The Power of Working Together

The Power of Working Together

The Power of Working Together: Gender Equality in The Workplace, Marketplace and Community


On 10 December 2002, UN Women hosted a high-level Forum with G7-EU stakeholders focusing on women’s economic empowerment and responsible business conduct. The Forum was organized in the context of the joint WE EMPOWER-G7 Programme of UN Women, European Union (EU) and the ILO. Members of WE EMPOWER-G7’s advisory groups from Canada, Japan and the U.S. have also been in attendance. The Forum celebrated the successes of the Programme and the momentum that it has generated towards the transformation needed to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.  The three-hour Forum  featured the launch of the WEPs Learn, the documentary film “The Power of Partnerships for Achieving Gender Equality” and will reveal the 2020 WEPs G7-EU Award winners.





The WE EMPOWER-G7 Programme will host a virtual high-level forum convening G7-EU stakeholder that focus on women’s economic empowerment and responsible business conduct, including WEPs signatories. Members of WE EMPOWER-G7’s advisory groups from Canada, Japan and the US will also be in attendance. The event is intended to celebrate the legacy of the programme by featuring outcomes that contributed to creating momentum towards the transformation we need to achieve gender equality.

The three hours event will conclude with the 2020 WEPs G7-EU Award ceremony and virtual celebration, the launch of the WEPs reporting feature and “From Beijing to Generation Equality” documentary piece.

The Forum will highlight the important role of women’s economic empowerment as a continued priority for the G7, and the importance of women’s economic security, to address the economic impact of the pandemic.

WE EMPOWER - G7 Forum will be in opportunity for all stakeholders including the WEPs signatories from G7 countries and EU member states to:

  • Attend an international event with leading organizations with technical expertise on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
  • Showcase emerging policies and practices of gender-responsible business conduct that could be applied and replicated globally.
  • Learn about WE EMPOWER - G7 programme impact, including WEPs learning and reporting platforms
  • Network and connect with like-minded organizations.



After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.



7:45am – 8:00am

Welcoming the panelists and participants via Zoom

8:00am – 8:30am

Session 1: Driving Change
through Multistakeholder Partnerships

The session will showcase the value of working in partnerships and provide highlights of the past three years of the WE EMPOWER-G7 Programme.  

  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

Presentation: WE EMPOWER - G7 work in Canada, Japan and USA

  • Hilde Hardeman, Head, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, European Commission
  • Manuela Tomei, Acting Deputy Director General for Policy and Director of the Conditions of Work and Equality Department, International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva

8:30am – 8:35am

Transition to the next session

8:35am – 9:05am


Session 2: Putting Responsible Business Practices at the Heart of Your Business

The session will showcase the WEPs as the global framework for company growth and sustainability, emphasizing that “What gets measured, gets done”.

Moderator: Anna Fälth, Manager, WE EMPOWER-G7 Programme and Head, WEPs Secretariat, UN Women

  • Wim Mijs, CEO, European Banking Federation
  • Akira Doi, Chief Strategy Officer, UN Global Compact Japan
  • Amy Hepburn, CEO, Investor Leadership Network

9:05am – 9:10am

Transition to the next session

9:10am – 9:45am

Session 3: Importance of Skills Development for Career and Business Growth

The session will showcase the importance of lifelong learning for personal and professional development. The new WEPs Learn platform will be launched.

Moderator: Diana Rusu, Innovation and KM for WEE Specialist, UN Women

  • Shelly Bell, Founder & CEO, Black Girl Ventures
  • Miki Iwamura, VP Marketing for APAC, Global Women Will Founder, CMO for Japan, Google
  • Chidi King, Director, Equality Department, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Ángeles Santamaria Martín, Chief Executive Officer, Iberdrola Spain

9:45min– 9:50am

Transition to the next session

9:50am– 10:20am

Session 4: Emerging Practices of the Private Sector - COVID-19 Response and Recovery

The session will showcase emerging practices of the private sector amid COVID-19.  The report Bridging the Gap: Emerging Private Sector Response and Recovery Measures for Gender Equality Amid COVID-19 will be released.

