a. As part of the Global Membership Circle for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. I attended the first meeting and had the opportunity to also meet with Tony Blair. Discussions were primarily around the advancement of education and economic empowerment for women and girls in developing countries. Cherie and her team are doing many great programs and YOU too can get involved with the Foundation, either through e-women mentoring, or other initiatives. Just go to her website: www.cherieblairfoundation.org. Carolyn Cross, CEO of Ondine Biomedical Inc. is also part of this Foundation, as well as a chapter member in my WPO Vancouver chapter.

Barbara Mowat with Jessica, Cherie Blair and Carolyn Cross.

Tony Blair and Barbara

b. Carolyn and I facilitated a meeting with key women stakeholders from the UK, that included: WPO UK chapter with Sue Lawton, WEConnect International, the Global Banking Alliance for Women entrepreneurs and TIAW (The International Alliance for Women). We discussed global connections and how women can do trade with each other as well as make introductions to other key businesses in our regions. Encourage cross-marketing of each other’s businesses. Carolyn and I are both certified women businesses with WEConnect Canada, and I have been an Advisor for the GBA since its formal inception in 2000. The UK women commented that it took 2 Canadians to come to London to bring everyone together. Here is a brief outline of each of the organizations, as I would encourage business owners to be aware of some of the top organizations that are doing brilliant work for women in the world.

  • WEConnect International is a corporate led non-profit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets.
  • GBA. A membership organization of institutions committed to the growth of women in business and women’s wealth creation worldwide
  • TIAW. The International Alliance for Women serves as the global umbrella organization that unites, supports and promotes professional women and their networks to work together, share resources and leverage ideas.
  • WPO is the premier peer-learning membership organization for women presidents, CEOs, and managing directors of privately held, multi-million dollar companies.

    Barbara and Carolyn meeting with key women stakeholders from the UK

    Barbara and Carolyn meeting with key women stakeholders from the UK

c. Another highlight of this trip was meeting with Donna Thompson, wife of the Canadian Ambassador for the UK. Discussion around highlighting women’s issues and moving them forward internationally. Donna wrote an amazing book (a true story about her son), called, “THE FOUR WALLS OF MY FREEDOM”, (McArthur and Co., September, 2010), whereby Donna examines her personal family experience through the lens of Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach and a wellbeing index created by Sabina Alkire, co-creator of the Bhutan Happiness Index. Follow her most interesting blogs.

Carolyn Cross and Donna Thompson at Canadian Embassy in London