She is a global expert on women, power, and leadership, author, and keynote speaker, She is cofounder and president of Take The Lead, whose mission reflects her life’s passion: to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025 by providing her breakthrough training, mentoring and coaching role modeling, and thought leadership.
Author of Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics and How Women Will Take the Lead for (Everyone’s) Good to be published September, 2021, she is the bestselling author of four previous books; the latest is No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, the research for which plus her own real world knowledge forms the core of Take The Lead’s programs.
Previous books include Send Yourself Roses cowritten with Kathleen Turner and The War on Choice. She is formerly president and CEO of the world’s largest reproductive health and advocacy organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
She is the founder of Women Trade and supports Vital Voices in Chile. She is Founding Partner and Manager at Good Business, Business School for Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs for Latam. In her career, she was the Head of the Gender Department of the General Directorate of International Economic Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she led the negotiating teams on gender issues in bilateral and multilateral FTAs. She created the strategic line of the Women Exports Program and the incorporation of gender for companies led by women in international trade activities.
During that period, she was coordinator of the Technical Gender Group (GTG) of the Pacific Alliance, carrying out the fulfillment of the mandates of the leaders of the four countries in matters of gender within the integration bloc. Co-creator of the gender platform of the AP “Women Entrepreneurs of the Pacific Alliance” and of the work program for women entrepreneurs of the AP, and of the Women Export Program of ProChile, she carried out studies on the Incorporation of the Gender Approach in Public Policies FLACSO.
She is the award-winning author of the #1 Best-selling children’s book, Cassandra’s Angel; the Founder and CEO of Gina’s Ink, a mission-driven media and entertainment social enterprise designed to empower children around the world; and the Founder & CEO of Change My World Now, a unique multimedia and gaming platform focused on social-emotional engagement and designed to inspire and activate a global movement of children taking micro-actions on the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.
For fifteen years, Gina has toured the world speaking to girls and women in war zones, child-soldier refugee camps, human trafficking shelters, orphanages and girls’ schools using Cassandra’s Angel as a vehicle to help ignite the possibility and promise of a brighter future without limitations. She produced an ongoing Title 1 Schools tour visiting the most underserved children in the United States. For decades, Gina has been actively sharing her work at the highest levels of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, the United Nations, Washington DC, global governments and even Space through her role as Chief Purpose Officer & Producer of Zero G Colony, a multi-faceted
Dr. Racha Abdrabbo Haffar
She is Mastering financial skills is key to success! With more than two decades of experience in the financial sector, I am currently focusing on development finance and sustainability projects, as I volunteer to work with United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) to empower women leading their SMEs.
Having worked as consultant in SCB added value to my analytical process. In Academia, I started volunteering in Georgia State University, then established MBA business office at AUD, to work afterwards as a Professor of Finance at King Saud University. It shaped my understanding of economics and finance; and developed my skills in sharing knowledge.
I participate as panel speaker in conferences discussing blockchain, Web 3.0 and cryptocurrencies.
Dr. Neerja Birla
She is an inspiring personality, progressive, dynamic and versatile woman, driven by her passions and an unwavering resolve to give back to society responsibly. A passionate educationist and a mental health champion, Mrs. Neerja Birla is the founder and chairperson of the Aditya Birla Education Trust (ABET), which endeavours to positively impact the lives of people from all sections of society and bring about progressive change, whether it is in the field of education or on the mental health landscape of India.
Under the ABET umbrella and Mrs. Birla’s dynamic leadership: Mpower is a revolutionary movement that has brought about a paradigm shift in India’s attitude towards mental health by spreading awareness, alleviating stigma, and providing holistic and quality mental health care to individuals from all walks of life.
The Aditya Birla World Academy, an international school with an Indian soul that promotes the holistic development of its students over and above their academic ones, has been ranked the 2nd Best International School in all of India.
She is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE). Nigest is an activist in the promotion of women entrepreneurs, with particular focus to women exporters. She has 23 years experience working in the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, at different capacities. In 2004, she founded CAWEE, a pioneer trade promotion organization working in Ethiopia and beyond, providing promotional and capacity building support service targeting women exporters.
CAWEE was the implementing organization of the economic empowerment project of the Office of the First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE): “Connecting 1,500 Women and Young Girls to the Export Market”. Nigest was the Lead Coordinator, where in this project grassroots women were provided marketable skills and were connected to high end domestic as well as export markets. In facilitating export market, in bring buyers to Ethiopia as well as taking trade missions of women entrepreneurs to different counties, Nigest has played crucial role, where in the past few years, she was able to organize such trade missions to 19 countries – Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania (Zanzibar), Turkey, UK and USA.
