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2013 World of Difference 100 Award Recipients | Page 8
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 Shirley Randell       Australia        Community

Shirley Randall was awarded one of the Inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards for demonstrating significant influence globally and contributing to driving positive change in Australia. Ms. Randall has worked in a variety of countries. She worked in Rwanda for many years with particular interest in Women’s health. She also has worked in Afghanistan with Global Rights: Partners for Justice (GRPJ), where 102 legal fellows were trained - 78 women and 24 men from Kabul and three other provinces. The purpose of the training was to build their capacity and empowerment in gender awareness and the legal framework in Afghanistan. It was a huge challenge, given the influence of tradition and Sharia law with many minds closed to gender issues. In Lagos, Nigeria, she gave a keynote speech on The Role of Women in Conflict Resolution to the 34th Convention of the International Federation of Women Lawyers on Women Through the Ages and Sustainable Empowerment. There she shared some of the stories of women’s empowerment in Rwanda and encouraged leading lawyers from over 30 of the Federation’s 64 member countries and from every state in Nigeria to work towards the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325/2000 on women’s representation in peace processes and conflict resolution committees. Ms. Randall is a member of WCEI in Australia and returns to attend forums and shares her news regularly.

Aysha Rau      India       Non-Profit/NGO

Aysha Rau founded The Little Theatre Trust in 1991 to raise funds for her outreach programs. For the last 18 years she has scripted and produced musicals and shows. Her outreach programmes include theatre workshops and spoken English classes for 200 underprivileged children on a weekly basis. And every year she selects a minimum of four children for a seven year education scholarship. Her organization pays for them to finish high school from a private school and then to go through University. In this way she has empowered many girls who are now working with Banks and other corporates. These underprivileged girls are first time graduates in their families and been saved from becoming domestic maids. Aysha has definitely impacted their lives for the better. She does this on an honorary basis.


Viviane Reding      Luxembourg       Public Service/Government

Viviane Reding has been a tireless champion and the major driver and advocate for gender equality in Europe, leading the debate with political and business leaders in Europe and pushing to enact a law to achieve equal opportunities for men and women at the highest levels in the European economy, especially on supervisory boards of listed companies. She has also been an open supporter and advocate of the Global Board Ready Women searchable database initiative, which contains more than 8,000 international profiles of highly qualified women who are ready today for listed boards worldwide. Ms. Reding’s support has been a major reason for the success and credibility of the GBRW initiative with CEOs, Chairmen and top executive search firms. Getting the legislation through was not easy, with extensive, heated debate and opposition from many quarters. She championed the vigorous debate, saying that "thankfully, European laws on important topics like this are not made by nine men in dark suits behind closed doors, but rather in a democratic process”. After a long discussion in the European Commission. Ms Reding's ideas, shared, among others, by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the Commissioners with economic portfolios, prevailed. Ms. Reding is the European Commission's Vice-President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.


Alexandra Richardson      China      Corporate

As a Senior HR Director for PepsiCo Asia Pacific, and lead for the PepsiCo Africa, Middle East and Asia (AMEA) sector’s Centre of Excellence for Diversity & Inclusion, Alexandra Richardson is a tireless proponent for the cause of women and their economic empowerment. She has worked to achieve a workplace culture, supported by policies and practices, that enables women to reach their full potential. Working in both developed and developing economies, spanning more than 90 countries and with over 40,000 employees, she is a champion of female talent. She has ensured that PepsiCo’s processes such as succession planning, are inclusive and provide a focus on female talent. Under her leadership female representation has increased annually with females now holding 41.3% of executive positions within the PepsiCo Asia-Pacific Region. Working collaboratively with business leaders she has developed and implemented a multi-year roadmap that has introduced a range of programs and initiatives to support females. These include an "Inclusive Mentoring” program which establishes female talent with executive mentors and an external Female Leadership program which utilises both classroom and on-line learning. She has embedded International Women’s Day as an annual event across the company and, through her work with Women’s International Networking (WIN), she has extended the reach of her work to develop female talent beyond PepsiCo by engaging with strategic business partners in Japan. The success of her work is demonstrated by the recognition that PepsiCo has received both from government and private sectors with workplace awards such as Employer of Choice for Women (Australian Government, 2011/12) and Asia's Most Women Friendly Employer (WIL Forum Asia, 2012). Recently she further extended her commitment outside the corporate world engaging as a mentor to a female university student as part of a PepsiCo Community Business initiative.


