The 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly gathers in New York this week to discuss a number of political, environmental, social and security issues that currently affect the globe. Piggybacking on the UN talks are several independent conferences that shine a spotlight on these same important issues. One of the more notable was the WIE (Women: Inspiration & Enterprise) Symposium hosted by Sarah Brown, Arianna Huffington, and Donna Karan.
On September 19, FORA.tv presented the WIE Symposium live (it’s now available on demand), which featured key women in politics, business, media, fashion, design and culture. Topics discussed included what it means to be a successful woman in the 21st century, getting women off the sidelines in business and public life, and inspirational moments that have shaped women’s lives for the better. Several panels made up of prominent men also took to the stage, including an inspirational speech given by Deepak Chopra.
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-NY, discussed advancing the role of women in the workplace and putting them on equal footing with men. “In World War II,” she said, “there was an advertising icon called ‘Rosie the Riveter,’ which symbolized the need for women to get out of the home and into the workplace. We need a similar call to action for this generation for women to lead the way.”
Can a woman draw from her own experiences to gain a foothold in a male-dominated world? Abigail Disney, a documentary filmmaker and philanthropist, says that formative lessons, such as her experience offering aid in war-torn Liberia, shape her current work ethic. “I went to Liberia and …I saw how women in that country could succeed in politics, the arts and business with the odds stacked so heavily against them….My trip gave my life new perspective and helped me create this new documentary that I’m working on today.”
However, individual strength is not enough. “We need a complete new archetypal expression in order to succeed,” said Indian spiritual guru and lecturer Deepak Chopra. We need to “move from the survival of the fittest to survival of the wisest. What this means is feminine archetypal energy and information.”