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Following a global call for Women Forward Award nominations, a blue-ribbon panel of CEO-level judges selected from among 51 finalists representing a range of industries and geographies.

MEET THE WOMEN FORWARD ORGANIZATION WINNERS

OUTSTANDING WORKPLACE

An organization with a formal mentoring program for women that required systemic change to achieve.

YellowWebMonkey

YellowWebMonkey

YellowWebMonkey Web Design is a team composed entirely of female West Point graduates and moms from military families.

From day one of its launch 10 years ago, YWM was ahead of its time. Founder Alexis Priddy tore up the traditional 9-5 office model. Instead team members have always worked remotely and designed their own work hours. Each new team member is mentored by the person who previously performed the same work. This model provides a safe place for new team members to learn the business and gives existing team members the opportunity to guide and teach, honing valuable communication skills for both.

Alexis Priddy, YWM founder, commented “We tackle the scarcity of quality jobs available to stay at home mothers by offering a career in web design that is engaging and challenging yet doesn't force them to choose between work and family.

cabi Clothing Company

cabi Clothing Company

Cabi, a clothing company, creates economic and leadership opportunities for women in three countries to become CEO of their own direct to consumer clothing businesses. Mentoring and a supportive high-touch community are fundamental to the business model as each new cabi Stylist begins by training with another Stylist who has gone before her.

Cabi also funds an international nonprofit foundation that is at work in 63 countries, providing small-business loans to women in the developing world to build their own businesses. The combination of the profit and not for profit engines create a powerful force for change.

FINANCIAL CATALYST

A woman, man or organization that invest in women-led companies, or businesses that promote gender equity or benefit women disproportionately.

Pipeline Equity Inc.

Pipeline Equity Inc.

Pipeline Equity Inc transformed the narrative about the corporate benefits of gender equity into quantifiable financial results with their PipelineTM software platform. It demonstrates that gender equity is an economic opportunity rather than solely a social issue. The subscription-based platform analyzes a company’s data and makes recommendations that will both increase business outcomes and improve gender balance, resulting in a measurable increase in corporate revenue.

Katica Roy, Pipeline founder, commented, “Our goal was to change the narrative around gender equity to not be just about women, to not be a zero-sum game, but to be about improving equity and economic opportunity for everyone.”

Global Fund for Widows

Global Fund for Widows

Global Fund for Widows innovated a “micro-bank” model to economically empower the 300+ million widows and female heads of households in the developing world. In India, Kenya, Egypt, and beyond, GFW has provided critical access to a sustainable and permanent source of capital to 14,000+ women through the ownership of their own savings and loans institutions. In bringing this form of financial inclusion, agency, power and voice to the world’s most vulnerable of women, GFW is catalyzing economic and social change, transforming discriminatory laws and cultural practices, and rescuing women, and their children, from the many intersectional vagaries of poverty.

Heather Ibrahim-Leathers, GFW President, noted “Our programming is informed by the Golden Rule: She Who Has the Gold, Makes the Rules."

BUSINESS CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION

An organization that has made a clear turnaround to be more inclusive, noting the impetus and measuring success from that point.

Refinitiv

Refinitiv

When Refinitiv, one of the world’s leading providers of insights and technology to the financial markets, was spun off from Thomson Reuters 18 months ago, senior leadership seized the opportunity to focus on diversity and inclusion. The data company looked closely at the impact of corporate and individual decision-making, and introduced a behavioral change inclusion strategy that makes Refinitiv an even more inclusive place to work, in which anyone can thrive.

Audrey Campbell, Refinitiv Head of D&I, noted “The aim of the strategy is not to fix people who are under-represented in senior leadership, but to focus on how we fix the impact of the decisions we make.”

NEXT GENERATION

An organization that was founded in 2012 or later with a culture of equal opportunity baked into the way the organization operates.

Girls Voices Initiative

Girls Voices Initiative

Girls Voices Initiative educates and empowers girl-leaders in Nigeria to use their voices to amplify issues in society.

As part of their internal operations, they created the Adolescent Girls Advisory Board, comprised of young mentored girls, to help validate, design, co-create and inspire new GVI programs. The Monday Mentoring Meetings for staff mirrors the mentoring provided to the girls in the program. The Experimental Learning effort identifies opportunities for staff to learn new skills and try on new roles.

Carolyn Seaman, GVI founder, commented “Our workplace is the model for the empowerment we want to bring to Nigerian women and young girls.”

AlaU

AlaU

AlaU offers online training in university admission exams to young women primarily in Ecuador. Currently 11,000 students, 60% of them women, have completed exam courses.

The organization, founded and led by Diana Medina, has a 50/50 gender balance and is focused on results rather than a fixed work schedule, allowing employees to balance personal, family, and professional obligations.

INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP

An industry association with a track record of delivering programs and platforms focused on advancing women industry leaders.