Elisabeth Roelvink      The Netherlands      Non-Profit/NGO

Elisabeth Roelvink was an experienced management coach when she first heard of the work of The Hunger Project (THP) in Bangladesh. She bought a ticket and showed up in Bangladesh in early 2000 and volunteered to do whatever she could to help. She spent the next three years in rural Bangladesh, learning the language and working with poor women. She came to realize that women were not "problems” but rather the solutions to ending hunger and poverty and furthermore, that creating opportunities for women was the key to a self-reliant Bangladesh. Equally important, she recognized that although these women shoulder much of the responsibility of the family, they had little self-esteem because of the deeply patriarchal society. Using her coaching skills, Ms. Roelvink was able to empower hundreds of village women to fulfill the dream of starting their own income generating activities and so become the authors of their own future. Back in the Netherlands, she was instrumental in transforming the Dutch THP from a small, volunteer organisation with 300,000 euro turnover into an NGO with 6 employees and a 3 million euro turnover, creating a strong community of entrepreneurs and family foundations that recognizes the power of women in ending their own hunger.


Nancy Ruth     Canada      Public Service/Government

For decades, Senator Nancy Ruth has been one of Canada's most outspoken champions of women's economic advancement in Canada and internationally. A senator since 2005, she co-founded many organizations that work for women's advancement in Canada: LEAF (The Women's Legal Education and Action Fund), The Canadian Women's Foundation,, The Linden School, The Women's Future Fund and the Charter of Rights Coalition. In particular, LEAF focuses on the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the discrimination women experience in the workplace, such as pay inequality, sexual harassment, discrimination in government benefits and hiring. Internationally, Senator Nancy Ruth (who uses her given names and no surname) has been a staunch supporter of women's human rights emphasizing political leadership and economic participation. A Canadian Senate Human Rights Committee report pushed to ensure that women in Afghanistan were fully able to participate capacity building and advocated gender-sensitive training to enable peacekeeping troops to maintain women's security. "Women cannot be treated as only victims of war and beneficiaries of peace. Violence against women cannot be curtailed unless women are full and active participants in society,” she said.

Nermin Saad    Jordan     Community

Nermin Saad , a Jordanian mechanical engineer found herself living in Kingdom-of-Saudi-Arabia (KSA) unable to work on site because of very specific work restrictions on women in that country. At the same time, she found there was strong demand for her skills on the design/planning side where she could work remotely from home as a-freelancer and use her qualifications. When Nermin returned to Jordan, she placed a seven word ad in a local Jordanian newspaper for a female engineer to work from home, not expecting many replies. She was overwhelmed by hundreds of applications and realized there was a huge gap in the market for female engineers who cannot work on site due to the conflicts with their home life. She says, "Initially, I wanted to recruit someone to help me achieve my own successes, but then I realized there was a whole generation of female engineers who were watching their dreams go up in smoke as they sacrificed their careers and years of training to stay at home and raise their families. This pushed me to do something to help other women utilize their skills. My mission changed from simply building a career for myself to doing something to help other women.” Thus her company, "Handasiyat” was born and now employs ten female engineers.


Achyuta Samanta     India   Champion, Women’s Economic Empowerment

Sometimes the simplest vision can be the most powerful. Achyuta Samanta developed a vision from the simple equation that poverty creates illiteracy and literacy eradicates poverty. Thus began his relentless efforts to create an equitable society without poverty and ignorance by educating girls. It started with a small school in 1993 for the indigenous peoples in the region. The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has grown into the largest residential institute in the world for twenty thousand tribal children providing education, food, accommodation, clothing and health facilities absolutely free. Dr.Samanta’s belief that women need to be the fundamental actors of the society motivated him to focus on ensuring that girls were fully included and determined to educate more than nine-thousand underprivileged girls. KISS has introduced various programs like Life skill education (in collaboration with UNFPA), vocational training, English Micro-access (collaboration with US embassy) and personality development classes so that girl’s can pursue careers. Girls from remote tribal districts are pursuing careers in medicine, sport, economics, all because they’ve all grown up at KISS having their basic right to education fulfilled. Dr.Samanta believes that education is every girl’s right and intends to educate more than 15,000 girls by the end of this decade.