Moderator: Henriette Kolb, Manager Gender and Economic Inclusion Group, IFC

  • Cameron Fowler, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, Bank of Montreal
  • Samah el Saghier, Chief Human Resource Officer, Axa Egypt 
  • Carla Sequeira, Secretary General of CIP (Confederação Empresarial de Portugal)

10:20am– 10:25am

Transition to the next session

10:25am– 10:45am

Session 5: The Power of Partnerships for Achieving Gender Equality

This session will screen, for the first time globally, the documentary film on the importance of the private sector’s active contribution to gender equality.

  • Dan Seymour, Director, Strategic Partnerships Division, UN Women

10:45am– 10:50am

Transition to the next session

10:50am– 11:30am



Session 6: The 2020 G7-EU WEPs Award

This session will celebrate the contributions of WEPs Signatories to the gender equality agenda. It will announce the 2020 G7-EU WEPs Award winners.

  • Lucia Klestincova, Policy Assistant to the Director for Competitiveness, and Brexit Coordinator at DG GROW/Internal Market
  • 2 Jury members per Award Category
  • 4 Winners


End of the programme




Opening Session Forum

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on 19 August 2013 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality. She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

Hilde Hardeman, Director, Head of Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, European Commission.

Hilde has spent over twenty years working for the European Commission, covering external relations and economic and competitiveness issues. From 2014 to early 2017, she served as Deputy Head of Cabinet to Vice-President Katainen in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. Between 2011 and 2014, she was in charge of briefing the President of the Commission for meetings with EU Heads of State or Government. Previously, she headed the Commission's Units for Relations with Russia and with Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.

Becoming Head of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments in May 2017, she returned to the field of external relations, leading a service with over 200 staff, including 90 colleagues in EU Delegations around the world. Her focus in the service is on putting the EU's Foreign Policy Instruments to the best possible use in achieving the EU's foreign policy objectives and projecting EU interests abroad. Hilde holds a PhD in Slavic Philology and History of the University of Leuven after studies at Leuven, Stanford University, Paris, Moscow and Amsterdam. She was visiting professor at the College of Europe, and taught History of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe at Vesalius College, Brussels. She published on Russian history and minority right issues.

Manuela Tomei, Acting Deputy Director General for Policy and Director of the Conditions of Work and Equality Department, International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva

Manuela was lead coordinator of the preparatory work that culminated in the adoption of the last two ILO Conventions, namely, C.190 on violence and harassment in the world of work in 2019, and C.189 on decent work for domestic workers in 2011. Together with UN Women and OECD, the ILO established and launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2017 the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) to contribute to the realization of SDG 8.5, in which Ms Tomei played a key role. She is presently leading preparatory work on inequalities and the world of work for discussion at the next session of the International Labour Conference. She has written and provided policy advice on a range of subjects, including gender, poverty and work, informal and non-standard forms of employment, wages and the gender pay gap.


Forum Session 2


Akira Doi, Chief Strategy Officer, Global Compact Network Japan

Graduating from Management and Implementation of Development Projects, the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology, UK. Qualified as International Professional Engineer and specialized in disaster management, environmental management, civil engineering, project development and management. From 2002 to 2015, Executive Officer of Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd. responsible for overseas operations. From 2016 to 2019, Secretary General of Japan Bosai Platform. After July 2019, being at the current position. 

Amy Hepburn, CEO, Investor Leadership Network

Amy is a globally recognized expert on social impact with a focus on intersectional gender equality and inclusion, humanitarian action and building social capital through cross sectoral partnerships. She is a seasoned strategic advisor with deep expertise on gender lens social investments and designing unique public private partnerships for high impact social return. In this capacity, she has spent 20 years driving social change globally in the private, non-profit and public sectors.

