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On Tuesday 8 March, 350 guests joined the chambers of International Chamber House for our International Women’s Day Forum and High Tea at the Park Hyatt. Moderated by Ms Rohini Kappadath, Director, Cross Border Business, Pitcher Partners, the proceedings focused on celebrating diversity and culture in global leadership.
Following initial networking opportunities, Rohini began the proceedings with a formal welcome to guests before introducing the speakers. The extensive panel was comprised of Ms Maureen Dougherty, CEO, Boeing Australia; Ms Rebecca Lee, Managing Director, Covestro; Dr Alice de Jong, Senior Lecturer, International Law, Corporate Accountability and Business Law, Monash University; Dr Fiona Hill, Chair of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry Victoria; and Ms Beverly Honig, CEO, Honeylight Enterprises.
Each of the speakers highlighted the power of diversity in gender and culture as competitive tools in business, as well as underlining the need for cross-cultural competencies. Further, while one of the topics touched upon was the challenges present for women in international business, many of the panellists pointed to the importance of women not placing limits on themselves.
A Q&A session followed the panel discussion and the formal proceedings were concluded with an emphasis on a definition of global diversity which encompasses an understanding of the variances between genders, cultures and ages, as well as the internal range within countries.
We gratefully acknowledge our major sponsors for the event, Swisse Wellness and the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Thanks also to the contributing sponsors, Advanced Natural, Munich Brauhaus, the Old Colonial Cookie Company, and Montara Wines for donating the door prizes, as well as LeasePlan and the Park Hyatt for their donations of the business card draw prizes.
We also extend our thanks to all those who attended and we very much look forward to celebrating the contribution of women in international business on International Women’s Day 2017.