Leading with purpose at Forbes Women’s Summit

Global Business

Christine Lagarde, Holly Ridings, Lilly Ledbetter, and Jennifer Garner – Just a few groundbreaking women, who spoke at this year’s Forbes Women’s Summit in New York. The goal of the summit – to make equal opportunities for women a reality.

CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

The seventh annual Forbes Women’s Summit kicked off in New York with words by national youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman: “Where there’s a will, there’s a woman. And where there is a woman, there is always a way.”

Inspiration is what the Forbes annual gathering of female leaders is all about. The first to take to the stage was Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund.

“I think that there are three attributes, areas that you need to cultivate to in order to be able to exercise leadership efficiently and it boils down to confidence, energy and generosity,” Lagarde said.

Lagarde was France’s first female finance minister before becoming the first woman to lead the IMF. Her speech included a personal anecdote explaining how she developed the confidence to take risks.

“My parents let me do crazy things when I was much younger. And in retrospect, I discussed that with my mother before she passed – I said: ‘how could you do that ‘ and she said ‘well, we trusted you. We thought you would manage.'”

One of the take homes of this year’s Forbes Women’s Summit – and something the Lagarde reiterated – is the importance of women to work together, not compete with each other, to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems and to reach their full potential.

Actress Jennifer Garner talked about how the MeToo movement brought her closer to other female actresses like Natalie Portman and Jessica Chastain.

“There is room – even though it’s gnarly out there for women – there is room for everyone to have a place to shine and so to be together and to feel kind of the force of the other women with you when you have something going on is pretty great.” Said Garner.

For female entrepreneurs, there’s much to celebrate. In 2018 there were 12 companies founded by at least one female that hit the one-billion-dollar valuation mark globally. 2019 is poised to top that record. Nevertheless, the editor of Forbes Women said the female founders still face tremendous challenges.

“I think more women are open to conversations with budding entrepreneurs so it might be easier to get a foot in the door but it’s still hard to get that funding, it’s still hard to scale – you know you can get one customer – two but how do you get to ten,” Maggie McGrath said.

Events like the Forbes Women’s Summit hopes to empower not just the women of today but also the women of tomorrow.

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