The leaders of today meet the leaders of tomorrow

Assembly celebrates International Day of the Girl with girls and businesswomen.

On International Day of the Girl, Assembly brought together the leaders of today in conversation with the leaders of tomorrow to celebrate our Full Force issue. Businesswomen in banking, technology, design, fashion and business spoke on panels about their work, their advice for young women and how education has shaped their careers.

Students Marie Claire Kaberamanzi and Omolara Uthman — young women featured on Assembly — moderated the panels held at The Wing. Marie Claire is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2016, she became the first person in her family to graduate high school and she is currently majoring in nursing at Washington Adventist University. Last year, Marie Claire joined Malala Fund at the U.N. to share her story with world leaders and to advocate for girls’ education.

Omolara is a 19-year-old Nigerian-American student double majoring in writing seminars and English at Johns Hopkins University. This summer Omolara worked as an editorial intern for Assembly. Her pieces sought to amplify the voices of girls around the world, including female photographers combating gender discrimination and Pakistani artists advocating for increased representation.

The panelists represented a diverse array of backgrounds and fields, including:

  • Tina Abouraya, Design Program Manager at Facebook. Tina has spent her career spearheading design culture, education and programming for some of the world's largest tech companies, including Google and now Facebook. She's also the leader of Women of Facebook Design for NY, which champions diversity and leadership initiatives for women across the company and connecting them to the broader design community.

  • Dr. Shanika Hope, Digital Content Strategy and Research Lead at Amazon Web Services. Shanika measures the effectiveness of learning and development, workforce training and broader career programs. She is responsible for the AWS Educate platform and partners with IT industries, higher education faculty and institutions, K-12 school districts and technologists to develop meaningful and impactful digital experiences.

  • Aurora James, Founder and Creative Director of Brother Vellies. Aurora created Brother Vellies with the goal of introducing the rest of the world to her favourite traditional African footwear, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within the continent. Currently based in Brooklyn, Aurora finds herself travelling to and throughout Africa to work with local artisans and to discover new inspirations for the brand.

  • Priyanka Komala, Technology Director at The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Priyanka is responsible for creating and delivering the web strategy and future technological direction for a $30 million division. She is passionate about using technology as an enabler to help scientists communicate effectively and hosts a podcast, OceanPod, featuring eminent scientists from around the globe.

  • Atima Lui, founder and CEO of Nudest. Atima founded the startup Nudest, which uses artificial intelligence to match customers' skin tone to fashion and beauty items that best complement their complexion. The idea came to Atima as a student at Harvard Business School when she realised that items labelled the colour "nude" do not match 84% of the global population.

  • Allison Warren, Senior Vice President of Brand Advertising and Communications for the Global Branding and Sponsorship Team at Citi. Allison joined Citi nine years ago. As Senior Vice President of Brand Advertising and Communications, she manages brand advertising and communications — including the Stories of Progress campaign, which highlights people across the globe who are changing their communities.

  • Kia Weatherspoon, President of Determined by Design. Kia founded Determined by Design to provide interior design for multifamily affordable and supportive housing properties, boutique hotels and small businesses located in economically challenged and emerging communities. She is a former dancer, a U.S. Air Force veteran and an advocate for design equality.

Thank you to our friends at The Wing for hosting us!

Through Assembly, Malala Fund is helping girls around the world share their stories. Subscribe to receive our newsletter and learn about the next generation of leaders.

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Tess Thomas is editor of Assembly, a digital publication and newsletter from Malala Fund. She loves books, cats and french fries.