Fortune Most Powerful Women Does Global Mentoring!
Meet Manal Elattir!
One of my all time favorite movies is Casablanca. I think it's one of the best films ever made. I saw it recently and every time I see it I fall in love with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman all over again. I must admit though that every time I see it I want Bergman to stay with Boagie instead of flying off to Lisbon to escape to America! What a love story! I've never been to Morocco but recently I had the chance to spend some time and absolutely fall in love with a very special woman from Morocco, who is also empowering women to be the best they can be. And yes, I can be someone's Cyber Main Gay long distance! Ladies! Meet Manal Elattir!
I met Manal at Fish & Richardson's L.E.A.D conference. If you missed my last column here's the info!
Manal is the Founder and President of IMDAD for Social Entrepreneurship. She is one of the mentees in the Fortune Most Powerful Women Global Mentoring Program. She's in the United States and just spent a month being mentored by some of the most powerful women in the world (Susan Wojcicki and Megan Smith of Google; Kathi Lutton of Fish & Richardson and many other women who step up to help them). Manal will take all she's learning and this new network of empowering women back to Morocco where she'll mentor rural Moroccan women to become successful entrepreneurs themselves. What an incredible undertaking in helping other women learn to help themselves through education and networking! This is women helping women in it's truest, altruistic sense.
Manal believes that Moroccan women are the only hope for pulling rural Morocco out of poverty and social injustices. Two staggering facts just stopped me in my gay tracks! Over 4 million people live below the national poverty line and 89% of women are illiterate in Morocco.
Manal quoted Jennifer Newsom saying "Women cannot be what they cannot see!" I love that! So when Manal returns her foundation will be taking an "Empowerment Cruising Caravan" across rural Morocco to help women see what they can be! Manal's cruising caravan mission is clear and focused.
These rural women will begin to:
*Strengthen their literacy, leadership and management skills through workshops.
*Teach and integrate technology and social media in their success process.
* Provide a National & International marketing support mechanisms to encourage social entrepreneurship.
These Moroccan women have the most incredible artisan crafts of all kinds! Manal travelled with several samples that we all went crazy over! From decorative table wear to luxurious bags. Gorgeousness everywhere. Of course we immediately wanted to buy everything she had! So I guess in a nut shell, these fabulous items will become a foundation for rural Moroccan women to create successful businesses while empowering themselves! Brilliant! If you'd like to find out how to help Manal and the women of Morocco simply log on to www.facebook.com/IMDADSocialEntrepreneurship and check out Manal speaking about her mission! Video here! If you want to be part of the amazing network helping manal and can connect her with markets for her goods, please Facebook Manal or let me know!
Last night Manal completed her mentorship in New York with her fellow 23 mentees from around the world. It was a touching evening with everyone from Barbara Walters to Martha Stewart to Chelsey Clinton in the room. Susan Chambers of Walmart spoke about the Joplin tornado and how adversity often brings out the best in humanity. Ursula Burns, the first African American CEO of a Fortune 500 company, was interviewed by the fabulous Pattie Sellers about her decision to stick it out at Xerox when the going got tough. Overall the evening, the Fortune mentoring program and Manal embody what I love most: Women empowering women!
Here's looking at you kid!