50×50 Five Years celebration

50X50 Five Years at Woodrow Wilson International Center

I had the honour and utmost pleasure to join and speak at the 50×50 @ Five Years Celebration at the Woodrow Wilson International Center yesterday

In 2011, the current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the department of State, and five of the Seven Sisters Collages put forth an ambitious goal: 50% representation in political and policy leadership positions around the globe by the year 2050.

The Women in Public Service project @WPSProject was created to propel this movement towards global gender parity.

Five years later, the 50×50 movement continues to accelerate as female leaders around the world are taking their place at decision-making tables at local, national, and international levels.

We gathered not only to celebrate the progress, but also to develop tolls, knowledge, and partnerships crucial to the future of this movement. The five year anniversary event was filled with impressive advocates and experts – in the four panels as well as among the participants.

Opening remarks were spoken by WPSP Director Gwen K. Young followed by an interview with Wilson Center Director, President and CEO The Honorable Jane Harman, and Gwen K Young, conducted  by Jay Newton-Small.

50x50 Five Years Panel

The Transformative Power of data

The first panel was on the topic we’ve all learned to love: ‘The transformative power of data’. Moderated by Laura Cox Kaplan. Panelists Pelle Lutken, Barri Rafferty, Debbie Walsh and Leocadia I Zak.

There was an extremely interesting  combination of experiences shared on stage and the reminder of the power being data was not lost. The panelists had a good and and diverse mix of organisations type.

Why Numbers Matter

The second panel drilled down into ‘Why numbers matter and what the public sector can learn from the private sector’. Moderated by Monica Oldham. Panelists: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Curtis L Etherly, Rebecca Caruso and me.

I found myself listening and recognizing a lot of what my fellow panelist from L’Oréal, JOYUS & The Boardlist, and Coca-Cola spoke about. For example, we related with regards to EDGE, People Analytics, #LeadOnLeave, as well as other important initiatives that push inclusion rather than just focusing on the battle of the numbers (even if that is important too). We talked about why this is high on the agenda for all of us due to innovation, better decision-making and bottom line.

50x50 why-numbers-matter

Women Disruptors: The Bold Choices Changing The Game

The third panel focused on ‘Women disruptors: the bold voices changing the game’. Moderated by Pamela Reeves. Panelists: H.E Ambassador Björn Lyrvall, Yomi Abiola, The Honorable Dr. Claudia Escobar, The Honorable Lauri J Fitz-Pegado.

It’s impossible not to be proud of our Swedish Ambassador in DC Amb @bjornly talking about being a part #FemenistForeignPolicy, saying: “Equality is growth. Gender Parity is a Swedish value”.


Do you want to hear more about this? Check out @NatalBrz‘s brilliant podcast with @bjornly and @pellesjoenell


Thanks for having Spotify/me talking in the pursuit of this important mission.

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