Brazil is a unique example of the progress and potential for women’s economic empowerment. Not just in Latin America, but around the world. As Brazil grows as a global economic leader, women increasingly play an integral part in its transformation. Despite all of the country's national achievements, however, women in Brazil still face challenges to business success that ultimately have global economic implications.
The Global Ambassador Program forum in Brazil addressed these challenges in June 2013 and created the building blocks for the country’s first Business Women’s Network. From corporate executives to entrepreneurs, the forum included Brazilian women business leaders with a diverse amount of experience to explore business leadership through structured dialogues, trainings and mentoring sessions. Long term, the group's goal is to build a community of leaders committed to solidifying women’s economic empowerment in the country.
Participants also engaged in one-on-one mentoring sessions and attended plenary sessions throughout the week that focused on issues such as how to best integrate women-owned businesses into global value chains, and why and how women are a driving force for business and economic growth. The forum concluded with a large public forum that made the business case for developing women leaders in the region.
Learn more about each day’s events from the live updates we shared on our blog, read more about the participants in their bios below, or view photos from the event.
Brazil Global Ambassadors
Katie Morgan leads a team of human resources professionals to design and deliver the overall human resources strategy for Bank of America. As Certified Public Accountant, she began her career auditing various Global Corporate & Investment Banking (GCIB) segments. In 2001, Katie joined the Human Resources function as a personnel executive for GCIB Portfolio Management, and for other Risk Management functions. Eight years later she assumed responsibility as the Sr. HR executive for Global Corporate, Commercial and Investment Banking and Global Wealth & Investment Management in New York.
Daise Rosas da Natividade
Director of Institutional Relations, EOSS Consulting Company
Daise is the Coordinator of Labor and Entrepreneurship of Women in Brasilia for the Brazilian Institute of Municipal Administration. In her consulting role, she works on urban and social development issues, coordinating empowerment programs targeting young black students in public schools and black women who are at the base of Brazil’s social pyramid.
Luz María de la Mora, PhD.
Founder of LMMConsulting
Mentoring Maria Teresa Leal
Luz María is a recognized leader in foreign trade relations and international public policy, and has held multiple posts within the Mexican government. She has served as Undersecretary for Economic Relations and International Cooperation at Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Assistant Undersecretary for International Trade Negotiations. Her consulting firm is a Mexico-based company devoted to helping companies increase trade and devise business development strategies, undertaking market analyses for companies interested in doing business in Mexico and abroad.
Maria Teresa Leal
Co-Founder, Artistic and Executive Coordinator, COOPA-ROCA Rocinha Seamstress and Craftwork Co-operative Ltd.
Maria Teresa founded COOPA-ROCA, a craftwork cooperative located in the favela of Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is responsible for managing production and finance, and for developing marketing strategies and new partnerships. The quality and innovation of COOPA-ROCA craftwork production is recognized by the fashion and design industry through exhibitions and shows in Brazil and abroad, including in the U.S., France, England, Germany, Netherlands and Italy.
Rena M. De Sisto
Global Arts & Culture and International CSR Executive
Mentoring Panmela Castro
Rena M. De Sisto oversees support for nonprofit arts institutions worldwide as well as corporate social responsibility (CSR), including philanthropic giving outside of the U.S. for Bank of America. Rena’s career in financial services spans more than 25 years, and includes positions in marketing, communications and corporate affairs. She has also managed the marketing and communications programs for numerous financial services mergers. She serves as a Managing Director of the Metropolitan Opera, as a member of the British Museum Chairman’s Advisory Group; and is a board member of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy; Opera America; and the Fund for the Preservation of Diplomatic Treasures Abroad, a State Department initiative. She lives in New York City.
President, Nami Rede Feminista de Arte Urbana
Owner, Panmela Castro Arte e Cultura
Panmela is an activist artist whose social policy work, primarily focused on gender equality, provides the core inspiration for the content of her provocative paintings. Using graffiti as a vehicle for cultural transformation, Panmela challenges patriarchal notions of public space as related to sexism, sexuality, subjectivity, and power relations. She is founder and president of Rede Nami, a feminist urban arts network working to promote human rights while strengthening the artistic, intellectual, and professional skills of women living in favelas.