Amy was a Delegate on the first G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council created by PM Trudeau, an active member of the NationSwell Council and The Global Women’s Forum on Economy and Society. She has Faculty appointments at Duke University and George Washington University where she teaches on social impact, gender equality, the care of children in crises, human rights and humanitarian action. 

Wim Mijs, CEO, European Banking Federation

Wim Mijs was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the European Banking Federation in 2014. Between 2007 and 2014 Wim served as CEO of the Dutch Banking Association NVB. During this tenure he transformed the NVB into a modern industry association, positioning it as the key representative of the banking sector in the wake of the financial crisis.

Wim is a member of the Advisory Board of the BBVA Center for Financial Education and Capability, the Industry Chair of the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum and member of the Advisory board of Leiden Law School. Between 2011 and 2018, Wim held various institutional roles within the international and European financial/banking community: chairman of the International Banking Federation; chairman of the Executive Committee of the EBF; and chairman of the Board of Euribor, now known as the European Money Market Institute. He studied law at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, specializing in European and International law. He is married and has two children. 


Forum Session 3


Shelly Bell, CEO, Black Girl Ventures

Shelly Bell is a system disruptor and business strategist who moves ideas to profit while empowering people to live more authentically. As a cultural translator, she connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations in order to diversify their talent pipeline, increase equity and grow their brands.

A Computer Scientist with a background in performance poetry, K-12 Education and IP Strategy, she is what best-selling author Daniel Pink defines as “A Whole New Mind.” Named Entrepreneur of the Year (2017) by Technically DC and acknowledged as A Rising Brand Star by Adweek, She is among the nation's most sought-after Ecosystem Builders and transformational speakers in the Washington, DC Metro area. Shelly has been featured in Forbes, The Washington Business Journal, NewsOne, The Afro, and People of Color in Tech. Her organization, Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is a social enterprise that creates access to social and financial capital for Black/Brown women founders. BGV travels the country with a disruptive pitch competition that shifts the power dynamics in funding by combining crowdfunding and pitching. Google recognized Shelly’s ability to engage an audience from grassroots to government. As a result, she serves as the Google Digital Coach for DC working to bridge the digital divide for Black & Latinx business owners.

Miki Iwamura, VP Marketing for APAC, Global Women Will Founder, CMO for Japan, Google

Miki Iwamura heads Google marketing in Japan as CMO. She is also responsible for consumer marketing and Google’s corporate brand marketing for the Asia Pacific region which includes emerging markets like South East Asia and India as well as diverse markets such as Australia, China and Korea. Since joining Google in 2007, she has led the team to win various ad festival awards including Cannes Lions, the 1st place for the Consumer Brands in the Nikkei Brand Japan in 2011, and Brand of the Decade in 2013. She is the founder of “Women Will,” a global initiative implemented in 49 countries worldwide to support women through technology. In Japan, she also works on “Grow with Google” which aims to provide digital skills training to 10 million people and worked with more than 1000 partner companies on work style reform as a part of “Women Will”. She is also a Non-Executive Director for Lawson, Inc. and a member of the Society Vision Committee in the Japan Productivity Center. Her recent publication includes Work Smart - Teams and Technology Expand What You Can Do (Chuokoron-Shinsha Inc.)

Chidi King, Director, Equality Department, International Trade Union Confederation

Chidi King is the Director of the Equality Department at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), dealing with issues such as gender equality and intersectionality - including the gender dimensions of social protection and the informal economy - labour migration and youth employment.

Chidi has worked as employment rights officer at the UK Trade Union Congress and as equality and human rights officer with the Global Union Federation Public Services International, based in France. She has also worked as the senior lawyer with public interest disclosure charity Public Concern at Work. Chidi graduated in law from the University of Birmingham and from the Inns of Court School of Law (now The City Law School).

