Women in Business Summit Led to Transatlantic Connections and Opportunities

Startup founders and entrepreneurs share a laugh during the USA-Central Europe Women in Business Summit at the Tribeca Rooftop on October 17, 2019.

NEW YORK — Polish & American Women Entrepreneurs (PAWE) and Cultural Vistas hosted the USA-Central Europe Women in Business Summit on Thursday, October 17 in the penthouse of the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City.

The daylong event included a full program of speakers and dynamic panels interspersed with one-on-one professional mentoring and breakout sessions. Throughout the day, women spoke candidly about their experiences while offering practical advice to their fellow leaders.

They were joined by their counterparts including Maciej Golubiewski, the Consul-General for the Republic of Poland in New York, who read a letter from the Honorary Patron of the event—Poland’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda. First Lady Duda’s letter remarked on the strong tradition of women leaders in Poland, as well as the strong connections these women have made across the Atlantic.

Agata Golubiewska, President & CEO of Polish & American Women’s Entrepreneurs, is interviewed at the Summit by Polskie Radio—Poland’s national public-service radio broadcasting organization.

“The Best Way for Women to Advance Professionally is Through Other Women”

The Summit keynote was delivered by the CEO of Havas New York, Laura Maness, who showed that by leading from the heart, you can grow business. In her address, Laura affirmed that “The best way for women to advance professionally is through other women.”

Laura Maness, CEO of Havas New York delivers her keynote address during the USA-Central Europe Women in Business Summit.

Indeed, throughout the day, this concept became a prominent theme of the USA-Central Europe Women in Business Summit.

In the case of her company, Laura noted several significant parallels between strong growth and advances made by leadership to promote women.

But the strong parallels between the success of women and the wider success of companies, communities, and countries were remarked on throughout the day by professional women and government representatives alike.

The concept came up during almost every session—from opportunities for entrepreneurs, to driving inclusion and diversity in the workplace, to discussions on country-wide successes.

The morning panels featured government officials and women in business representing Google, Egon Zehnder, the NYC Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Commercial Service, Morgan Stanley, LinkedIn, Air France, and several Central European diplomatic missions in the U.S.—among other notable panelists.

The Summit gave an overview not only of large-scale the parallels between the empowerment of women and economic growth throughout but also the smaller-scale parallels between the advances of women and their communities or companies—which included the likes of Google, LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley, EY, Air France, and Mastercard.

A Summit for Women, By Women

The two women-led nonprofits behind the organization of the Summit worked to ensure that the event itself presented numerous opportunities for women to enable each other’s success.

Morning sessions provided perspectives on economic trends and growth insights from the corporate world as well as those working at the intersection of government and business.

This higher-level overview in the morning contrasted with more specific discussions taking place in the afternoon on financing new businesses, working in the male-dominated tech sector, and personal insights from female founders and entrepreneurs. Questions were submitted live via—an audience interaction tool developed in Slovakia.

This tool gave the moderator an opportunity to integrate questions into the conversation. It also offered attendees the opportunity to see what questions were being asked and contribute to the dialogue throughout the day.

The afternoon sessions featured women in tech and female investors representing, among others, Women Who Code, IBM, and Mastercard. A highlight of the afternoon was also hearing from a number of women startup founders and entrepreneurs—including Magda Kordon of intoDNA (pictured above), Eva Baskova of Event Advisor, and Ivana Hronová of Travel A La Carte.

Not only did panel discussions largely focus on real and practical opportunities for women in business across Central Europe and the United States, attendees were encouraged to interact with one another in person during breakout sessions, and throughout the Summit.

Women Mean Business.

A.J. Fuentes Twombly of LinkedIn, a Cultural Vistas Board Member, serves as a mentor during the Summit. Through breakout sessions such as these, the USA-Central Europe Women in Business Summit showcased the power of in-person connections between women from both sides of the Atlantic.

Just a century after many women across Central Europe and the United States gained the right to vote, women are rising in their careers across every industry and organization and yet the numbers tell a different story. Events like the USA-Central Europe Women in Business Summit aim to raise awareness of the challenges women face in the workplace and in the world while providing access and support to global networks regardless of barriers related to geography and culture. Bringing people together to discuss the challenges and opportunities is the path forward to providing equity for women in the global workplace.