Last Friday was the 9th Annual Women in the World Event at Lincoln Center. I’d passed by the crowds entering the David Koch theatre several times since I’ve lived in the city. This year, when the notice went out, I decided to invest ($400 per ticket). The day was created and led by Tina Brown, so I knew it would be impressive and vital, which it was.

Rather than go through each panel, who was on it and what the topic was, I wanted to share my highlights from the notes I took. I was impressed by everyone who spoke as well as the quality of the production itself. Here are my bullets and links so you can dig deeper into any of the areas that spark your curiosity:

  • Carrie Gracie – BBC journalist and Former China Editor spoke up about unequal gender pay. Although offered to be ‘paid off’ by the BBC, she was not just looking for a raise for herself but for the ‘principle of equality’ for all the women employed there. I want to “cause them discomfort” to create change, she said.
  • Diane von Furstenberg was on the “Reinvent the Rules” panel moderated by Katie Couric. When re-reading her own journals she noted that on EVERY page she wrote that she was at a turning point. “Every day of my life!” she exclaimed. And here’s the quote that knocked me sideways from DVF:
    • “I often wake up and think I am a loser. When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubts.”
    • “Own your own vulnerability,” said the CEO of OpenTable – Christa Quarles
    • “What’s critical today is how we’re raising our sons.” DVF
  • One panelist re starting her career on Wall Street, “It was the year when they had just outlawed strippers on the floor,” she told us to put the whole sexism thing into perspective.
  • A panel called Emotional Money featured the lawyer for Angelina Jolie’s divorce, Laura Wasser. She advised women to know how much they make, spend, owe and save–a simple formula that most women ignore.
  • Sally Yates – Trump’s first fire-ee was most diplomatic in her conversation with Tina Brown about her dismissal. TB said something about quitting her position at the DOJ. “Let me remind you,” insisted Ms. Yates, “I was fired.”
  • Sunitha Krishnan (right) informed the audience about the tragically high rate of sex trafficking in India and how the sanctuary she’s created for its victims is being infiltrated by the enemy: women posing as victims are coming into her safe havens and wreaking havoc.
  • There were two women from Yemen interviewed by Rula Jebreal sharing the anguish of that country at present pointing out that it’s the worst humanitarian crisis on earth today.

I left the day early feeling overwhelmed with the plight of women in the world today. I hope that by bearing witness to a few of the gargantuan issues, I have in some way helped. If you want to know more, visit the WITW website where you can see many of talks on video.

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