The Coaching Fellowship

The Coaching Fellowship

The Coaching Fellowship is building the capacity of the next generation of social impact women leaders through executive coaching. Every year 200 young, high-potential women are selected to receive pro bono executive level coaching and leadership development. The program participants receive 11 hours of intensive one-to-one leadership coaching sessions over a period of six months with a highly experienced and certified coach.

After completing the program they are trained and confident leaders operating at a higher level and equipped to take strong decisions.

Jane Finette, TCFS Founder, commented, “If I can help the young women leaders that are already doing great things, do more, then the ripple effects become endless.”

Adweek

Adweek

Adweek launched the first industry-wide Executive Mentor program focused on ensuring a more inclusive future for the brand marketing industry through the advancement of diverse executives.

The inaugural program in October 2019 mentored 116 mentees of whom 73% were women and 65% were executives of color. The initial program offered full preparation of the mentees, two 30-minute mentoring sessions and resulted in many dynamic shifts for the mentees, who continue to be a strong new community today.

Women in Trucking

Women in Trucking

Women In Trucking empowers women in the trucking industry through conferences, partnerships and education.

WIT’s annual conference attracts 1,100 attendees addressing issues such as unconscious bias in leadership teams and gender-focused truck design. A partnership with the Girl Scouts resulted in a Transportation Badge and the book Scouting for Cookies, about the role trucks play in the supply chain. WIT has awarded $90,000+ in scholarships to women entering the industry.

MEET THE WOMEN FORWARD INDIVIDUAL WINNERS

LIFETIME IMPACT

A woman or man with evidence spanning decades who has mentored multiple women who have risen to leadership roles in their careers.

Catherine Banat

Catherine Banat, RBC Global Asset Management

Catherine Banat, RBC Global Asset Management, has made networking, mentoring and promoting women at RBC and across the financial services industry her life’s work. From being a founding member of 85 Broads, the first financial industry online mentoring network, to convening a Diversity and Inclusion panel of C-suite women in 2019, and leveraging male colleagues and friends to champion women, Catherine has taken every opportunity to sponsor, advocate and promote women forward.

Banat commented, “Mentoring is useful and should not be gender or race-biased, but sponsorship is the real way to address the issue that women still get stuck at what The New York Times coined ‘the first rung.’"

Marissa Wesely

Marissa Wesely, Women Win Global Advisory Council

Marissa Wesely, Co-Founder of Win-Win Strategies, builds bridges across sectors to advance the rights of women and girls in diverse settings.

As a senior partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP law firm in NYC she tirelessly advocated for the advancement of women at the firm and on a city, national and global level. In 2014 she began moving women forward full-time as a Fellow at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative and as Global Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. In 2016 she co-founded Win-Win Strategies to bring together companies and grassroots women's organizations to accelerate women's economic empowerment globally, addressing intersecting issues of unpaid care, violence, reproductive health and access to resources, among others. In 2019, Win-Win Strategies merged with Women Win, the leading global women's fund focused on empowering adolescent girls and young women through sport, and she continues to advance both missions as a senior advisor to the merged organization.

Astrid Scholz

Astrid Scholz, Sphaera

Dr. Astrid Scholz, Sphaera/Zebras Unite, creates and sources working capital for women and other underserved entrepreneurs. She co-created the XXcelerate fund to address the structural bias against women trying to raise capital in the financial markets. In just over three years the fund has provided character-based loans combined with an accelerator program to 72 women entrepreneurs.

MENTORS OF DISTINCTION

A woman or a man who is an inspiration and a champion, who challenged the status quo and prevailing norms to advance women.

Candice E. Frost, US Army

Candice E. Frost, US Army

Candice E. Frost, US Army works to ensure women are afforded the same opportunities as men in the military. She either broke the glass ceiling or helped facilitate the shattering for others to ensure that women can lead in the military, in all roles, without fear of harassment or assault.

Rising to the rank of Colonel, she challenged the status quo, and U.S. law, by choosing to serve in infantry divisions and mentoring other women to do the same. Her efforts were rewarded in 2015 when the Department of Defense opened all positions in the Army to women. She developed formal mentoring programs to help women prepare for Ranger School and informal groups supporting moms deployed to Afghanistan.

Frost commented on her military career, “I fell in love with soldiering and committed my life to it. I used my leadership positions to help influence and make permanent changes in how women serve in the military.”

Her Colonel Candid website offers mentoring and leadership programs based on the lessons learned over her two decades of leading.

Dr. Angela Reddix, ARDX/Envision Lead Grow

Dr. Angela Reddix, ARDX/Envision Lead Grow

Dr. Angela Reddix, ARDX/Envision Lead Grow, is training the next generation of young girls to become entrepreneurs and employers. Envision LeadGrow, based on her own experiences of being an entrepreneur, empowers middle school girls across 48 states to conceptualize, create and commercialize a business concept.

“The reality is that regardless of whether these girls become entrepreneurs, employers or employees, we're shaping girls who are going to change the face of board rooms.”

As President and CEO of ARDX, a healthcare management and IT firm, Angela has made it a priority to empower women by establishing an inclusive environment that includes high-performer mentoring and training through ARDX University. The ARDX team continues to include majority women on the staff and leadership levels.