Dr. Aurora Martin
She ia an expert in promoting equal opportunities, combating gender-based violence and discrimination, she is senior advisor to the National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men. Professor at Pontifical Oriental Institute of Vatican, she has taught Gender Studies, Good Governance, Non-Discrimination, Cultural Violence and Conflict Transformation at: Wilmington College, Ohio, USA; Russian Presidential Academy for National Economy and Public Administration, St. Petersburg; University of Belgrade; RomaTre University; Lomonosov Moscow State University; Khazar University, Baku; University of Bucharest,
Faculty of Political Science, European Center for Security Studies at George C. Marshall in Germany. Her research at George C. Marshall focused on Human Security, Responsibility to Protect, and UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. She is Vice President International Institute for Human Security, and Honorary President Womanity for All. She has also served as senior adviser to the National Council for Combating Discrimination.
Dr. Patience Mpofu
She is a multi-award-winning mining executive, International Women’s Forum 2018 Fellow, Global Thought Leader in sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), an Executive Leadership Coach, and Women in STEM advocate, Patience is founder and partner of Insight Mining Experts, a global platform that connects technology experts to help solve sustainability issues in the mining industry to help them meet their ESG commitments. She has more than 25 years’ global multidisciplinary industry experience in the Mining and Metals industry.
She is also the founder and CEO of Peak Performance Executive Leadership Coaching, an Academy that helps women in STEM to unleash their superpowers to succeed. Prior to founding her businesses, she was Vice President Corporate Affairs Africa of a global Australian mining company, where she led the delivery of the Africa region sustainability strategy, risk mitigation, social performance and reputation enhancement.
Previously, she also spent several years working for other global mining companies in senior technical roles in processing, mine planning, transformation, M &A, strategy and business development.
Ruth B. Ncube
She is the Chairman of Agricultural Finance Corporation Insurance company (Limited) in Zimbabwe and on its board. As a distinguished business leader and marketing expert, she initiated and managed various insurance schemes of national significance thereby contributing to the increased participation in the formal financial systems of previously excluded population segments.
A versatile new generation transformational leader with over 20 years of leadership experience spanning across various economic sectors notably farming, manufacturing, real estate, hospitality, retail, advertising, banking and insurance, she has achieved remarkable success, driving sustainable business growth in an increasingly competitive and saturated insurance market. She has presided over a threefold growth in revenue and business volumes over a 6-year period in a challenging economic environment.
She has earlier served on the boards of Zimbabwe International Trade Fair board (ZITF) – Chairperson ; Mosi a Tunya Development Company – Chairman (Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality); Netone – Board Member (State Enterprise).
She is the Ceo Enfield Saheli – organisation set up in 1991 to enable women to participate fully in the social, cultural and civic life, empowering women to make informed choices, Krishna’s passion for supporting women and her track record of success is truly impressive in promoting the concerns of women regarding Domestic Violence, Forced Marriages, Trafficking and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK and globally speaking volumes about her dedication and commitment to the communities.
Through her work, Krishna has become an active ambassador and voice of communities. In addition, Krishna has worked within and helped develop statutory and voluntary sector organisations in the UK, with a special interest in supporting Health & Social Care.
Krishna Pujara has many laurels to her name, and with each she embraces an ever greater level of responsibility and accountability that she gently and gigantically shoulders and delivers. Krishna Pujara has become a support system for those all women who do not have the strength to speak up for their rights as she stands in solidarity with every woman fighting the regressive views and cultural practices of the community, and along with her influential leadership she brings others leaders from different walks of life to join her in her cause too.
H.E. Natasa Pilides
She is the Former Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Cyprus. She has also served as the first Deputy Minister of Shipping in Republic of Cyprus. Previously, she served as the Director General of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency since April 2016, responsible for the design and implementation of the Organisation’s strategy in investment promotion, investor support and facilitation of reform, in close collaboration with the Cyprus government. Natasa’s work experience includes more than fifteen years in the private sector.
She served as a Director and Regional Chief Operating Officer at Baker Tilly in South East Europe, heading the departments of Finance, Marketing, HR, Administration, Operations and IT for Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova.
For 9 years she worked at PwC, in Cyprus, Milan and London in the areas of audit and tax consulting, providing services to multinational companies active in the fields of banking and finance, shipping, insurance, energy.
