We were inspired to #MakeItHappen for women’s empowerment at the Circle’s 2nd birthday celebration event on March 25, also in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. The gala featured amazing speakers, including Dr. Jeannice F. Samani, two courageous women refugees, Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, Alaina Percival, Eileen Carey, and Jill Finlayson. Menlo College in Atherton graciously provided the venue, and the event was organized by Palo Alto Lean In Circle’s facilitator Myra Nawabi, and Circle member volunteers Jenna Losé, Lucina Lara, and Julia Onken.
Dr. Jeannice Samani opened the evening by leading us through a creative partner exercise/discussion to foster connections between us. Next, two young women bravely shared their stories of surviving great hardship in Congo and Ghana. It was a privilege to hear them speak.
Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro of the Global Fund for Women spoke of her global mission to have every woman be strong, safe, and powerful. She also spoke of Sheryl Sandberg’s support of the organization’s campaign Ignite: Women Fueling Science and Technology, a #BeTheSpark movement that is leading the way for women to create the technology they use and love.
Alaina Percival of Women Who Code, shared her desire to see the technology industry hire and retain women to create a culture of leadership. Women Who Code is creating women tech leaders across the globe.
Eileen Carey spoke about her desire to create a feminist technology company, out of which her company, Glassbreakers, was born. Glassbreakers is a technology solution that matches women with peer mentors.
Jill Finlayson spoke about the global alumnae network of TechWomen, an initiative started by Hillary Clinton four years ago. TechWomen is empowering and connecting women leaders across the globe in the STEM fields.
These inspiring women showed us how they are helping to empower women globally, to #MakeItHappen. But empowerment and change begins with each of us. How will you #MakeItHappen in your life? The Palo Alto LeanIn Circle is here to support you every step of the way!