When women succeed, the world succeeds. Last night, 22 emerging women leaders from around the world joined Fortune’s Most Powerful Women at the U.S. Department of State to open the ninth annual Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership. This mentorship program provides international women leaders with the skills and relationships to bring positive changes to their companies and communities.
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Exchanges Evan Ryan kicked off the day’s events by moderating a morning panel discussion featuring Deputy Secretary Heather Higginbottom, Under Secretary Catherine Novelli, Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson, who spoke about their career experiences and offered advice to the participants.
There were three common themes to their advice: do the job that you have right now and do it well; set boundaries for yourself in order to find balance; and the future will hold opportunities you may not have expected.
The day concluded with a dinner featuring Fortune's Most Powerful Women at the State Department. At the dinner, special guest Senator Patty Murray illustrated the importance of finding common ground when working with people, citing her work with Representative Paul Ryan towards a budget compromise. Michele Flournoy, Co-chair of the Board of Directors at the Center for a New American Security, talked about her struggle with work-life balance. Pattie Sellers, Senior Editor at Large for Fortune, our partner in the program, closed the evening by highlighting the mentoring program, emphasizing the imperative to share skills and knowledge with women of the next generation around the world.
The Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State, Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, and Vital Voices Global Partnership, concludes in New York City on April 17. Between now and then, participants will spend time with their respective mentors, deepening their professional and personal ties and building their skills. Mentors for the 2014 program include Karen Peetz, President of BNY Mellon; Rosalind Brewer, President and CEO of Sam’s Club/Walmart, Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President at IBM; and Dina Habib Powell, President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and Global Head of Corporate Engagement.
We are grateful to all of the women who are serving as mentors, and know that the participants will benefit from their wisdom and experiences. If you were a mentor, what advice would you offer a young woman who was beginning her career?
About the Author: Chris Miner serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.