EU-USA women will work together to develop innovation and leadership

Labour Party

I was delighted to meet a delegation from the Global Women’s Innovation Network (GlobalWIN) in Strasbourg today.

GlobalWIN is a not for profit organisation based in the United States which provides a dynamic forum for women executives and opinion formers in academia, government and business who are passionate about innovation and its potential to advance critical policy issues. Its Honorary Co-chairs are Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

WIN is working with Women in Leadership to provide networking and mentoring opportunities for women. WIN also hopes o act as a bridge between Europe and America on all these issues. As an all-party group with no particular political affiliation it is well placed to do this.

I was privileged to meet:

  • Linda Bloss-Baum, Time Warner Inc, and GlobalWIN Board member
  • Stephanie Peters, Microsoft and GlobalWIN Board member
  • Atalie Ebersole, office of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (Co-chair GlobalWIN)
  • Carrie S Kohns, office of Congresswoman Karen Bass
  • Trina Zwicker, US European Command
  • Amy O’Donnell, Proctor and Gamble
  • Arshi Siddiqui, Akin Group
  • Lauren Wessler, Global WIN
  • Helen Milby, WIN.
    • Anca Caruntu, European Network for Women in Leadership

We had a lively discussion covering a range of topics, including:

Getting more women in public life. I explained about all women short lists in the Labour Party. Various reasons were given as to why women did not come forward for political office, chief among them in the United States being the difficulties faced in family life due to the distances to and from WashingtonDC and the fact that the media pry into politicians’ private lives. However, both the Democrat and the Republican Parties are endeavouring to get more women involved.

The declining number of female students taking maths, science and technical subjects. This is as much a problem in the USA as it is in the UK and Europe. There appear to be some local initiatives in the United States, but much more needs to be done.

Women on the boards of listed companies. I had explained the proposals put forward by Commissioner Viviane Reding. It appears that quotas are no longer in favour in the United States. Instead some companies are trying to be more transparent. In addition, there is a growing consumer movement to find out about companies so that consumers may make informed choices as to what they but based on companies’ records. The majority of consumers are, of course, women.

The internet, intellectual property and privacy. This is as much an issue in the USA as it is in Europe. The global nature of the internet gives us huge challenges. I explained the EU has been struggling with this for a long time, and the same is true in the United States.

I found this meeting very informative, providing much food for thought and a range of new ideas. We will keep in touch to develop our both thinking and our activities in the future.