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The Women Who Win Summer Summit, held on June 2nd at the Academy of Creative Arts, was free for everyone to attend, offering an invigorating and empowering gathering dedicated to honoring and uplifting women leaders across diverse fields. Spanning from 1 pm to 5 pm, the summit featured an inspiring roster of speakers and performers, creating a space for narrative exchange, mental health discourse, and the exploration of women's leadership significance. Key themes of CEO leadership, mental wellness, male advocacy, and community involvement took center stage, fostering meaningful discussions on female empowerment and societal progress.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

🎉 Registration Opens

The summit began with attendees gathering and registering at the Academy of Creative Arts, located at 12 A St, Burlington, MA. The venue buzzed with excitement as participants anticipated a day full of insightful sessions and networking opportunities.

🎉 Opening Performance: Lighting the Lamps with a Diya Dance
 

The event officially kicked off with a mesmerizing Diya Dance performance, symbolically lighting the lamps and setting a tone of enlightenment and unity for the day.

🎉 Welcome by Dr. Manju Sheth

Dr. Manju Sheth, a distinguished co-founder of Women Who Win, graciously extended her heartfelt welcome to all attendees, underlining the profound significance of such gatherings in nurturing a nurturing ecosystem where women can flourish and achieve greatness. With genuine warmth, Dr. Sheth emphasized the transformative power of community support in empowering women to overcome challenges, pursue their passions, and realize their full potential. Her words resonated deeply, encapsulating the essence of solidarity and camaraderie that lies at the heart of Women Who Win's mission to uplift and empower women from all walks of life.
 

🎉 Opening Poem by Manisha Jain, "Weaving Words into Dreams"


Manisha Jain captivated the audience with her poignant poem, "Weaving Words into Dreams," which beautifully articulated the aspirations and resilience of women. Manisha Jain expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Women Who Win team. "My sincere gratitude to the Women Who Win team for creating this kind of event, where we come together, meet, talk, care, and share," she said. Jain emphasized the power of storytelling, quoting Michelle Obama, and noted how Women Who Win has brought together countless women from diverse walks of life through their stories. "It is not about being perfect, it is not about where you will get to at the end. It is about aligning yourself to be known and heard. It is about owning your own unique story, to be using your own authentic voice."
Ms. Jain praised the organization for fostering connections between writers and readers, tellers and listeners, and promoting understanding despite differences. She expressed her honor at being featured in the Women Who Win anthology and introduced her heartfelt poem, which captured the emotional journey of engaging with the stories shared at the summit. She read, "Every story touches my heart ever so gently... Healing me gently and teaching me how to cope... We are all connected by the threads of shared presence."
Ms. Jain's words and poem set the perfect stage for the panels and discussions that followed, highlighting the transformative power of storytelling.

🎉 From the Page to the Stage - Real Women, Real Stories Panel

A compelling panel of women shared their diverse experiences and achievements, offering insights into their personal journeys of courage and success. Moderated by Jharna Madan, the session featured esteemed panelists: Samia Chandraker, Kathleen Walsh, Devika Dhawan, and Sapna Shetty, who explored the challenges and triumphs of executive leadership roles while providing valuable advice for aspiring leaders.
Madan initiated the discussion by addressing the concept of "empowerment," seeking authentic strategies from the panelists. Walsh emphasized the importance of autonomy in decision-making within her organization, fostering a culture of quick responses and empowerment among employees. Dhawan highlighted the role of mentorship and motivation in empowering team members to take ownership and contribute ideas beyond their expectations.
Chandraker emphasized inclusivity and open communication in her leadership approach, recognizing the value of diverse voices in fostering empowerment and belonging. Shetty credited her children as her source of motivation during her transition to an unfamiliar industry, driving her to succeed as a single mother.
The panelists shared inspiring stories of how their work inspired others' lives, including Dhawan's dance students surpassing expectations and Walsh's organization providing financial aid to empower members and foster inclusivity.
Reflecting on work-life balance, Walsh shared her passion for running, integrating physical activity into her routine, while Dhawan discussed the importance of delegation for maintaining equilibrium. Each panelist concluded by sharing a guiding principle for life or leadership, emphasizing seizing opportunities, self-belief, conscious decision-making, and embracing life to the fullest.
This session offered profound insights into authentic empowerment, effective leadership strategies, and the importance of balancing professional endeavors with personal passions.

🎉Mental Health & Wellbeing

The focus then shifted to mental health and wellbeing, with experts discussing strategies to maintain mental health and balance in today's fast-paced world. Moderated by Dr. Shalini Mansharamani, the session featured panelists Rodica Brisan, Rachel Babineau, and Wendy Cordeiro.
Brisan emphasized the importance of emotional support for hospital patients, advising family and friends to stay connected and understand patient needs. She highlighted the value of persistent communication and practical support, such as helping with paperwork and bringing comfort items. 
Cordeiro delved into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), highlighting the significance of changing thought patterns to manage anxiety and other emotions through personal anecdotes.
The audience actively engaged with the panel, posing insightful questions about addressing co-occurring diagnoses and preventative screening in schools to tackle issues like substance abuse and depression. Dr. Mansharamani underscored the importance of thorough assessments, appropriate treatments, and early intervention, emphasizing the need for self-awareness and strengths amidst pervasive mental health challenges.

