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e-Connections: March 2014
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President's Message

Dear colleagues and friends,

This month e-connections explores the qualities of leadership that are common in successful women.  My friend Martha Mayhood Mertz, who founded the Athena Foundation in the United States, has studied the thousands of women that have moved through her Athena program to develop their business and leadership acumen. She has identified eight recurring things these women all have in common:

  • Live authentically
  • Learn constantly
  • Advocate fiercely
  • Act courageously
  • Foster collaboration
  • Build relationships
  • Give back
  • Celebrate


These are not things to be learned but to be done, and they are things that many of us know innately.  I often reflect on how I came to know the things I know.  Do you?  As a Girl Scout at the age of six, I discovered learning different things was fun, became competitive as I sought to have the most badges or sell the most cookies, and perhaps most importantly of all, unconsciously grounded myself in the very principles I hold today.  It is astonishing now to look back and realize how the very simple words of the Girl Scout Law have influenced my path for so long:   

“I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others, respect authority,
use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout”

Today, the Girl Scouting experience is defined as being leadership-focused and is grounded on three simple core concepts:  discover, connect and take action.  These principles are timeless to leaders of every age.  When we understand ourselves and have a clear internal compass, we are ready to DISCOVER new paradigms.  The more we experience, we learn that caring, serving, and inspiring others is how we CONNECT in our immediate local circle, but also in our community and world at large.  As we learn about other cultures around us and in the world, we know that embracing those that are different from us is not only the right thing to do, but the only way to breed mutual understanding, respect, and good will. If we couple our tools of discovering and connecting, we will TAKE ACTION to better ourselves, others, and the world. 

Discover, connect and take action.  I can’t think of a better way to start than to attend TIAW’s Global Forum this month.  If you have not registered yet, why wait another moment? Register Now.


Lisa Kaiser Hickey



Read Lisa's article in this month's issue of Dialogue, a benefit brought to you by TIAW.


TIAW Micro Credit Program

By:  Maxine Westaway, Director TIAW Micro Credit Program

As we begin our work for 2014 we would like to express our sincere thanks to all the donors who made 2013 such a successful year.   With your generosity in donating it really is the women and children in developing countries who benefit so greatly.  We know they’d express their thanks to you if they could.

With your continued support in 2014 we will be able to attain our goal to launch many more village banks bringing hope and prosperity to so many more women and their families, be that in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific.

Women like Maggie Maziya who was born on the 30th of April 1982 in Nhlaba Village, Mpumalanga Province in South Africa.  Maggie is one of two children, her brother now lives in another village and she lives with her mother and her 15 year old daughter.  When growing up Maggie’s father was working at a factory in Middleburg, Mpumalanga and her mother was a housewife.  She had an opportunity to go to school because her father was paying for her school fees.  Her father passed away when she was doing grade 12, final year of high school.  She failed at the end of the year because she was disturbed by her father’s passing and she never went back to school the following year.

The first few years after her father passed away were not bad since they received his pension funds but as soon as the money was finished the situation at home became worse. They would sometimes sleep without food.  Seeing her mother and daughter going hungry day by day was more painful for her than her own distress.  She then decided to raise some funds from her friends and family to start a small business.  She travelled to Maputo, Mozambique to buy her stock (body lotion and snickers) as it is very cheap there.


When our Microfinance Institute partner was in her area she heard about it and decided to be part of it, she became a client in May 2013 and received a loan amount of $111 from TIAW which she used to increase her stock.  She believes that TIAW and our partners in South Africa will help her to achieve her dreams of making sure her daughter goes to university, building a house and also expanding her business. 


In the coming weeks we will be updating the Micro Credit material on the TIAW website and keeping you up to date through the many platforms of social media. 

If you have not made a donation to the TIAW Micro Credit Program in the past, please do so now by going here

Is There Any Difference? 

by Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie  

When I was young, I asked many questions about leadership and differences between men and women. Indeed, there are many great differences and Katherine J. Kehler has stated rather uniquely, “If women would realize what an influence they have, they would be filled with pride. If men recognized how influential women are, they would be scared to death.” In short, women’s leadership styles are different because they are motivated by passion/emotion, nurturing capability, intellect and logical or reflective thinking among many other qualities that define women. 

Yes, as once said by the First Lady Michelle Obama, “Success is not about being impressive; it’s about being inspired. It’s about leading a rich life, no matter how much money you have”. Based on this quote, I can also admit that women naturally embrace the idea of shared leadership. Women often define success on their own terms, face difficult challenges with clear thinking, invest in their personal and professional growth, make positive impacts and recognize their strength.

In conclusion, I will say in my leadership capability, I try most often to make a positive change in any community that I find myself which will inspire others to do the same. I challenge you to be a good leader by taking risk and breaking the rules of business and life.


 Top Ten Skills of Successful Women Leaders

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” 
                                                                               -Eleanor Roosevelt



TIAW and other organizations that support the growth and development of business women have contributed greatly to the awareness and knowledge that women possess a unique set of leadership skills.

This is a topic that certainly can generate much discussion but for the purpose of this article I will list what has through research and common knowledge come to be known in more recent times as what I will call the top ten skills of the woman leader.

From my personal experience the best women leaders take a heart-centered approach to leading; by that I mean that not all of their decisions are black and white they will usually place a little of themselves in the process.

This is a list that I use when working with business women. I invite you to read and check off the skills that you have mastered. Make a note of those in which you still need a little adjusting.

Top Ten Skills of a Successful Women Leader  (CoachPhyllis.Com Inc.)


1. Self Aware

2. Confident

3. Positive Mind Set

4. Networker

5. Trust Builder

6. Action Oriented

7. Effective Communicator

8. Intuitive

9. Sense of Humor

10. A Delegator


Each and every one of us has these ten skills to varying degrees. You may discover that you have mastered all ten of these leadership skills or you may find that you need to readjust or even enhance some areas.

Coaching Activity:

1. What actions do you need to take to achieve these skills?

2. What one thing can you do right now to increase the skill?

3. What changes do you need to make?


Remember, you have the power to achieve what you want in a leadership role.


The latest issue of Dialogue focuses on Big Data and the promise and peril it brings for leaders in a world where change is accelerating and competition is intensifying, including comment and contributions from Google, American Express, Cisco and renowned business thinker Roger Martin. The March issue is available here.

Also in Dialogue:

Lisa Kaiser-Hickey, President of The International Alliance for Women, discusses the correlation between empowering women and GDP growth, as well as the importance of achieving gender equality.

The 21st century brings a fresh conundrum: how can employers lead four generations in the workplace in a consumer market dominated by generation Y? Global business leaders debate the issue.

Cultural attitudes towards entrepreneurship and finding opportunities to raise capital are vital to launching a start-up business in growth markets, according to Laura Gonzalez, Professor of Business at Fordham University and Diego García, Finance Director at pharmaceuticals giant Zoetis.

Indian telecommunications leader, Murthy Chaganti launches his series of viewpoints for Dialogue by asking how companies can give themselves a chance to succeed in the rural parts of the sub-continent– a vast and untapped global market.


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About Us

Who are We?

The International Alliance for Women is organized as a 501(c)3 foundation in the USA. We are a global community of economically empowered women across all continents that welcome you to our members’ cities and countries, connecting you with their networks of business and community professionals.

What's our Purpose?

The International Alliance for Women connects leading women’s organizations worldwide to leverage their reach and resources, creating a global community of economically empowered women.

Through our Global Programs we seek to make a difference in the world for those women who are not empowered economically.