Coach Kathy Kemper, CEO & Founder of the Institute for Education, and Microsoft’s John Paul Farmer, a former Senior Advisor for Innovation in the Obama White House, hosted a dinner last night at BOBO in Manhattan. The intimate forum brought together opinion leaders and influencers across industries, brainstorming for a playbook to empower more women.

Attendees included New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bloomberg’s Megan Murphy, former CTO of the City of New York Minerva Tantoco, Columbia University Dean Merit Janow, Newsweek’s Nina Burleigh, Fortune’s Kristen Bellstrom, Kathryn Minshew, CEO & Founder of The Muse, and other luminaries in their fields. The event highlighted the importance of an intersectional approach to gender equality, increasing representation, and facilitating mentorship opportunities to support career growth for all women. While several perspectives were shared, it was unanimous that action items are needed to move forward, utilizing corporate policy and business bottom lines to accelerate progress. Those at the dinner had a variety of perspectives and backgrounds, everyone in attendance agreed that credible commitments ultimately need to be made to move the needle on women’s empowerment. Proposed solutions often touched on the importance of using corporate policy and business practices and even personal public speaking to accelerate progress. To this end, attendees agreed that data and research on gender inequality and discrimination can be powerful tools in making the economic case for better policies. The Women in Power dinner was the inaugural Microsoft/IFE New York City roundtable. The group will continue this cross-sector conversation as it identifies how best to contribute to empowering more women in unique and impactful ways.

Contributed by: Kaivan Shroff, Microsoft Technology & Civic Engagement Fellow

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