H.E. Dr. May Chidiac
She is the President and founder of May Chidiac Foundation- Media Institute (MCF-MI), Head of GROUND-0 Beirut Relief Committee, May Chidiac is a veteran Journalist, an editor, a Radio Host and a news anchor since 1985 with a career spanning for more than 25 years.
She fought for the freedom of the Lebanese people when few dared to speak up against the prevailing state of tyranny, through morning political shows. Six months after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, Chidiac was attacked by a car bomb causing her to lose her left leg and arm. She returned to the TV screen in a prime time political talk show called “With Audacity” from 2006 till 2009.
In parallel, Chidiac published an award-winning book: “Le Ciel M’attendra”, to be followed later on by another prized book “La Télévision Mise à Nu”. She obtained her PhD in “Sciences de L’Information et de la Communication” with high distinction from Université Panthéon -Paris II Assas and also continued her teaching career as Professor of Radio/ TV at Notre Dame University-Louaize till present.
Zeynep Bodur Okyay
She is President and CEO, Kale Group of companies in Turkey. Born in 1964 in Istanbul, Zeynep Bodur Okyay graduated from the Italian High School in 1985 and earned a degree in management engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1989.
She attended Harvard University between 1990 and 1992 and earned a graduate degree in management. From 1992 to 1993, Zeynep Bodur Okyay worked in various roles, including production, planning, and management, as a management trainee at the Çanakkale Seramik factory in Çan, Çanakkale. In 1995, she was appointed as an Executive Board Member and President of Kale Group’s marketing companies.
Since July 2007, she has been serving as Kale Group’s President and CEO. Zeynep Bodur Okyay is actively engaged in several NGOs, associations, foundations and chamber boards. Some of her current roles include: President, General Assembly, Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO); Vice President, Economic Development Foundation; Board Member, Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK); Coordinating Chair, Turkey-EU Business Councils.
She has more than 25 years of international experience within medtech Industry and robotics/AI: global corporate to small startup companies, she is Founder of RoboInsights with a focus on robotics/ automation/ ai with a goal to have 50% female and 50% male speakers – and over time 50% female participants to a technology event. Founder of High5girls NGO working to get more girls aged 13-19 interested in pursuing a career in STEM Scienc Technology Engineering Mathematics.
High5Girls is also creating a global network of STEM women – all wanting to give back to the next generation of girls and show them how great jobs there exist within STEM.Agnes and Betsy award winner 2020 – given to an engineer that has done something extraordinary for diversity in technology.
She is deeply committed to empowerment through innovation, upskilling and enterprise. She has strong leadership and communication skills, and is a focussed, result-oriented, creative networker and team player who thrives working in a challenging environment and is able to manage high levels of uncertainty. A dear Soul Sister who approaches every goal with enthusiasm and energy. Electronics Engineer being the only female in her class of 32 student, and eMBA.
Nuria Marín Raventós
She is the co-founder and co-president of the Alvarez & Marín Corporation business group, which has more than 1500 people working on areas such as banana exports, finance, energy, entertainment and property development. She’s also the director of the Corporación Raventós group, which focuses on property development. In the Forbes list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Central America (2014-2018).
She’s a former director of Credimujer, a World Bank’s associate; former president of the Costa Rican University Women Association from 2004 to 2008 an associated to the University Women International Federation. She’s also the co-founder and first president of the Association for Leadership Boosting and Social Mobility known as ALAS from 2008 to 2014, the largest female leaders’ network in the country.
She returned to the presidency on 2019. Cofounder and President of Balance a national movement towards gender equality. In 2012, she became the first female opinion columnist in La Nación newspaper and in 2015 columnist to Forbes CA magazine. She is the Costa Rican Ambassador to the Women Entrepreneurship Day Initiative.
Dr. Celia Williamson
She is Distinguished Professor of Social Work, she serves as the Executive Director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute at the University of Toledo. She is the Co-Chair of the oldest and largest academic conference on human trafficking in the world. The conference annually hosts thousands of attendees across 47 countries and all 50 U.S. states. She also serves as a managing editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Trafficking and serves as President of the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars.
Dr. Williamson has been named the 26th most influential social worker alive today. She has been a consistently funded researcher, receiving several years of funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Justice, State of Ohio, and several national and local foundations. Dr. Williamson has published numerous books and articles and remains a sought-after presenter and active advocate against human trafficking.
