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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Leading Through Adversity

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Session Description

Throughout history, from the statehouse to the boardroom, women have been excluded from leadership roles globally. We have a long way to go toward equal representation in positions of power, but the paradigm is beginning to shift. As women increasingly fill leadership roles, evidence is mounting that female leadership is tied to positive outcomes in profits, business ethics, peace, and the public good. Yet, many stereotypes still hold firm. This session will address those taboos, discuss data both positive and inconclusive, and highlight some of the women moving the needle on gender equity in leadership.


When | Where

9:00 - 10:15 Thursday, April 14 SBS, Nelson Mandela Lecture Theatre

Session leaders

  • Pat Mitchell Moderator
    Founder and President, Pat Mitchell Media
    Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and curator. Her career has focused on using media as a force for social change, with an emphasis on the representation of women’s stories. Ms. Mitchell is the former president of CNN Productions, where she executive produced programs that have received 35 Emmy Awards and five Peabody Awards. In 2000, she became the first woman president and CEO of PBS. Mitchell also served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media. In 2011, Ms. Mitchell partnered with TEDTalks to co-curate the TEDWomen global conference, which will be held this year New Orleans on November 1st – 3rd. Ms. Mitchell is especially proud to have been recognized by The Women’s Media Center with its first Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given annually to other women for advancing women through media. She also advises foundations and corporations on women’s empowerment issues and leadership development as well as media relations and governance. She is the chair of the Jordan River Foundation US Board, the Women’s Media Center and the Sundance Institute boards, a founding board member of V-Day, a member of the board of the Acumen Fund, the Skoll Foundation, Participant Media, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia, Mitchell holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature. She has taught at the University of Georgia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
  • Founder/CEO, Sisters Capital
    Halla Tomasdottir is an experienced entrepreneur, business leader, board director and investor who is passionate about bringing about a more balanced approach to business and the bottom line. Halla started her career in corporate America working for M&M/Mars and Pepsi Cola before returning to her home country Iceland. She was VP of Human Resources for the Icelandic Broadcasting Corporation before she joined the founding team of Reykjavik University where she founded the Executive Education department and led a successful entrepreneurship initiative focused on driving economic growth through women empowerment. Halla was the first woman to become CEO of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce. She co-founded Audur Capital, an investment firm founded to incorporate more feminine values into the world of finance and the company survived the infamous financial meltdown in Iceland in tact. Halla has served on numerous corporate boards as well as on the boards of educational institutions and non-profits and she founded and now co-chairs the Women Corporate Directors chapter in Iceland. Halla graduated with an MBA in international business from Thunderbird in the US and she has conducted doctoral level research in Organizational Behavior at Cranfield School of Management in the UK. She has delivered keynote speeches and participated in panel dialogues at many high profile international events, including TED, the Clinton Global Initiative, Rockefeller University, Women´s Forum, Omega, IESE Business School and the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. She has been widely recognised for her work on empowering women and was chosen the Business Woman of the year in Iceland and received the gender equality award from her hometown. She received the Cartier Initiative Award for outstanding women entrepreneurs in Europe, an award given in cooperation with McKinsey and Insead and Newsweek named her to their list of 150 women who shake the world.
  • , Reverend Canon
    The Reverend Mpho A. Tutu an ordained Episcopal Priest and founding Director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation For five years, Rev. Tutu was Director of the Bishop Desmond Tutu Southern African Refugee Scholarship Fund of the Phelps Stokes Fund. That program provided full four-year scholarships to refugees from South Africa and Namibia. Ms. Tutu has worked as a volunteer teaching in and English as a second language (ESL) ministry in Alexandria, VA. Rev. Tutu holds a Master of Divinity Degree form Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. She was awarded a Women Living Religion Fellowship by the MacMillan Center at Yale University in New Haven. The Rev. Mpho Tutu is a trustee of Angola University. Rev. Mpho Tutu is the Executive Director of Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, an organization founded by her father Desmond and mother Leah. Rev. Tutu co-authored Made for Goodness with her father and Tutu: The authorized Portrait with Award winning journalist Allister Sparks. They also wrote the foreword to National Geographic’s book, Geography of Religion. She also authored the foreword of Footprints in the Sand: Caregivers of South Africa and. Recently she co-authored The Book of Forgiving together with her father.
  • Alaa Murabit Speaker
    Founding President, The Voice of Libyan Women
    At the young age of 15 Alaa Murabit completed high school and moved from Saskatoon, Canada to Zawia, Libya. It was there that she enrolled in medical school and driven by her desire to create inclusive processes and institutions founded The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW) in 2011 at the age of 21. With a strong focus on challenging societal and cultural norms and utilizing traditional and historical role models Murabit champions women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation. Her programs, such as the groundbreaking “Noor Campaign” are replicated internationally. Nicknamed “The Libyan Doogie Howser” by Jon Stewart and applauded by Oprah for her innovative approach to security, Murabit acts as advisor to numerous international security boards, think tanks and organizations. Most recently she was nominated to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (women, peace and security) Global Advisory Board, UN Women Global Advisory Board and Harvard University’s “Everywoman, Everywhere” initiative. The first Ashoka Fellow elected from Libya, Murabit is the youngest recipient of the Marisa Bellisario International Humanitarian Award by the Italian Government, was named the “International Trust Women Hero 2014” by The New York Times and "One of 25 women under 25 to watch" by Newsweek. Most recently she was selected as a "100 Top Woman" by the BBC and the SAFE Global Hero. In March 2015 Murabit was selected as the inaugural civil society speaker at the official Commission on the Status of Women opening session. Murabit’s TED Talk, released in July 2015, “ What my religions really says about women” was selected as the TED Talk of the Day and one of four moving TED Talks you should watch right now by The New York Times. In October 2015 Murabit addressed the United Nations Security Council during the 15th Anniversary Open Debate on Resolution 1325. In December 2015 Murabit was selected as a Keeping Children Safe Trustee.
  • Mary Robinson Speaker
    President, Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice
    Mary Robinson is President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. She served as President of Ireland from 1990-1997 and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. She is a member of the Elders and the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous honours and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the President of the United States Barack Obama. She sits on the advisory board of Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) and is also a member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. Between March 2013 and August 2014 Mary served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa and from August 2014 to end of 2015 she served as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. A former President of the International Commission of Jurists and former chair of the Council of Women World Leaders she was President and founder of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative from 2002-2010 and served as Honorary President of Oxfam International from 2002-2012. Mary Robinson serves as Patron of the Board of the Institute of Human Rights and Business, is an honorary member of The B Team, in addition to being a board member of several organisations including the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the European Climate Foundation. She serves as Chancellor of the University of Dublin since 1998. Mary’s memoir, Everybody Matters was published in September 2012.