using Influence and Vision to Inspire the Next Generation of Leaders and Innovators, by going to this link. Profiles of Women Of Impact
We are not alone in our quest, joining these great women who are committed to making the world a better place are civic, community, and businesses leaders. Please join us as we find new opportunities to reshape the world for all mankind, one day at a time, one person at a time. We are better together as a community of leaders committed to an enriched, united world for generations to come.