Women's Economic Empowerment in Practice

Location: Dentons, 1900 K St NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20006

Date: January 17, 2019

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Sponsor: Association of Tufts Alumnae/Tufts Women DC (TWDC)

Cost: Free

Women's Economic Empowerment in Practice

What happens when women are included in the global economy? A report from the McKinsey Global Institute found that “both advanced and developing countries stand to benefit if women participate in the labor force to the same extent as men: The U.S. economy would grow by 19 percent by 2025, China’s by 20 percent, and Mexico’s by 43 percent. The highest potential increase would be in India, at 60 percent.” And what about at a more local level? Women’s economic empowerment is crucial to the economic well-being of their families and communities. According to the Clinton Global Initiative, “When women work, they invest 90% of their income back into their families,” helping to break the cycle of poverty.

Tufts Women DC invites you to discuss all this and more at our first event of 2019 with accomplished Tufts Fletcher alumnae Elizabeth Vazquez, President CEO, and Co-Founder of WEConnect International (F96), and Sarah Thorn, Senior Director of Global Government affairs for Walmart Stores, Inc. (F93), moderated by Axios’ Shannon Vavra (A16).

Light refreshments will be served.

About our panelists:

Elizabeth Vazquez is the President, CEO, and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a corporate led non-profit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets.  She is a serial social entrepreneur and world leader in women’s economic empowerment and global supplier diversity and inclusion.

As the CEO of WEConnect International, Ms. Vazquez is responsible for mission delivery.  WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with member buyers.  The WEConnect International eNetwork supports and promotes women-owned businesses based in 100 countries, including local support in 17 countries--Australia, Brazil, Chile, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Turkey, and the UK.

Sarah Thorn is the Senior Director of Global Government Affairs for Walmart Stores, Inc. She is primarily responsible for managing international policy issues at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In this capacity, she advocates for Walmart priorities in legislation and trade negotiations that impact the company’s worldwide sourcing, e-commerce and retail distribution rights.  She also leads a team that manages global supply chain policies, including responsible sourcing and labor issues.

In 2011, Sarah led the strategy team that developed Walmart’s Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which is focused on empowering women throughout Walmart’s global supply chain.  She is actively involved in the implementation of the initiative, focusing primarily stakeholder engagement and global partnerships.

Shannon Vavra is a political and cybersecurity reporter at Axios. She often appears on national television and radio to break down the latest political news. 

Shannon is currently a member of the “Women Kick Axios” group and on the board of the Tufts Women in DC - Association of Tufts Alumnae. While at Tufts, Shannon mentored local elementary school girls through Strong Women Strong Girls.