The phenomenal WIL Fest 2021 by Women in Leadership platform has concluded with the 5th Women Leadership Summit and the 6th Inspiring Award gala event held from 23-24 March. With the theme ‘Celebrating Women of Bangladesh: Voice. Vision. Vivid’ the two-day fest has been held virtually at a grand scale to inspire, recognize, and celebrate the women of Bangladesh bringing about disruptive change through their bold and visionary leadership and challenging the status quo.
Women in Leadership (WIL) is a journey 7 years in the making. WIL aims to inspire female professionals in different fields to reach the peak of their potential and commemorate exceptional female personalities and professionals. WIL has orchestrated several sub-projects: Women Leadership Summit, Inspiring Women Award, Bangladesh Women Professional’s Network (BWPN), Leaders of Tomorrow, and WIL Magazine.
The Women Leadership Summit (WLS) brings together global and local thought leaders championing women empowerment, gender equality, breaking glass ceilings and gender disparities, and spurring conversation for change.
The 5th Women Leadership Summit commenced with opening remarks from the country’s most prolific visual artist, entrepreneur & cultural influencer Nazia Andaleeb Preema, President, Women in Leadership (WIL), Director & Creative Editor, Bangladesh Brand Forum & Founder, Bangladesh Creative Forum who described Women in Leadership as a “movement” and a “right to achieve” and that “WIL has been pursuing its vision for the last 7 years through multi-layered engagement to touch the heart and soul of female professionals of the country”. This was followed by the sponsor remarks from Khandaker Shamim Rahman, General Manager, Social Marketing Company (SMC), who said that “SMC is committed to and working for creating a better place for women” and that the company is proud to be the Event Partner for WIL Fest 2021.
The 2-day summit consisted of 5 Keynote sessions, 4 Panel Discussions, 1 Insight Session, and 2 exclusive Women Empowerment movies.
Eminent Keynote speakers for the event were Dr. Deborah Streeter, Faculty, The Bank of America, Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell, Professor Emerita, Steven H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, SJ Johnson College of Business; Sharin Shajahan Naomi (PhD), Assistant Professor, Asian University for Women Chittagong; Namrata Dubashi, Partner, McKinsey & Company; Aarti Subramanian, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company; Dagmara Szulce, Global Executive Director, International Advertising Association; and Sakshi Handa, Human Resources Director, Unilever Bangladesh Limited.
There were four panel discussions on timely topics surrounding the proper media representation of women to better reflect reality, women leadership in academia and in general, and the impact on women in home and workplaces during the pandemic. Distinguished industry professionals knowledgeable on the subject matter shared their views and opinions on the matter.
The conclusion of the 5th Women Leadership Summit was followed by the long awaited 6th Inspiring Women Award gala event. The auspicious event held virtually recognized and awarded the leading women of Bangladesh in various frontiers, and progressive organizations championing for equality within.
The Inspiring Women Award is the flagship accolade of WIL recognizing outstanding women leaders in various frontiers. 2021 marks the 6th iteration of the Inspiring Women Award. The 6th Inspiring Women Award recognized – the leaders of tomorrow, inspiring female professionals, and changemakers of Bangladesh. In doing so, the accolade seeks to inspire women of Bangladesh to take charge and unlock their potential.
A total 22 Winners, 1 First Runner up, 1 Second Runner up, and 18 Honourable mentions were recognized in 21 categories. The list of winners for the 6th Inspiring Women Award can be viewed below.
PARTNERS & PATRONS
Women in Leadership Festival (WIL Fest) is an initiative of Women in Leadership (WIL) in partnership with Joya Sanitary Napkin. The Strategic partners were Bangladesh Creative Forum (BCF) and Colours FM 101.6, Technology partner – Aamra, PR partner – Backpage PR, & Web solution partner – Exsentra. The event was organized by Bangladesh Brand Forum.