🎉Sushil Tuli - The Important Role of Women Leaders

uring the Women Who Win Summer Summit, Sushil Tuli delivered a compelling address on the pivotal role of women leaders in contemporary society, stressing their indispensable contribution to a balanced and progressive world. Dr. Manju Sheth took a moment to express her sincere appreciation for Tuli's unwavering support, noting his consistent willingness to offer assistance in various initiatives. Dr. Sheth emphasized the importance of male allies like Tuli in the empowerment of women, highlighting their encouragement and backing in enabling women to excel. Tuli emphasized the unique perspective and approach that women bring to leadership roles, accentuating their ability to foster collaboration, empathy, and innovation. His remarks resonated deeply with the audience, reaffirming the crucial need to promote and champion women in leadership positions across all sectors for a more equitable and prosperous society.

 

🎉Sunayna Kachroo's Remarks and Poem Recitation

Sunayna Kachroo’s powerful poem, "Tide is Shifting," resonated deeply with the audience, celebrating the dynamic and ever-evolving roles of women in society. Reflecting on a personal moment of grief following her father's passing, Kachroo shared a touching anecdote about receiving a comforting gift from Dr. Manju Sheth, highlighting the profound impact of acts of kindness, like those exemplified by Women Who Win. 
Kachroo then mesmerized the audience with a heartfelt poem, blending Hindi and English verses to convey a powerful message of empowerment and self-discovery. Her poem celebrated the evolving roles and resilience of women. It highlights how women embody different personas—Leone, Kareena, Maneka, Sameena—while navigating societal expectations and stereotypes. The poet urges others to see women not just through traditional roles but as individuals deserving respect and recognition.
She emphasizes that the old stories and customs are now history and calls for a deeper understanding and appreciation of women's inner strength. Women are portrayed as multi-faceted, balancing traditional expectations with modern achievements, from household duties to professional successes. The poem underscores the importance of self-empowerment and the collective strength of women who uplift each other.
In her English verses, Kachroo celebrates the resilience and versatility of women, who can multitask and succeed in various arenas, encapsulated in the line, "From TikTok reels, we can also slay closing deals." The poem concludes with a message of empowerment, urging women to embrace their individuality and assert their rightful place in the world.

🎉Shaleen Sheth's Introduction

Before the CEO segment began, Shaleen Sheth, one of the co-founders and CEOs of Women Who Win, set the stage for the CEO Connections segment by illuminating the organization's mission to amplify the voices of diverse women globally. She highlighted the genesis of Women Who Win, tracing it back to June 2020 during the pandemic, and emphasized the exponential growth of their online community, which now boasts 70,000 members and over 600 curated stories. With a focus on fostering leadership and inclusivity, Sheth expressed gratitude to the attendees for their participation in the inaugural in-person summit, bridging the gap between the virtual and physical realms of their mission.

🎉Keynote Session - CEO Connection

The keynote session featured distinguished CEOs sharing their leadership journeys and insights. Moderated by Rita Advani, the panel included Dr. Abha Agrawal, Denella J. Clark, Priya Iyer, and Dr. Maha Radhakrishnan. These leaders emphasized strategies for success and work-life balance. 

Discussion Highlights:

Rita Advani, the moderator for the CEO Connections segment, introduced the theme of leadership by prompting attendees to reflect on notable leaders in their lives, invoking examples from the world of sports to illustrate the essence of leadership. Advani facilitated a thought-provoking discussion on various aspects of leadership, including crisis management, vision setting, and team building. The panelists shared insights from their diverse professional backgrounds, offering valuable perspectives on navigating challenges and fostering growth in both corporate and entrepreneurial settings.
Abha Agrawal highlighted adaptability and making a positive impact in leadership, emphasizing embracing change and new challenges.
Denella J. Clark compared leadership to gardening, stressing continuous learning, crisis management, and fostering a supportive team environment.
Maha Radhakrishnan underscored the pivotal role of humility, curiosity, and collaboration in catalyzing transformative change, emphasizing the paramount importance of staying true to one's purpose and authenticity.
Priya Iyer emphasized resilience, adaptability, and building diverse teams for organizational success, while also discussing the importance of balancing personal and professional responsibilities.
During a discussion on political stances, Denella J. Clark shared her personal journey as an immigrant and her commitment to promoting understanding and empathy.
Priya Iyer discussed the changing dynamics where organizations have opinions, emphasizing the value of open dialogue within her organization.
Maha Radhakrishnan stressed creating an environment for free discussion on important topics and proactive action.
Abha Agrawal discussed on advocating equity and compassion regardless of race or creed, emphasizing the universal nature of suffering.
In response to an audience question about balancing high achievement with family responsibilities, Denella J Clark emphasized the importance of prioritizing family and acknowledged that it's impossible to do everything perfectly. She shared her own experience of taking breaks from work to focus on raising her children and expressed pride in her daughter's academic accomplishments.
Priya Iyer shared her journey of learning to blend work and home life, highlighting the necessity of outsourcing tasks and focusing on what's most important. She emphasized the need to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life while prioritizing the well-being of her team.
Abha Agrawal emphasized the importance of not seeking perfection and letting life flow, which she attributed to her practice of meditation. She shared a quote from the Bhagavad Gita about focusing on duty without trying to control everything, highlighting the importance of managing stress and finding balance in life.