Ángeles Santamaria Martín, Chief Executive Officer, Iberdrola Spain

Since February 2018, Chief Executive Officer of Iberdrola España, the leading electricity company that manages more than 50 of the group’s installed renewable capacity around the world Santamaría has spent two decades of her working life at Iberdrola, mainly developing and managing the strategy for the transition to the new energy model, based on renewables.

Between 2015 and 2018 as Spain and International Director at Iberdrola Renovables, she was responsible for the global sales, promotion, construction, and operations of this business in Iberia, Continental Europe, Brazil and Mexico. Before this, until January 2007 she was Technology Director with Renewables, encompassing the Regulation, Innovation and Development areas. Previously, in 2001 as Director of Asset Management at Iberdrola Renewables, she was responsible for Operation and Maintenance of the company’s assets.  Santamaría started her career at Iberdrola Engineering and Construction and at Duro Felguera in activities related to the electricity sector, where she gained extensive experience managing complex projects. She also sits on the boards of a number of associations and trusts related to the energy sector and the business area. Degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Pontificia de Comillas and graduate from the General Management Programme at the IESE Business School.


Speakers Session 4


Henriette Kolb, Manager, Gender and Economic Inclusion Group, IFC

Henriette leads the Gender and Economic Inclusion Group at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. She serves as an advocate for gender equality issues in the private sector and works with IFC’s clients to include both women and men as entrepreneurs, employees, consumers, community stakeholders and leaders. She leads a global team that is engaged in co-creating gender-smart private sector solutions through research, investments, advice and peer learning platforms. Before joining IFC in September 2013, Henriette was the CEO of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, where she remains involved as a senior advisor. Earlier in her career, Henriette was the UN representative in the Middle East Quartet team advising Tony Blair in Jerusalem. She also worked for the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO). She has held positions as governance advisor with the European Commission Delegation to Tanzania, the German Technical Cooperation Agency in Germany, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Tanzania, where she worked on conflict reduction, civic education, and socioeconomic issues in East Africa.

Henriette graduated with an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and received her MA from Freiburg University, Germany. She is also a Harvard Kennedy School Women in Public Policy Program fellow (2018). Henriette is a Bucerius and Hertie summer school alumna and a frequent contributor to blogs hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Huffington Post, and Business Fights Poverty.

Samah El Saghier, Chief Human Resource Officer, AXA Egypt

Samah has more than 17 years of experience in different HR leadership roles among vast industries such as telecom, FMCGs and Insurance to name a few. She works on accelerating business transformation through distinguished talent models, attracting and developing the best talent and building a culture of engagement, agility and innovation. Over the past few years, Samah has led full potential Initiatives namely; restructuring of business, acquisitions and culture change programs.

Motivated by her people oriented mindset, Samah joined AXA Egypt team in January 2019, where she is instrumentally leading the implementation of AXA Egypt’s HR strategic objectives, to further develop AXA’s talent capabilities while embracing AXA core values, and working towards achieving the company’s ambition in becoming an employer of choice in Egypt. Samah holds a Bac of English literature from Cairo University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Arab Academy.

Cameron Fowler, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer - Bank of Montreal

Cameron (Cam) Fowler is the Chief Strategy and Operations Officer. In this role, Cam is accountable for mobilizing efforts across the bank to enhance both our medium term strategic focus and our near-term performance. His mandate also includes amplifying our brand and stakeholder impact, while focusing our strategic planning and investments on key areas of future growth, including our digital agenda. Cam is a member of the BMO Financial Group Executive Committee and Chair of the bank’s Operating Committee. He also serves as BMO’s Executive Diversity Champion. Cam joined BMO in January 2009 as Executive Vice-President and Head of Strategy and Marketing, BMO. Prior to his recent appointment, Cam was President, North American Personal & Business Banking. He also served as Executive Vice-President, Canadian Personal & Commercial Banking, responsible for the strategic direction and performance of our customer segments, physical and virtual channels and all product areas, including payments and cards.

