My favorite event of the whole summer was the intimate sit-down dinner and panel discussion celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Womanity Foundation at Le Cirque, in New York City. The Geneva-based organization, which works to empower women and girls around the world, came to New York for the first time to make new friends and teach us about their work. Yann Borgstedt, the founder and chair of Womanity, welcomed guests with a special Swiss red wine, Syrah du Valais, before moderating a panel discussion, “Progressing Together: What Men Gain from Women’s Empowerment and Gender Parity.”
Panelists included: James Benedict (Women’s Investment Network), Ronald Bruder (Education for Employment), Ambassador Craig Johnstone (Vital Voices), Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas (Rockefeller Brothers Fund), and Diana Rowan Rockefeller (Afghan Women Leaders CONNECT). They discussed their own organizations and the importance of empowering women.
Yann said, “There’s a deep sense of purpose and power when like-minded people convene to share experiences and plans, and Womanity’s anniversary dinner was one of those rich moments. We feel inspired to work even harder, together with new allies and partners, to advance girls and women and create better, more just societies.”
Womanity executive director Antonella Notari Vischer said, “We came to NY to make new friends, with whom we could share, learn, collaborate and grow. Monday night, we felt very welcomed and privileged to start many conversations that we trust will lead to fruitful partnerships around the efforts to empower women world-wide.”
Guests included: Jean-Christian Agid, Prince Faisal Al Saud, Gary Barker, Jane Bieneman, Sharon Bush, Julia Chu, Christine Dutreil, Dina Said Dwyer and Michael Dwyer, Andrea Fletcher, Tom Jones, Mirian Khiari, Ilze Melngailis, Patricia Morris, Sari Percaya, Christina Piaia, Allison Rockefeller, Jim Rosenfield, Ambassador Paul Seger, Denise Sinclair, Troy Wolfe, yours truly and many more.
Guests dined on a spring pea risotto, pan seared salmon with fingerling potatoes, broccoli raab, and a lemon beurre blanc, and a dessert trio of molten chocolate cake, strawberry tart, and crème brûlée.
Womanity’s vision, since its founding in 2005, is of a world where all women and men have equal and full social, economic, and political participation. They aim to PROTECT women’s and girls’ physical and psychological welfare. EDUCATE by supporting girls’ and women’s access to quality education and vocational training. GIVE VOICE to women in the media to influence society, politics, and governance institutions. And ECONOMICALLY EMPOWER to create employment, revenue generation, and professional career opportunities for women.
Womanity focuses on innovation, efficacy, potential for growth or replication to generate lasting, and positive changes to women’s and girls’ roles in society.
They do this by identifying local needs, designing inventive programs that meet those needs, and by collaborating with our entrepreneurial partners to implement and scale up programs that accelerate progress for women and girls within their communities. I was particularly thrilled to attend this event since my own Foundation has some of the same goals as Womanity.