‘‘To me, feminism is about dignity. Dignity means being treated as equal, being respected for who you are, being listened to. Dignity is being able to define your own destiny, being free to make your life’s choices and free to celebrate them. It is an attitude of self-respect that finds its way into social, cultural and religious contexts.’Elizabeth Filippouli, ‘From Women to the World’
Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and women from all walks of life are more burned out than ever; increasingly more so than men. Despite this, from employee well-being to diversity, equity and inclusion, female leaders can be seen stepping up to support our societies across the world. However, three in four working mothers still report discrimination in the workplace; 54,000 a year lose their jobs because of having a baby; and, perhaps more surprisingly, periods spent in part-time work lead to nearly no pay progression. Women the world over must take things in their hands to drive change but also build resilience, nurture perseverance, and promote inclusion.
To mark International Women’s Day 2022, join us in partnership with Athena40 for a discussion exploring women as drivers of resilience, diversity, and social change.
Moderated by Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder of Athena40, guest speakers include Lin Yue, Executive Director Goldman Sachs; Grace Moronfolu MBE, Chair of the National Black Crown Prosecution Association, Crown Prosecution Service, and Regan Ralph, Founding President of Witness.
To enhance the impact of the event, women thinkers from the UK, the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa will connect to the event virtually in a synchronised online global conversation.
Alongside the event on International Women’s Day, the photographic project ‘I am, You are: A pebble’ will be presented at The Conduit. Featuring 20 portraits of ground-breaking women. The project is a collaboration between London-based German photographer Sebastian Boettcher and Elizabeth Filippouli, journalist, and editor of ‘From Women to the World’. It is inspired by the beautifully complex, and resilient nature of women.
Launched by the London-based non-profit Global Thinkers Forum, Athena40 is a platform connecting and recognising women from around the world. Athena40 has been created as a platform to democratise recognition for women and bring to the spotlight grassroots women and women making an impact.
Find out more about Athena40 here.
Among the partners in 2022:
The Conduit Club, Evening Standard, London Press Club, INJAZ Jordan, Arab Institute of Women Lebanon, Montessori Group UK, Department for International Trade UK UAE, Clean Start Kenya, Kenya High Commission to the UK, Ziauddin University Pakistan, Melissa Network Greece, Sharjah Museum Authority, NAMA Women’s Advancement Establishment.
Elizabeth H. Filippouli is a journalist, author and executive. Her early career in print and broadcast journalism at Greek and international media was prelude to now over a decade of activism and serial entrepreneurship. She is Founder and CEO of Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) since 2011. GTF is an independent civil society agency incubated at the University of Oxford, now London-based and working through a global network of thought leaders to promote values-based decision making and supporting women and youth through programmes and initiatives in MENA, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. In 2018 Elizabeth launched Athena40, a family of diverse initiatives that advance female leadership by creating opportunities for women to be recognized for their work and connecting them with peers from around the world. Elizabeth serves on the Global Advisory Board of the Prince’s Trust International. She is often invited as speaker on visionary leadership and women’s issues. She has read Strategy and Innovation at Oxford’s Said Business School, Transnational Media and Globalisation at London City University (MA), and is completing the MS on Philosophy, Science and Religion at the University of Edinburgh. Her first book ‘The Invisible Reality’ was published in Greece in 2004. Her new book ‘From Women to the World’ was published by IB Tauris in July 2021. In 2020 she co-authored together with Dr Marc J. Ventresca a work on ‘Kindness in Leadership in Times of Crisis’, the first of several publications that rethink the work of leaders.
Priya Guha is a Venture Partner at Merian Ventures, investing in women-led innovation, an Advisor to Kheiron Medical Technologies (a UK start up using deep learning to transform cancer diagnostics), a NED at UK Research & Innovation, the Digital Catapult & GB Badminton, a Member of the Innovate UK Council and Adjunct Faculty at the Ashridge Hult Business School. She was previously GM for RocketSpace, launching their UK operations. Priya used to be a career diplomat, most recently as British Consul General to San Francisco and previously in India and Spain. She sits on the Royal Academy of Engineering International Committee, Althea Foundation Board, Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates Advisory Boards. She also Chairs the Board of Trustees of Modern Muse, is a Trustee at TechSheCan and an Advisor to The Youth Group. Priya was awarded an MBE in 2021 for services to international trade and women in innovation.
Khalida Popal began breaking down barriers and empowering women in Afghanistan in 2007 when she helped found the Afghan National Women’s Soccer Team. She served as the team captain, and she later became the first woman ever hired by the Afghanistan Football Federation. When it became clear that she was no longer safe in the country, she went into exile and has continued her advocacy for the rights of women and girls by establishing the Denmark-based Girl Power Organisation. Girl Power encourages women’s empowerment through sport, particularly for refugee and migrant girls. Khalida has become an outspoken and deeply respected advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan and beyond. A former defender on the soccer field, she is now a defender and champion of human rights around the globe. Amid the recent fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, she worked tirelessly to help dozens of female senior and youth soccer players from the senior & junior national teams escape and relocate. She has continued to support these girls and their families as they transition to their new countries of residence.
Regan Ralph is the founding president and CEO of the Fund for Global Human Rights. As a young women’s rights advocate, she embraced the power of human rights to challenge structural inequality and has worked alongside and in support of human rights movements ever since. Prior to launching the Fund, Regan was vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, DC, where she led advocacy, policy, and educational strategies to promote the quality and availability of health care for American women. From 1992 to 2001, Regan helped build and ultimately directed the Women’s Rights division of Human Rights Watch, where she developed campaigns to ensure the prosecution of sexual violence in conflict as a war crime, to secure recognition of gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum, and to promote women’s rights in countries including Russia, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan, and Mexico. Regan is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School. She studied international law at the London School of Economics and Arabic at the American University in Cairo. She serves on the boards of EG Justice, Crisis Action, and WITNESS.
After an extensive career in acting, Baroness Lola Young became a professor of Cultural Studies, a writer, broadcaster and cultural critic. She has been an independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2004, having served as Head of CULTURE at the Greater London Authority. She’s been on the Boards of numerous arts and cultural organizations, including the National Theatre, Historic England, and the Southbank Centre. Lola has tackled racial disparity in the criminal justice system, and services for women and girls at risk. While campaigning for the elimination of modern slavery in supply chains, Lola founded and Co-Chairs All Party Parliamentary Groups on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, and Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights. Since 2018, Lola has been Co-Chair of the Foundation for Future London. She was appointed Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, and a Non-Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing in 2020.
Lin Yue is a senior executive at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, responsible for managing and growing key relationships across UK institutional investors. As a senior leader of mainland Chinese origin in London, she helps elevate women and ethnic minorities in the workplace. She is a multi-award winning thought leader and keynote speaker in delivering the intersection of diversity, culture, leadership and business. Lin was recognised in the HERoes 100 Women Future Leaders by Yahoo Finance for three consecutive years, a finalist for Asian Women of Achievement and Women in Finance Award as an advocate in 2021. She is one of 50 Most Inspirational Women in the City of London by Brummell, a top Ethnic Minority Future Leader by EMpower, and the winner of the “Excellence in Banking” award at the Chinese Business Leaders Awards. A graduate of Experimental Psychology from Oxford University, Lin is also passionate about applying behavioural science in the workplace and making life skills accessible to all.