Before joining BMO, Cam served as Managing Director & Head of Barclays Wealth International with Barclays in London, UK. He also held senior positions within Barclays, Delano Technology Corporation and Braxton Associates/Deloitte Consulting and worked as a Policy Advisor for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Government of Ontario. Cam is a member of the Board of Directors of BMO Financial Corporation, CivicAction, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation (CAMH) and Century Initiative. He is Co-Chair of the Major Banks Campaign for the United Way of Greater Toronto and has served as a past Chair of the Executive Council of the Canadian Bankers Association, Moneris Solutions and the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. Cam, who was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, has a BA (Honours) from Queen’s University and received his MBA from the London Business School at the University of London (UK).

Carla Sequeira, Secretary-General of CIP-Confederation of Portuguese Business

Carla Sequeira is the secretary-general of CIP since 2015 and a member of the Executive Bureau of BusinessEurope since June 2020. In her role as Secretary General, Carla is responsible for the general management of the confederation and the coordination of European affairs but also for promoting special projects dedicated to upskilling and reskilling of workers and gender equality.

Her work life has been dedicated to company public policies, either working in Business Associations or at public bodies. She started her career in 1995 as a member of cabinet of the Commissioner for Cooperation and Development at the European Commission in Brussels where she lived until 2000.  Back in Portugal she served as International Relations Director in Portuguese Industrial Association, where she headed a team of project managers dedicated to support the internationalization of Portuguese companies and then had a 2 years’ experience as senior adviser of the Portuguese Minister for Economy from 2011 to 2013 contributing for the modernization of the industrial licencing legislation (Zero Licencing for more than 96% of companies).

Carla graduated in Management at Universidade Lusiada in Lisbon and received an MBA from United Business Institute in Brussels.


Speakers Session - Documentary
























Dan Seymour, Director, Strategic Partnerships Division, UN Women

Dan Seymour is currently the Director for UN Women’s Strategic Partnerships Division. He previously served as UN Women’s Director of Humanitarian Action and Crisis Response Office and Deputy Director of Programmes and Deputy Chief of Staff/ Strategic Planning Advisor to the Executive Director.

He began his career as Save the Children UK’s first Human Rights Officer. He has worked in government as an advisor on child rights to Robin Cook, the UK Foreign Secretary, with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Kosovo Mission as a human rights monitor and head of office, and as Save the Children Alliance Representative to the United Nations in New York.

He joined the UN with UNICEF in 2002 working first in the Child Protection Section of Programme Division, then as Planning and Social Policy Officer in the Viet Nam Country Office, and finally as Chief of UNICEF’s Gender and Rights Unit. During that time, he was elected chair of the OECD/ DAC’s Human Rights Task Team. In 2010 he went to UN Women to support its establishment. He is a graduate of Oxford University with degrees in Political Science and Economics and Human Rights Law and Theory. Dan is a UK national with two daughters.


Forum Session 6


Lucia Klestincova, Policy Assistant to the Director for Competitiveness, and Brexit Coordinator at DG GROW/Internal Market

Lucia is known as the voice of transformation of the EU via new culture of feminine leadership. She is a policy-maker, podcast host, founder of women networks, and a coach of emerging leaders seeking alignment, flow and impact. During seven years of her career at the European Commission, she has pioneered intrapreneurialism and projects for transformation of the corporate culture. In her current role at the Directorate General for Internal Market, her responsibilities range from Brexit preparations to mainstreaming equality in industrial policy as a member of the Equality Task Force of Commissioner Dalli. Connect with Lucia to collaborate on purpose-driven leadership or check out her latest book on values guiding careers of leaders who shine Lights on Europe.


Youth Jury




WE EMPOWER – G7 Programme - The European Union (EU), UN Women and the ILO have joined forces to promote women’s economic empowerment from 2018-2020 through the “Promoting economic empowerment of women at work through responsible business conduct in G7 countries” (WE EMPOWER - G7) Programme. The project aims to support sustainable and equitable economic growth by promoting women’s empowerment in the public and private sector in G7 countries.

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