Lesley Jane Seymour
Mentoring Lina Maria Useche Jaramillo
Lesley was named editor-in-chief of More magazine in 2008, after building a career in senior positions at Glamour and Vogue, and as editor-in-chief of Redbook and then Marie Claire. Lesley was ranked fourth on Forbes’ Most Powerful Fashion Magazine Editors list in 2009. In 2012, Meredith Corporation named her Editorial Content Director of The Beauty Center of Excellence, which helps advertisers access all 100 million women across all Meredith brands.
Lina Maria Useche Jaramillo
President, Associação Aliança Empreendedora
Lina is CEO and one of the founders of Aliança Empreendedora, a nonprofit organization that supports NGOs and local governments to design, test and implement inclusive business models and projects that stimulate and support entrepreneurship in low-income communities. She is also co-founder of Impulso Microcredit, a pioneer microcredit organization in Brazil that launched the first crowd-funding platform for investment in low-income micro-entrepreneurs.
Founding Director of the UTA Foundation at United Talent Agency (UTA)
Mentoring Ana Kátia Ferreira
René provides strategic guidance for UTA’s clients and executives in their pursuit of meaningful philanthropy. In addition to her role at the foundation, Jones is also head of UTA Enrichment for the agency. In these capacities, she has created signature programming such as Project Impact, UTA mentoring, Extreme School Make-over, and UTA University. Prior to launching the UTA Foundation, Jones began her career in the U.S. Senate and continued on to become finance director and consultant for many high-profile campaigns and national non-profit organizations.
Ana Kátia Ferreira
Founder, Apoena Clothing
Ana Kátia started Apoena Clothing in 2003, a collective brand representing 168 women artisans in disadvantaged communities around Brasilia. Their clothing products integrate traditional embroidery techniques, and Apoena has been featured at Rio de Janeiro’s Fashion Week. Ana Kátia gives back to her employees by providing education to their children of through the Proeza Institute’s Women and Children at School Project (Projeto Mulheres e Crianças na Escola).
Southeast Region Business Banking Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Mentoring Vera Golik
Fabiola is responsible for the Business Banking segment in an area ranging from Maryland through the mid-Atlantic and south to Florida. She has served in a variety of roles, including controller, chief financial officer, commercial lender, client manager, market manager and market executive. Fab has also been heard on Broward County’s financial radio station WFTL as a Financial Advisor to Moms on a program titled “Mom Talk Radio,” and on a variety of national radio stations discussing financial issues for entrepreneurs for eWomen Radio.
CEO and Partner,
Fundo Infinito Comunicação e Responsabilidade Social
Vera is a health, beauty and well-being journalist contributing to leading magazines in Brazil, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue, and Marie Claire. She is also a consultant to the United Nations, connecting women’s issues with the private sector. A longtime advocate for women’s empowerment, Vera is a member of the board and partner of Fundo Infinito Comunicação e Responsabilidade Social, a company dedicated to corporate communication planning and cultural and social projects.
Lorena Diaz Quijano
Managing Director of the Argentine E-Commerce Chamber (CACE)
Mentoring Karla Borges Furlaneto
Lorena Diaz Quijano is an Internet, e-commerce and social media expert. Prior to joining CACE, she was corporate communications and CSR manager at MercadoLibre, Inc., Latin America’s leading e-commerce company. Before that, Lorena worked at Burson-Marsteller for clients in healthcare, pharmaceutical, banking, education and telecom industries. She also led the communications department of NGO RESPONDE, an association that helps in the recovery of vanishing towns in Argentina.
Karla Borges Furlaneto
Founding Partner, KB Associates
Karla is a lawyer with experience in economics and international law and served as a manager of the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs at the Federation of Industries of State of Sao Paulo (FIESP). At her own law firm since 2010, she focuses on international trade and investment. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Sao Paulo Law School.