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The first intake of the named VVLead Fellowship programme will connect, provide training for, and give visibility to 50 extraordinary women who lead mission-driven companies and organizations from around the globe.

About The Programme

Inspired by the world-renowned Athena Doctrine, Pond’s commissioned a global study in 2016 to explore current attitudes and perceptions towards traditional feminine values such as empathy, connectedness, and openness around the world – and how an increasingly harsh world is felt to be impacting the way people behave. 73% of people worry about the growing threat, intolerance, and disconnectedness of people across the world, driving a universal desire for a display of more feminine values. 92% acknowledge that displaying these qualities would make the world a more beautiful place, yet 76% of people fear showing these values.

Arnaud De Fontgalland, global vice president at Pond’s (Unilever) while hosting a summit in South Africa to kick-off the partnership and program said “With the findings from our global study, we wanted to challenge conventional definitions of strength and were moved to collaborate with Vital Voices. Women have been operating within an environment where masculine leadership traits such as aggression and competitiveness have been enforced. Pond’s believes a different kind of strength is needed to achieve results in today’s world. Not the typical forceful and confrontational strength, but a strength that sees a person actively choosing to work with, never against, the realities.” De Fontgalland added that they are proud to kickstart their social mission, and by 2020, their aim “is to champion 1 million women to use a different kind of strength as a force for good, to achieve a more positive tomorrow.”

How The VVLead Fellowship’s Works

The partnership between Pond’s and Vital Voices, will provide leadership skills based on the Vital Voices Leadership Model and customized curriculums. Fellows are inducted into a global community of Vital Voices members, with a shared passion for making an impact on society. All Fellows will be immersed in webinars, forum discussions, in-person summits, and virtual mentorship to kickstart and grow their initiatives in addressing social, human rights and environmental challenges at community, national, and global levels.

Alyse Nelson, President and CEO at Vital Voices said “Our partnership with Pond’s is truly unique. The program is built around a proprietary module developed by Pond’s and informed by two decades of learned principles from the thousands of women in the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network. Paired together, this ground-breaking

Fellowship will introduce a framework highlighting the strength of leaders who engage others and fundamentally shift culture.

“We are excited to debut this program with the Fellows, prominent women Leaders from around the globe with the vision and determination to challenge the status quo through their work.”

What The Program Entails

The Fellowship will include Ambassadors – established changemakers serving as role models in creating transformative societal change. For this intake of the program, the six Ambassadors are:

  1. Samar Minallah Khan, an anthropologist & documentary filmmaker from Pakistan.
  2. Anne Githuku-Shongwe, founder of AFROES Transformational Games and Representative at UN WOMEN in South Africa.
  3. Jamira Burley, a youth & community impact strategist from the USA.
  4. Saskia Nino de Rivera, founder & president of Reinserta Un Mexicano A.C, Mexico.
  5. Kiran Sethi, founder & educator, Riverside School, India, and Design for Change Global.
  6. Devi Asmarani, co-founder of Magdalene Magazine.

VVLead Ambassador Anne Githuku-Shongwe said “The VVLead Fellowship, a partnership between Pond’s and Vital Voices, is an amazing platform to build powerful professional relationships and collaborations with like-minded women.

“As Fellows hone their visions, skills, and tools to be more effective leaders, I hope we can collectively spread the transformational power of women and pay it forward.” While Kavisha Vather, brand manager of Face Care at Unilever South Africa said “The partnership is important to us as we believe that women can be great leaders and not have to change their innate qualities.”

For more information on these women’s journeys, visit POND’s.

Source and images: POND’s.

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