Women's Leadership: Making a Difference in the World, on June 15, Concludes the Inaugural Program of Wellesley's Women World Partners Initiative

June 14, 2013

Wellesley's innovative new partnership with Peking University in Beijing presents a first-of-its-kind conference, Women's Leadership: Making a Difference in the World, on June 15, 2013. The invited conferees will address many of the issues raised by this original infographic Wellesley created to sum up the state of current research on the effect of women's empowerment and leadership.

Prominent women from China and the United States along with other special guests from around the world will put their heads together to explore the value and potential of women’s leadership—and commit to cultivating the next generation of women leaders. By sharing their experiences and perspectives, participants will engage and educate each other and help advance women to positions of global leadership.

This conference is the culmination of an intensive 10-day academic program in Beijing, which is based on the innovative educational model of Wellesley’s Albright Institute and is designed to prepare women for global leadership. Twenty Wellesley students have lived, studied, and collaborated with 20 female students from Peking University during the program, supported by faculty from both institutions as well as distinguished guests. The program has gained media attention, from the oldest Chinese language newspaper in China to the electronic billboards of Times Square. These now close-knit 40 students are essential participants in the conference, as they represent the emerging leaders of tomorrow. They will have received mentorship from topic area experts and seasoned leaders from many fields, and have planted the seeds of an international network of women who will make a difference.

Wellesley President H. Kim Bottomly and Peking University President Wang Enge are joined by conference speakers and attendees who include ambassadors, artists, astronauts, business executives, educators, legislators, media moguls, and more.

One unique aspect of the June 15 conference is its Story Tables. Small groups will meet in a more personal setting, as though around a dining table—each table with an assigned leader, and with at least one student. Story Table Leaders will share personal stories to stimulate an exchange about leadership among the women at their table. This mutual sharing will generate conversation about the challenges faced by women who hold or seek leadership roles. Discussion will include where leaders find inspiration, the ethics of leadership, and the value of and approaches to mentoring. The session ends with each table presenting one important idea from its discussion.

Wellesley takes to heart the message of this infographic: Investing in women can improve the world.