News and Events


15 March 2016

14:00 - 18:00, Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters

14:00 - Arrival
Participants are strongly encouraged to arrive early for security check-in and networking. Participants should anticipate approximately 30 minutes to clear UN security.

14:45 - Doors Open; Participants Take Their Seats

15:00 - Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
  • Lise Kingo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact 

15:05 - Keynote Address

  • His Excellency Mr. Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, President of Costa Rica

15:15 - Spotlight: Bridging the Gap - Partners, Expertise and Scale

  • Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank 

15:25 - “The World We Want”: Delivering for the 2030 Development Agenda

Gender equality is both a sustainable development objective and solution. The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) provide a ready-made platform to scale up business action on gender equality and help achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Session includes discussions of: Expanding Access to Decent Jobs; Family and Child Care: From Conundrum to Strategy and Sharing the Value: Bringing Together Business and Women Entrepreneurs. Discussion and audience participation.

  • Benno Bättig, Secretary General of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland 
  • Kweilin Ellingrud, Partner, McKinsey & Company
  • Nur Ger,  Founder and President, SUTEKS Group 
  • Josh Levs,  Author of All In; Former Reporter for CNN and NPR
  • Tammy Medard, Chief Executive Officer, ANZ Bank Laos Ltd. 
  • Najmah Mallick,  Chief Executive Officer, Meezaan Building Services 

16:30 - Partners for Gender Equality: WEPs Stakeholders in Action

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are taking hold in companies and countries around the world, inspiring new collaborations and helping to pave the way to “Planet 50-50 by 2030”. WEPs Stakeholders report on achievements, future goals, and partnerships in action. 

  • Arancha González,  Executive Director, International Trade Centre
  • Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers  
  • Ope Wemi-Jones, Head of Inclusive Banking Group, Access Bank plc. 
  • Hiroko Hashimoto, Representative of Japan for the CSW60 

16:50 - Leading by Example: 2016 WEPs CEO Leadership Awards

Five CEO recipients of this year’s coveted WEPs CEO Leadership Awards discuss the commitment, strategy and planning needed to implement the 7 Principles and make concrete progress towards gender equality in their workplace, marketplace and community.  Discussion and audience participation.

  • Awardee Introductions by Joseph Keefe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pax World Funds 
  • CEO Panel Moderated by Elizabeth Broderick, Special Adviser, UN Women; Former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner

17:45 - Spotlight Speaker: Agency and Action

  • Fiza Farhan, Chief Executive Officer,  Buksh Foundation & Buksh Energy PVT LTD 

17:50 - Concluding Remarks

  • His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

Followed by WEPs Special Reception hosted by Swarovski

The reception will take place in the Delegates Dining Room at United Nations Headquarters and include remarks by:

  • Hon. Elke Ferner, Parliamentary State Secretary, Germany,
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women; Under Secretary-General, United Nations
  • Lise Kingo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact 
  • Nadja Swarovski, Executive Board Member, Swarovski Crystal Business


16 March 2016

7:30 - 18:00, Wyndham New Yorker Hotel

7:30 - Arrival, Coffee & Conversation
Participants are strongly encouraged to arrive early at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel (481 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001) for security check-in and networking

8:00 - Morning Breakout Sessions

Simultaneous programmes strengthen the WEPs communities of practice by diving deep and sharing lessons from three strategies:

1) Changing Behavior and Workplace Culture for Inclusion:  This unique training session provides practical solutions for participants seeking to create inclusive workplaces by changing individual behavior, organizational culture and processes.

  • Tinna C. Nielsen, Founder, Move The Elephant For Inclusiveness

2) Ending Violence Against Women is Everyone’s Business - Workplace Action and Responses: Learn why coalitions from business, NGOs and Governments are coming together to show that violence against women is a workplace issue and innovative approaches companies are taking to prevent and respond to violence that is impacting their employees and women in their communities.

  • Moderated by Elizabeth Broderick, Special Adviser, UN Women; Former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner
  • Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year and Domestic Violence Campaigner 
  • Elizabeth Shaw, ‎Manager Advisory Services, KPMG
  • Marja Ruotanen, Director of Human Dignity and Equality, Council of Europe
  • Céline Bonnaire, Head, Kering Foundation 

3) Women and the Value Chain - Lessons Learned:  Companies and international organizations share innovative good practices on engaging women throughout the value chain to improve business models to become inclusive and sustainable.   

  • Moderated by Meg Jones, Chief of Women’s Economic Empowerment, UN Women
  • Joan Kerr, Director, Supplier Diversity and Sustainability Pacific Gas & Electric Company 
  • Elizabeth Vazquez, President, CEO, and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, WeConnect 
  • Najmah Mallick,  Chief Executive Officer, Meezaan Building Services 
  • Irene Natividad, President, Global Summit of Women and Chair, Corporate Women Directors International
  • Vanessa Erogbogbo, Head of the Women and Trade Programme, International Trade Centre 

9:30 - Welcome

  • Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact
  • Joseph Keefe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pax World Funds
  • Elizabeth Broderick, Special Adviser, UN Women; Former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner

9:40 - Spotlight: Men, Business, and the Gender Equality Advantage

  • Michael Kaufman, Co-Founder, White Ribbon Campaign; Senior Fellow, Instituto Promundo 

10:00 - Action Plans for Impact: Setting Goals, Targets and Measurements 

With the adoption of the SDGs, and in particular SDG 5, Governments are looking to the private sector to help meet national and global goals. In order to do its part, business will need to set ambitious goals and identify targets to track and report on progress. For more than five years, the WEPs have served as comprehensive guidance to help business shape gender inclusive strategies and many companies can now offer vital lessons on how to track and measure results. Discussion and audience participation.