Dr. Hynd Bouhia
She was nominated by Forbes among the 100 most influential women in the world in 2008 and among the most influential women in Business in the Arab World in 2015, and honored as a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2018. She has more than 20 years of professional experience in high-level and leadership positions, covering investments, financial structuring, entrepreneurship and sustainable development strategies.
With a PhD from Harvard University (GSAS 1998), an Engineering degree from Ecole Centrale Paris (1995) and a Master from Johns Hopkins SAIS (2000), Hynd Bouhia started her career at the World Bank in Washington before joining Morocco’s Prime Minister as an economic advisor.
She was appointed in 2008 as the Managing Director of Casablanca Stock Exchange. After that she structured and managed several investment funds for clean energy and a venture capital fund for startups. As the CEO of Strategica, she advises entrepreneurs, companies and institutions on economic intelligence, sustainable finance and growth strategies.
She founded Zaytouneh.com in 2011, and Atbaki 2014, creating the largest video recipe platform in Arabic, used by millions. Fida is Managing Partner at Amam Ventures, an impact fund that caters to businesses that are committed to diversity and inclusion. Fida is co-founder of the fast-growing “Women in Business Arabia” network, board member at the MicroFund for Women and has served on several advisory boards of startups and NGOs empowering women & youth.
Prior to Zaytouneh, Fida worked in different areas in the media domain for 9 years, during which she produced hundreds of hours of video content. Coming from a production background, Fida strongly believes in the power and potential of the audio-visional content.
She is a member of INTAJ- Jordan. Fida was selected as E&Y emerging entrepreneur for the year 2013 for her work with Zaytouneh. She is also Jordan’s Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship Day (WED) 2015-2019. Fida has worked closely with angel investors essentially managing their investment portfolios including activities such as opportunity identification, deal structuring, operational assistance at the portfolio company level as well as board representation.
Dr. Paola Fiore
She is a forward-thinking pioneer in sustainability. She partners with corporate & non-profit management to apply responsible leadership principles & find the right balance among economic, social, environmental & climate policies to drive sustainable innovation, increase responsible profits & enhance brand reputation. With 22+ years of sustainability management & communications experience & 27+ years of environmental studies.
Driven by authenticity, creativity & the pursuit of excellence, Paola takes a holistic approach towards introducing the SDGs as a core business strategy, while creating a culture of sustainability that supports the transition to a post-carbon economy & society.
She works closely with minor & major stakeholders to ensure that economic, environmental, social, cultural, climate & political factors are taken into account when building or restructuring business systems to support long-term, responsible prosperity. She works in green economy sectors, like agro-industry, sustainable chemistry, renewable energy, green ICT, environmental & climate change services.
Dr. Lina Anllo
She is a President, World Compliance Association, she is also Co-Founder of Business Integrity and CEO of Bridge The Gap. She further leads as Director of the Annotated Criminal Law Integrity and Compliance Programs, Co-Director of the Compliance, Integrity and Transparency Diploma at the University of Belgrano, General Director of Women Economic Forum Argentina and President of WICCI Argentina.
A lawyer with specialisation in criminal law, she has experience in care for victims of gender violence and researches in the area of adolescent maternity from a psychological point of view. With international experience in the US, Hong Kong and Central America, her key focus areas are Public Policy, Diversity, Equality and Innovation along with clinical and research areas. A dear Soul Sister dedicated to developing sustainable and inclusive businesses on the bedrock of trust and integrity.
She is CEO of CEO Kids International. A passionate serial entrepreneur with expertise in the industries of education, training, entrepreneurship, events organisation, public speaking, mentoring and media, Coco graduated from King’s College London and later on, went to Japan to further her studies. She is known for her ability to balance work and family effortlessly. Coco started her special events company, Codiki Special Events, in 1995 organising events for corporates such as Housing Authority, The Law Society, Hong Kong University, HSBC.
In 1996, she founded Coco Weddings, the first wedding planner in Hong Kong, specialising in weddings and her customers included many celebrity couples in Hong Kong as well as members of the Hang Seng Bank family, the Maxims Group family, and China’s government officials families. She was the art director and designer for Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel’s weddings and events and later, helped Maxims Chinese rebrand their venues and event services. In 2007, Little Academy was born, offering unique early childhood education and had over 400 students in less than a year.
