Thank you for joining BritishAmerican Business and our partners to commemorate International Women’s Day together.

Over 500 people joined, and together we touched on the disproportionate impact of the global pandemic on women, and how we can work together to help shape a more equitable work environment for all.

Referenced in the discussion was McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace report. And linked here are valuable insights on gender responsive budgeting by ACCA, one of our series co-sponsors for “The Stir.”

Over the past 12 months women across the US and UK have begun to see the signposts of progress. The US saw its first female Vice President, the world finally saw two more black women appointed to the helms of Fortune 500 companies at Walgreens Boots and TIAA (a side note that we will be honoring the first black woman to run a Fortune 500 company this spring, Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox) and both the UK’s Ambassador to the US and to the UN are women, Dame Karen Pierce and Dame Barbara Woodward, respectively.

It is indeed evident the glass ceiling continues to slowly crumble.  Perhaps what is not as evident are the sacrifices these women have had to make along the way or the agility required to navigate a male dominated space or maybe even the sheer will to persevere when all data pointed in a different direction.

So this week, in our countdown to International Women’s Day on March 8th, we plan to bring to light stories of women in our network who have overcome challenges and yet continue to break their own glass ceilings.

Tamra Eker
Managing Director, New York
BritishAmerican Business

Stories from our Network

Theresa Harvin
Senior Director of Business Marketing
Broadridge Financial Solutions

United States

Theresa Harvin faced many obstacles over the course of her life, particularly as a Caribbean-American Black woman in corporate America. But the foundation of hard work, sacrifice and resilience established by her mother set her on a path to success.

Vanessa Hall
Vice President, HR – EMEA and APAC
Broadridge Financial Solutions

United Kingdom

Vanessa Hall has worked within Human Resources for over 25 years. However, her first role after University was working with supporting young people seeking employment, training, and higher education. After several years, she undertook HR qualifications through evening classes and changed careers completely. Vanessa is now responsible for all aspects of Human Resources for Broadridge across the EMEA and APAC regions.

Alysia R. Steinmann
Partner, Financial Services

United States

As a senior manager, Alysia Steinmann thought she had everything figured out, with a clear vision of her goal and a detailed plan to achieve it. After her first son, Leo, was diagnosed with autism at around 18 months old, Alysia found balancing being a ‘good mother’ and focusing on her career difficult. With the support of her mentors and the broader firm, Alysia began to reimagine how she could still achieve her goal.

June Sugiyama
Vodafone Americas Foundation

United States

As a Japanese-American born on a military base in Japan who then moved to rural Oregon, June Sugiyama learned at a young age the power of community and in taking a stand.

Through her role as the director of Vodafone Americas Foundation, June helps empower women and girls through technology. As a result, the organizations she’s worked with have made a difference in the lives of more than 64 million people across 40 different countries.

Elise O. Schroeter
Managing Director, Talent & Rewards
Willis Towers Watson

United States

Elise Schroeter’s story begins with $500 and a one-way ticket. Born in a village in Africa, she had a very clear goal to work for UNICEF or the United Nations. Her one-way ticket to Germany in 1993 taught her for the first time the true meaning of the word Auslander (foreigner).

Today, Elise uses her platform to to help others find their voice and encourage them to reach for the stars, no matter their circumstances.

Christina Christoforou
Virtual CFO
Member of ACCA

United Kingdom

Christina Christoforou was told as a schoolgirl in the UK that she would never amount to anything, and she even has this in writing.

But a few years later, and down to her dedication and commitment, Christina is now ACCA qualified and is a well-established virtual CFO, with a portfolio of clients who look to her, not just for accountancy support, but also for strategic advice.

Swathi Bonthala
Enterprise Technology Consultant
Tata Consultancy Services

United States

Having been raised by parents who worked in healthcare for communities in India, Swathi grew up having the empathy and the passion to build strong systems to support communities.

To address the urgent community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas, Swathi started the Share and Care program, facilitating the donation of 10,500 meals to the North Texas Food Bank to help people when they needed it the most.

Swathi was also able to help vulnerable communities in Texas who experienced food insecurity during the recent blackouts, working to donate 1,000 meals to support them.

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