Women’s Entrepreneurship Day celebrates the contributions women make to the workforce and brainstorms ideas for how we can continue to do more. Read below for my recap of the WED celebration at the United Nations!
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, founded by author and philanthropist Wendy Diamond, is a day that serves to celebrate women entrepreneurs around the world. In 2014, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio pronounced it an official day on November 19th.
This year, WED was celebrated at the United Nations with many esteemed business leaders and philanthropists in attendance; I was so honored to be among their ranks. At TRUE Model Management we believe that empowering women is an important cause to support and practice to keep. The more women who are empowered, the more positive female role models we have to inspire young girls to pursue their dreams and to make positive differences in our world.
This idea was repeated during the day’s panels, and for a good reason. In a study of 800 companies, it was found that those with a gender diverse workforce performed financially better than those that were dominated by one gender. Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, in particular championed gender equality during her panel. She remarked that diversifying HSN when she came on as CEO led to higher profits for the company.
The panels were full of influential women and men, many who inspired attendees with reflections on their journeys through the ranks of business. Iris Apfel, the legendary fashion icon, recalled her start, saying, “When I went into business, I never thought I was doing something special because I was a woman. I was just a person. It wasn’t until later that I realized there were all these barriers I was breaking.” Ms. Apfel was applauded many times throughout her speech, and was honored by WED founder Wendy Diamond with a Pioneer Award.
Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest yoga master had encouraging words for the women in attendance. As a World War II French Resistance fighter, model, actress, film producer, wine connoisseur, competitive ballroom dancer, and yoga master--not a businesswoman--she takes a different approach to breaking barriers, something she knows much about from her time marching with Gandhi and Dr Martin Luther King Jr, as a young woman. “Say, ‘today is going to be the best day of my life and I am going to do everything I can do, today,” she implored.
Katia Beauchamp, CEO and Co-Founder of the beloved beauty subscription service, Birchbox, represented everything Women’s Entrepreneurship Day stands for by celebrating, empowering, and supporting women. Her company has been wildly successful by bringing a refreshing feminine touch and practical business model that was seriously lacking in the male-dominated beauty market. Birchbox is one of many companies that WED is promoting with their new campaign, #ChooseWomen that seeks to advocate for women owned businesses.
Another notable speaker was Kunal Sood, the Chairman of WED Fellows Accelerator and Executive Producer and Curator of TEDxUNPlaza. Kunal is the Chairman and a Board Member of Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED) at the United Nations since 2014.
But, it was perhaps Antonio Lucio, Global CMO of HP Inc, that summed up ideas that may help women advance in the workforce, the best. He announced that women can do a better job with self advocacy by promoting their strengths and assuming the power of the chair.
At TRUE Model, we could not agree more completely. Be kind, empower others, and embrace your moment!
In Celebration ofSmall Business Saturday, Sponsored by American Express, Women's Entrepreneurship Day Founder was joined by yogi Donna D'Cruz and myself, Dale Noelle, at the NASDAQ's closing bell on Wednesday 11/23.