Issue 223— March 7, 2023
Greetings from Abu Dhabi where I’m attending the Forbes 30/50 Summit.
That’s an event to which both those women on the 30 under 30 list and those on the 50 over 50 list are invited, along with their plus ones if they choose to bring someone, and many additional individuals who are here to soak up the inspiration and networking opportunities.
Conceived and chaired by journalist Mika Brzezinski as part of her Know Your Value initiative, I’m here as a 2022 50 over 50 Impact honoree. I’m looking forward to connecting with both other “seasoned” women and the under 30 cohort to learn about how they see the world. Putting the two age groups together is brilliant (though I feel a little sad for the 30–50 age group that no doubt has equally much to offer).
The location at the gorgeous Saadiyat Rotana Resort could not be more conducive to reflection, relaxation, and building relationships, perhaps with business opportunities but certainly with inspiration for each of us in our work.
I arrived late Sunday night after a 17 hour flight. So it was Monday morning when I was able to walk about the property and be welcomed by numerous 30/50 banners featuring words of wisdom from participants. The white sand beach is calling me for a long walk tomorrow morning before the program begins. One thing I notice is that it’s very quiet here. Not at all like New York!
Wednesday of course is International Women’s Day. And what a place to acknowledge and celebrate that auspicious marker with mentorship both ways between the two generations.
Watch Take The Lead’s social media and mine for daily updates during the Summit. The speakers promise to be phenomenal. Having been obsessed with the war in Ukraine since it began, I’m especially excited to hear from Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska, who will receive the Torch of Freedom Award.
Other awards will be given to iconic feminist activist and journalist Gloria Steinem, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Know Your Value Award will go to legendary tennis pro Billie Jean King for her efforts to secure gender parity and equal pay especially for women in sports.
And the speakers are literally too many to name, but you can peruse the stellar lineup here and I’ll do my best to glean their words of wisdom and share the gems with you.
Women from 50 different countries are expected to attend. According to a message to attendees from Brzezinski, “We are looking forward to providing guidance and insights to women at every stage of their career, while also offering diverse perspectives and rich cultural immersion.”
I’ve had some fascinating conversations already with women from all over the world, from Nikita from Australia to Pamela from Austria, Dawn from Hong Kong to Olga from Ukraine and Nancy from Vermont, USA. I spent the first half of the afternoon with a table of some under 30s and the latter half with a few of the 50 over 50s. Similar issues but very different vocabularies.
I love that everyone looks at my name tag and says, “Hmmm, Take The Lead Women, I like that idea!” I can’t wait to tell them about the new mastermind series, Intentioning: How to Transform your Dreams to Reality with the Power of Intention. I have a feeling this will be right on point for many of the women here. Many seem to be doing multiple things — businesses, passion projects, and more — and they can benefit from the clarity plus action steps they’ll get from it.
Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s now famous pronouncement, “Well-behaved women seldom make history” comes to mind as I meet these accomplished, ambitious, and — yes — intentioning women.
Many of the women at this Summit have made or are making history in their fields now. The Summit theme, “Women Make History” couldn’t be more apt. We have, we are, and we will continue to do just that.
Jet lag is catching up with me now so I’ll end there with the promise that I’ll be enthusiastically immersed in the whole program. Watch for daily updates on Instagram and LinkedIn. Questions? Please feel free to drop them in the chat on any of our social media platforms and I’ll do my best to answer.
GLORIA FELDT is the Cofounder and President of Take The Lead, a motivational speaker and expert women’s leadership developer for companies that want to build gender balance, and a bestselling author of five books, most recently Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good. Honored as Forbes 50 Over 50 2022, and Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she is a frequent media commentator. Learn more at www.gloriafeldt.com and www.taketheleadwomen.com. Tweet Gloria Feldt.