She ia an expert Advisor on Gender and Health to United Nations (UN), she is Board Member of PECC at the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH). Special Advisor on Health to Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Ulrika is Former President of Women Parliamentarians in Inter-Parliamentary Union (representing all Women MPs in 178 countries), and former member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, and President of European Parliamentary Forum (EPF).
Former Member of Parliament (The Swedish Riksdag) and Partner at The Labyrinth Public Affairs, Ulrika is an experienced Health and Gender Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the political organization industry. Former Member of Parliament in Sweden for 14 years, Shadow Minister on European Union Affairs, Former President of European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual & Reproductive Rights, she is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Reproductive Health, European Union, Legislation, and Gender Equality, and Negotiator on the IPCI/ICPD outcome document Stockholm Statement of Commitments.
Dr. Meenakshi Arora Dabral
Managing Director and Founder of Mandala Spices, Singapore, Dr. Meenakshi is an award-winning speaker, international entrepreneur, and recognised as one of ASIA’S 100 WOMEN POWER LEADERS 2023 from Singapore. She is the recipient of “Women of Excellence 2022” at the Women Economic Forum (WEF).
Meenakshi is the G100 Global Chair of Alliances and Alumni Wing at the club G100. G100 is an influential group of 100 Women Leaders from across the globe leading 100 wings in diverse domains, accelerating actions for achieving gender equality.
Meenakshi also leads as President of Singapore – India Business Council, WICCI (Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
Originally from Jhansi, India, Meenakshi graduated with an English Literature degree and went on to pursue a Master’s in Film making from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She is an Associate Alumni of Singapore Management University and resides in Singapore.
Karen Lorena Bruges Solorzano
She is the CEO of Mujeres Violeta, Academia Violeta, and Mujeres Violeta TV, she’s Executive Director of the Mujeres Violeta Foundation. These organisations work to reduce gender gaps through innovative projects and content for closing of gender gaps and human growth, based on education, events, business, and communication, e-learning platforms, digital television platform et al, empowering women’s economic growth with a holistic model that includes human, economic, social, and environmental development as well. She is the Co-Creator of the International Film Festival Violeta Film Fest, VFF for sorority and the reduction of gender gaps, which is the first festival globally that focuses on presenting short and feature films generated by women “Made by Them,” by men “Made by Them for Them,” and by Companies “Companies in Equal Action.” She is the Co- Creator of the Latin American Sustainable Fashion Week- LASFW in conjunction with Miss Earth Colombia, a space for ethical, fair and environmentally conscious fashion. As a business trainer and international speaker on women’s exponential growth, she is committed to empowering sisterhood, addressing gender gaps, and enabling conscious entrepreneurship.
She is the founder of CORE Diagnostics, the first molecular testing lab in India. She is focused on bringing cutting-edge innovation to the biosciences industry. A prodigious young entrepreneur, she founded CORE Diagnostics in 2012 when she was 23 years old, with venture capital funding from marquee VC firms in Silicon Valley, Boston, London, and Mumbai. She scaled it to 500+ employees and served 30 million patients in 13 countries, transforming a nascent enterprise into a leading genetic diagnostics player in Southeast Asia.
She has received numerous awards for her work in healthcare and has been invited to speak at prestigious forums such as the Stanford Women in MedTech conference. Her contributions go well beyond biosciences. CORE was also a first-of-its-kind “social experiment” that resulted in building a non-hierarchical organization with a culture of radical transparency. This motivated Quest Diagnostics in the US to engage Zoya to help reimagine their leadership training programs. In 2020, she transitioned the CEO role to her successor – who she had developed over the past seven years – and moved to Vancouver. Prior to founding CORE, Zoya worked at Google for two years. She continues to be an Executive Advisor to CORE. She now works with many startups in Canada and the US in a mentor and advisory capacity.
Dr. Irena P. Radović
She is CEO of the Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro, Dr. Radovic simultaneously holds a position as a member of the Board of Directors. Her journey commenced in December 2020 when she was appointed as a member of the IDF Board. Subsequently, she was elected to the role of CEO for a four-year term. In this capacity, she also assumes membership in the National Council for Competitiveness, the National Sustainable Development Council, and holds a position on the Executive Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro. Born in Podgorica, Montenegro, she graduated from the University of Montenegro, Faculty of Economics, in 2000, achieving a first-class honours BA in International Economics and Business. She was recognized with the “19th December” Award in 1999 and the Excellence Award from the State University of Montenegro in 2000. Continuing her academic journey, she pursued an MPhil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, King’s College, United Kingdom, during the academic year 2001/2.