Amanda Grant, Calibre One

Amanda Grant, Calibre One

Amanda Grant, Calibre One, is turning the approach to hiring women, and other diverse candidates, on its head with the invention of CQ™ (Culture Quotient™), a groundbreaking tool that aligns potential hires to the company’s Diversity & Inclusion goals. CQ also provides specific guidance to ensure candidates are set up for success through intentional inclusion by the companies hiring them.

Throughout her career in financial services, Amanda has looked for ways to mentor, advocate and open doors for women. “Elevating women in my orbit is simply integral to who I am as a person.”

Dr. Jen Welter

Dr. Jen Welter

Dr. Jen Welter, Grrridiron Girls Dr. Jen Welter broke the football glass ceiling by becoming the first female NFL coach. She went on to found Grrridiron Girls, an international movement to teach girls confidence through football, which has already fielded 35 camps.

Jen shares the lessons she learned playing and coaching football in Play Big, a playbook for overcoming obstacles in your path to success. Key messages about the value of team diversity and being an authentic leader apply to sports as well as business and life.

“Let your game speak: louder than your gender and louder than the criticisms. Be so good that they get whiplash from your greatness. Because rather than shaking their heads no, they will be saying there is no way we are passing up on her."

Nina Link, Merryck & Co.

Nina Link, Merryck & Co.

Nina Link, Merryck & Co., uses humor and a firm resolve to successfully chide chairmen and coerce colleagues to address unconscious bias, source more women board members and abolish harassment. She began relying on humor to advance women when she was an executive at Sesame Workshop and broadened her impact in 1999 when she became the first female President and CEO of Magazine Publishers of America. As an executive mentor, she now shares with colleagues and clients the neuroscience behind using humor, tone of voice and language to subtly communicate difficult messages and to keep interaction open.

“In every one of my careers, humor has helped me advocate for women, promote them to clients and empower them.”

Maricella Herrera Avila, Ellevate Network

Maricella Herrera Avila, Ellevate Network

Maricella Herrera Avila, Ellevate Network, creates safe spaces for underrepresented voices to be heard. She designed Ellevate’s annual Mobilize Women Summit around perspectives on equality and inclusion from a variety of voices, including male CEOs and the LGBTQ community. The EllevateHER fellowship provides access to mentoring and online events to women with limited resources.

As an immigrant and the only person of color on the leadership team, Maricella is not shy about constructive conflict. She believes it is her job to speak up for those who are not in the room.

Florence Njai-Sesay, Media Matters for Women Sierra Leone

Florence Njai-Sesay, Media Matters for Women Sierra Leone

Florence Njai-Sesay, Media Matters for Women Sierra Leone, is creating the cultural and societal changes necessary in Sierra Leone for women and girls to attain basic human rights and improve how they live and work. The MMW platform combines radio programming, podcasts and storytelling to disseminate vital information to rural women with high levels of illiteracy. Key topics include fighting FGM and child marriage, access to reproductive health care and gender-based violence services.

MMW hires and trains young women from the communities it serves to be advocates for change and a voice for vulnerable girls and women.

Recognizing organizations and individuals who are mentoring Women Forward

The Bpeace Women Forward Awards are the first and only cross-industry initiative to celebrate the trailblazers who are leading change and providing the mentorship to enable women to thrive in the workplace.

When a woman’s potential is championed, a whole society moves forward. The Bpeace Women Forward Awards spotlight innovative companies and inspiring individuals who are seeding the future by mentoring women business leaders.

Meet the 2020 Judges

Laurie Chock

Laurie Chock

President

Chock Global Communications

Ji Son Choi

Ji Son Choi

Partner Solutions Director

Worth

Matt Cooper

Matt Cooper

CEO

Skillshare

April N. Gozza

April N. Gozza

Executive Director

Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill

Dr. Rebecca Mark

Dr. Rebecca Mark

Director

Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership

Sally Potts

Sally Potts

Senior Analyst

PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

Kathryn Reed

Kathryn Reed

Chair of the Board of Directors

Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill

Liz Smith

Liz Smith

Senior Managing Director

AllianceBernstein

Karen Vander Linde

Karen Vander Linde

Executive Mentor

Merryck & Co.

2020 Winners Will Be Published in the Updated "Mentoring Women Forward" Playbook

Meet the organizations and individuals seeding the future by mentoring women forward. Stories and first-person accounts from AllianceBernstein, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Financial Times, Skillshare, ZS Associates, Omnicom and executives from Madison Avenue, Wall Street, banking, executive search, food services and professional women’s networks describe how organizations and their people have realigned business strategy, changed corporate culture or simply followed personal instincts.

This playbook is straight from the front lines of how to do the right thing and the smart thing. It covers not only what people can and should do to open more doors for women and girls, but what people are doing and the results. The book was compiled from interviews with the winners of the 2019 Bpeace Women Forward Awards, a nationwide competition sponsored by the 5-star nonprofit, the Business Council for Peace (Bpeace).

Purchase Here