Nicole Sandford     United States of America    Corporate

Nicole Sandford has been a vocal advocate for including more women on corporate boards for more than a decade. Recognized as a "Rising Star of Corporate Governance,” by Yale University’s School of Management, Nicole’s impact on women and diverse candidates on corporate boards is enormous. In 2003, Nicole, along with former Deloitte Chairman, Sharon Allen, launched the "Diversifying the American Board Series,” to encourage diverse executives – who may lack access to the traditional pathways that lead to America’s corporate boardrooms – to consider board membership. The series, led by Nicole for the past ten years, also aims to provide companies seeking diversity for their boards a chance to meet potential board members while providing an educational opportunity that is valuable to all of the program participants As Co-Chair of Financial Women’s Association’s Directorship and Corporate Governance Committee, Nicole’s leadership has impacted hundreds of women through programs, including FWA’s popular Directors Dinner, which empower and educate female executives about the skills required to be on a corporate board. Moreover, she has led research efforts, assisted by Deloitte, including the FWA-100 Study, which surveys the leading Tri-State companies concerning their progress on board gender diversity. Ms. Sandford is a partner and national practice leader for Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Governance and Enterprise Compliance Services and Co-Chair of the Financial Women’s Association of New York, Inc.’s (FWA) Directorship and Corporate Governance Committee.


Hajjat Aphwa Sebyala    Uganda       Non-Profit/NGO

Hajjat Aphwa Sebyala has a passion for empowering girls and women through mentoring and training, working with organizations like the British Council, TechnoServe, Coach Africa and CEDA International. She is a role model for professional women, and specifically coaches young women to leadership positions in DFCU bank, National Enterprise Corporation, and Uganda Revenue Authority. She has also worked extensively with Federation of Uganda Employers to improve the employability of young professional women and is well known in Uganda for her unique Islamic dressing, energy, humour and charisma. Ms. Sebyala`s areas of expertise are technical insurance and reinsurance, human resources, general management, project management, international conference coordination and public speaking. She is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute UK (ACII)-London school of Insurance (UK) and the first woman to get this professional qualification in Uganda. Ms. Sebyala formed the Gomba Women`s Environment and Development Group, working with rural woman to fight effects of Climate Change, and to improve the entire family livelihood through energy and money saving methods like cooking with briquettes instead of firewood. Several women have embraced environment protection to create businesses planting of seedlings, making ovens, briquettes, growing and selling fruit.


Romaine Seguin      United States of America      Corporate

As President of UPS Americas Region, Romaine Seguin is responsible for all UPS package and cargo operations in Canada and more than 50 countries and territories across Latin America and the Caribbean. She also has oversight of the UPS Supply Chain Solutions operations throughout Latin America, Miami and the Caribbean. Romaine was the first female Chief Operating Officer of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of UPS and the first to start a UPS corporate women’s leadership network outside of the USA, which she accomplished during her posting in Europe from 2008 to 2010. Ms. Seguin began her career with UPS in the U.S. in 1983 and in 1989, accepted a five-year assignment in Europe in operations and finance, living in both the UK and France. In 1994, she returned to the U.S. as controller for the air district, based in Louisville, Kentucky. From 1996 to 1999, she returned to operations rising through increasingly senior roles and in 2007 Ms. Seguin moved to Milan, Italy as the managing director of UPS South Europe and a year later was promoted (March 2008) to Chief Operating Officer for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, based in Brussels, Belgium. Romaine is an active board member of the Florida International University (FIU) School of Business Dean's Council and sits on the Transportation Advisory Board for Best Buy Inc. She is also the current President of Conferencia Latinoamericana de Com.

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