 

Audience Engagement and Takeaways:

The session concluded with audience questions, highlighting the importance of work-life balance and personal values in leadership roles. Panelists shared their experiences and strategies for managing multiple roles and responsibilities, emphasizing the importance of prioritization, delegation, and self-care.

Unexpected Artistry Unveiled: A Surprise Finale:

At the end of the CEO Connection segment, Manju Sheth introduced Noureen Sultana, an ambidextrous artist from Hyderabad and owner of Noureen Design. Noureen's artwork, created for each panelist and the Women Who Win team, was showcased. Manju Sheth shared Noureen's background and artistic lineage, emphasizing the enduring beauty of her creations. "When you paint flowers, it lasts forever," Dr Sheth said, highlighting the lasting impact of Noureen's talent.

🎉Break - Networking & Refreshments

During the break, attendees had the opportunity to network and enjoy complimentary snacks, fostering connections and potential collaborations among like-minded women. Specially brewed complimentary teas from Nancy Daniel, along with complimentary cookies and other snacks, were provided throughout the event, adding a delightful touch to the networking experience.

🎉Male Allies Panel

The Male Allies Panel brought a fresh perspective, highlighting the importance of male support in the journey towards gender equality. The panelists discussed how men can be effective allies in promoting women's empowerment.
 

Moderated by Preetesh Shrivastava, the panel included Nilesh Agrawal, Anupam Wali, Dr. Dhurmil Shah, and Ali Rizvi. They discussed the importance of male allyship in advancing gender equity in both corporate and societal contexts.
Anupam Wali discussed the transformation of Indian society from a traditionally male-dominated culture to one where education and economic changes have empowered women to join the workforce across various fields. He highlighted how the combination of education, opportunities, and a changing economy has significantly contributed to this shift, enabling women to excel in areas such as science and operations.
In response to Preetesh Shrivastava's question, "What made you believe that this is not the right model? What benefits do you see in equality?" Ali Rizvi shared his upbringing in a household where both parents worked, which naturally ingrained gender equality in him. He recounted how his strong-willed mother ensured his sister received a convent education despite societal norms. Rizvi recited a poignant Hindi sher, emphasizing that women can address worldly issues with words rather than conflict. His sher highlighted that if women were to govern, conflicts would be resolved with dialogue rather than violence.
Preetesh concluded the session by highlighting the societal changes taking place and the support being received, acknowledging that there is still a long way to go. He emphasized the need to openly accept and adapt to these changes, urging everyone to contribute to this progress. He recited a few lines from a poem he wrote for his mother, reflecting on the societal changes and the ongoing journey towards gender equality.

🎉Community Changemakers: How to Get Involved and Make an Impact

This session delved into the realm of community activism, offering practical insights on how individuals can actively engage and create meaningful change. It served as a rallying call for attendees to step up and contribute to their communities. Aligned with Women Who Win's commitment to giving back, the event featured a "Meet the Community Organizations" session. Here, local organizations leading impactful initiatives were given a platform to pitch their causes and enlist volunteers. Among these organizations were IMANE, Saheli, Vision Aid, and PAGB, among others. The session was facilitated by Eshani Shah and Anmara Nawaz Khan, aiming to inspire attendees to get involved and support these noble endeavors.

🎉Sponsors Appreciation

The organizers took a heartfelt moment to express their deep gratitude to the sponsors, acknowledging their vital support in making the summit possible. Without their generous backing, the array of inspiring speakers, engaging panels, and vibrant performances that defined the day would not have been possible. This appreciation underscored the collective effort and community spirit that powered the summit, celebrating the sponsors as integral partners in the mission to empower and uplift women leaders across diverse fields.

🎉Open Mic: The Power of Storytelling

The open mic session allowed attendees to share their own stories, underscoring the power of storytelling in connecting and inspiring individuals. Many nonprofit organizations also took this opportunity to talk about their missions and the impactful work they are doing in their communities, further highlighting the collective power of dedicated individuals and groups in making a difference.

🎉Gratitude and Concluding Words from Women Who Win Founders

 

The event concluded with heartfelt thanks to the volunteers and closing remarks from the Women Who Win founders, Shaleen Sheth, Dr. Manju Sheth, and Dr. Deepa Jhaveri. They expressed their gratitude to all attendees and reiterated the importance of coming together to support and uplift each other. 


The Women Who Win co-founders are grateful for the support of the broader team and community, including Academy of Creative Arts Founders Java and Hetal Joshi, Sonali Khond and IMANE, Ruchika Arora, Ramila Thakkar, Brenda Thompson Stuckey,Lucy Karis, Lokvani, Rama Penumarthy, Aashita Shekhar and Ascend Jiva.
 

The Women Who Win Summer Summit was a resounding success, leaving attendees feeling inspired, connected, and empowered to make a difference in their own communities.

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