Real power is personal power—what you do beyond your official job description.
As I've come to know the leaders who make up Fortune's Most Powerful Women community, I've embraced this kind of power. It makes work more than a job.
CEOs like Ursula Burns of Xerox (XRX), Tory Burch, Ellen Kullman of DuPont (DD), Marissa Mayer of Yahoo (YHOO), and Pat Woertz of ADM (ADM) are those sorts of leaders who go beyond the call, stretching their power even as they drill into their day jobs.
These women—as well as top female executives at companies like American Express (AXP), Citigroup (C), Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Wal-Mart (WMT), as well as Fortune's parent, Time Warner (TWX)—have participated in Fortune's Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership.
This program, launched in 2006 in partnership with the U.S. State Department, brings rising-star women from developing countries to the U.S. each May to shadow these and other attendees of Fortune's annual Most Powerful Women Summit. Over the past six years, 200 women from 49 countries have completed the program. To fuel their power globally, we created an award with Goldman Sachs (GS) to honor the most extraordinary of these alums who, after spending a month in the U.S., go home and pay it forward there.
And now, we're announcing the 2012 winners of the Goldman Sachs & Fortune Global Women Leaders Award. Among 25 very impressive applicants, we selected these three:
Catherine Nyambala, who shadowed Marissa Mayer at Google in 2010. An electrical engineer from Kenya, Catherine is now building various programs at home to educate and empower female scientists and engineers. Mayer, who left Google last month to take the CEO job at Yahoo, has visited Catherine in Africa twice and is spurring her on.
Precious Simba, who shadowed Xerox CMO Christa Carone and Y&R (WPPGY) Worldwide Managing Partner Shelley Diamond in 2011. In her native Zimbabwe, Precious has launched mentoring clubs to encourage girls to stay in school. With the help of Xerox and Y&R, she's also created a video series, Future Self, about empowerment.
Madhu Uday, an alum of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women Initiative, which provides business and management education to women around the world. In India, differential treatment and poor access to resources put girls at "a serious disadvantage," Madhu notes. So she is building a skills training and mentoring center for underprivileged young mothers. "Empowerment through employment" is her objective.
We'll honor these three women at the 2012 MPW Summit on October 2. They'll share a $50,000 prize and use the money to keep paying it forward in their home countries.
Congratulations to our three honorees. Thanks to our panel of judges: Solera Capital CEO Molly Ashby, Fulbright & Jaworski Partner Linda Addison, Vital Voices CEO Alyse Nelson, and Goldman Sachs Managing Director Dina Powell. And thanks also to the Most Powerful Women who pay it forward by leveraging their power around the world.
The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit kicks off in two weeks with a twist on mentoring: 35 high school seniors will interview certain inspiring women leaders—including fashion entrepreneur Tory Burch, Lululemon (LULU) CEO Christine Day, Gilt Group Chairman Susan Lyne, singer Rosanne Cash—about success and how to get there.
Also in this mix of MPW mentors: Tyra Banks. The supermodel-cum-media entrepreneur created the TV hit, America's Next Top Model, has released MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 21, 2011 9:00 AM ET
It still takes a powerful man to make room for a powerful woman. There is, of course, the stunning rise of Christine Lagarde at the International Monetary Fund. (Thank you, DSK.) And there is the presence of 12 women CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies. (The 2011 Global 500 list hit the web today.)
Indeed, except for the rare corporation where a woman follows a woman CEO—Xerox (XRX) is the textbook MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 7, 2011 10:12 AM ET
While visiting a friend's daughter at Georgetown University earlier this month, I got lured into meeting with a group of 15 undergrads. The session was great fun and illuminating. These were bright young women whose ambitions ranged, they told me, from cleaning up the global environmental to achieving world peace to building Fortune 500 companies.
Not one shrinking violets here.
The weekly convener of these students is Susan Wilson, CEO of The MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 18, 2011 11:39 AM ET
Today is International Women's Day--as Google (GOOG) notes by placing a colorful graphic, honoring women, above the search box on its homepage.
If you click on that graphic, you'll arrive at a page that lists a multitude of ways to help women around the world. Google lists 44 organizations--such as Women for Women International and Vital Voices and Camfed--that deploy your donations to empower women.
Click on the link for Camfed, a not-for-profit that MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 8, 2011 2:58 PM ET
Amany Eid found her voice last week in Cairo's Tahrir Square and here on Postcards as well. Eid, 34, wrote a Guest Post about how she, after never before feeling politically inclined (because, under a repressive regime, what's the point?) joined the protests that toppled the Egyptian government. Eid, a telecom-industry manager in Cairo and also an alum of the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring program, returned MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 14, 2011 12:54 PM ET
In Monday's Postcard, Amany Eid, an Egyptian woman who was never politically active before, wrote about joining the demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Now we see that Eid is just one of hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who are finding their voices for the first time in their lives. Yesterday's demonstrations in Tahrir Square were the largest yet and were relatively peaceful, thanks in part to the Egyptian Army.
While it MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 9, 2011 2:42 PM ET
Last week on Postcards, Kissinger Associates President Jami Miscik, a former senior official at the CIA, shared her take on the unrest in Egypt and her story of being in Cairo when it began.
Over the weekend, I received an email from a woman who has an even more up-close-and-personal view of what's going on in Egypt. Amany Eid lives in Cairo, works in the telecom industry, and spent a month MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 7, 2011 1:51 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
This past week brought the tragedy in Tucson, President Obama's soaring sermon about national unity on Wednesday night, and then the news that a visit from a clutch of her Congresswomen friends prompted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to open her eyes for the first time.
This seems an appropriate time to share another demonstration of unity. Though this one is taking place half a world away.
After a suicide bomb outside MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 14, 2011 11:52 AM ET
By Patricia Sellers
Besides Africa's rise in GDP and global stature, one subject dominated the conversation at the Global Forum, hosted by Fortune and Time and CNN this past week in Cape Town. That is: the economic potential of women.
Just about all the heavy-hitters -- Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and various CEOs -- spoke of the essential role of women in bringing Africa to its potential. "Who are the entrepreneurs?' MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 1, 2010 12:09 PM ET
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