A three-day gathering of more than 800 prominent women leaders, including Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, was convened this past weekend in Deauville, France, for the annual meeting of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. Vital Voices President & CEO Alyse Nelson was selected as a Rising Talent and spoke on a panel entitled, “From Aid to Empowerment: will the new focus on empowering communities replace traditional aid?,” sponsored by Coca-Cola. A Vital Voices film featuring our partnership with ExxonMobil in Africa was highlighted during the forum. Recognized as the ‘Davos for Women’, the fifth annual meeting of the women’s forum included dozens of sessions on the future of female leadership in a time of economic crisis.
Characteristics typically attributed to female leadership, “long-term thinking, greater focus on teamwork and less propensity to get trapped by a herd mentality,” were noted as “characteristics that could complement male crisis management,” reports The New York Times. Business leaders, politicians and activists joined in discussions on women’s expanding role across diverse spheres of influence internationally. Dina Habib Powell, Vital Voices board member and global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs & Co., noted that this is a critical time for women’s advancement, saying: “I hope we’ll look back in a generation’s time and say ‘we were there when it tipped to the other side.'”