Opening Discussion:
  • Moderated by Rini Simon Khanna, Media Person, Anchor/Moderator  
  • Amanda Ellis, Special Advisor to the President, East-West Center 
  • Debra Cammer Hines, Principal, Ernst&Young 
Panel Discussion:
  • Moderated by Aditi Mohapatra, Lead, Global Women’s Empowerment, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
  • Rohini Anand, Senior Vice President, and Chief Diversity & Corporate Responsibility Officer, Sodexo
  • Angela Guy, Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, L’Oréal USA
  • Rafael Carbonell Blanco, Vice President, Human Resources, Emgesa – Codensa 
  • İdil Türkmenoğlu, Human Resources & Sustainability Vice President, Boyner Group

11:30 - Break

12:00 - WEPs Around the World: Partnering for 2030

From Brazil to Turkey, South Africa to the United Kingdom, India to Columbia, WEPs stakeholder coalitions aim to remove barriers to women’s empowerment, benefit society and improve business at the same time.  Discussion and audience participation.

WEPs Partnership Innovation Brazil: Refugees, Employment and Integration:
  • Vanessa Celano Tarantini, Engagement Opportunities, Global Compact Network Brazil
  • Heloisa Covolan, Coordinator, Social Responsibility, Itaipu Binacional
  • Danielle Pieroni, Organizational Development Director, Fox Time Recursos Humanos 
  • Adriana Carvalho , WEPs Coordinator Brazil, UN Women Brazil Country Office 
WEPs World Tour: Actions and Accomplishments:
  • Gena Smith, SVP, Human Resources; and Global Executive & Creative Recruitment, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc.
  • Nicole Malick, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, NRS International 
  • Gizem Kececi, Head of Corporate Affairs & Diversity, Vodafone Turkey 
  • Maureen Kilgour, Associate Professor, Université de St.Boniface; Co-Facilitator, PRME Working Group on Gender Equality 

13:00 - Lunch & Spotlight: Stories from the Frontlines - Women Leading Business

  • Introduction by Joseph Keefe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pax World Funds
  • Erika Karp, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cornerstone Capital Inc. 
  • Archana Bhatnagar, Managing Director, Haylide Chemicals PVT LTD 

14:00 - Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Simultaneous programmes strengthen the WEPs communities of practice by diving deep into new research and highlighting emerging topics:

1) Accelerating Gender Equality in Practice - Male Middle Managers’ Role:  This discussion draws on recent research exploring how male middle managers can support gender parity efforts and highlights practices to engage men as supporters of gender inclusion in the workplace. 

  • Moderated by Elisabeth Kelan, Professor of Leadership, Cranfield School of Management; Director, Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders  
  • Nate Wong, Manager of Social Impact, Monitor Deloitte
  • Adam Quinton, Founder and CEO, Lucas Point Ventures
  • Tanya Odom, Global Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and Coach
  • Kathrina Bryen, Vice President Organisational Capability, Human Resources,  Aurizon  

2) Why Women’s Health in the Workplace Matters - Prescriptions for Action:  Principle 3 covers health, safety and freedom from violence, emphasizing the need for companies to take into account the different needs of women and men.  Explore the challenges companies face and the solutions designed to support women’s health in the workplace and throughout value chains.

  • Moderated by David Wofford, Vice President of Public-Private Partnerships, Meridian Group International, Inc./Evidence Project
  • Louise Dann, Strategic Partnerships, UNFPA 
  • Eric Austermann, Vice President of Sustainability, Jabil 
  • Julia Arick, Vice President, Caribbean Island Apparel 

3) Employees, Employers and Economies Agree - Childcare Now on the Agenda:  Access to childcare, included in Principle 2, bring positive results to employees, employers and economies as it can foster workplace gender diversity; improve productivity; and decrease absenteeism and turnover. This discussion highlights the business case, innovative models for supporting childcare services, lessons from employers, and employees, and findings that can provide stepping stones to replication and expansion.  Discussion and audience participation.

  • Moderated by Carmen Niethammer, Employment Lead, Gender Secretariat, International Finance Corporation
  • Alison Aggarwal, Principal Adviser/ Manager, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Avra Siegel, Director of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships, 
  • Tazeen Hasan,  Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law 
  • Shauna Olney, Chief of Gender, Equality and Diversity, International Labour Organization
  • Christine Fossaceca, Global Work-Life Solutions Director, JPMorgan Chase

15:30 - All In: Build the Action Agenda

15:50 - Taking Aim at 2030: The Next Generation of Change ​Agents 

Today’s youth steer their peers, parents, leaders and business to make the SDGs and gender equality real and bring us “the world we want”.  This session presents young women and men breaking through stereotypes, utilizing technology, connecting through social media and taking concrete actions to present fresh and successful approaches to long standing problems.  Discussion and audience participation.

  • Moderated by Ravi Karkara, Senior Advisor Strategic Partnership and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-General/Deputy Executive Director UN Women
  • Souphachanh Khansyla, Head of International Banking, ANZ Bank Laos Ltd.  
  • Tennile Amor, Singer/Songwriter and Co-founder, E.P.I.C. (Everyday People Initiating Change)
  • Arrey Obenson, Secretary General, JCI (Junior Chamber International) 
  • Holly Ransom, Chief Executive Officer, Emergent 

16:50 - Closing Remarks & Special Performance

17:00 - Reception