At the Leadership for Health Summit, I’m planning to talk with the 22 African First Ladies who are attending. But, my other target group at this conference will be the corporate representatives. One of the goals of the conference planners is to “forge new partnerships with U.S.-based agencies and corporate foundations, and identify actionable goals for the coming year.” Corporate agencies like General Electric, Pfizer, and ExxonMobil, among others, will all be filling the halls for the two-day event, and some of them participated at the Women Deliver conference in London.
I really believe in the power of these corporate executives to deliver for women. Organizations like Qiagen, the manufacturers of a new $5 HPV test, have made a difference by investing in women – it’s a win-win situation for the company and the world. Linda Alexander, vice president of Women's Health and Global Advocacy at Qiagen, first introduced the breakthrough medical test at the Women Deliver conference in October 2007. Now, the company has committed to donating 1 million HPV screening kits to Africa. How amazing is that?! They truly see and believe in our theme: “Invest in women – It pays!”
Hopefully I can get a few other corporations to follow in Qiagen’s lead.
Jill Sheffield is the founder and Executive Coordinator of Women Deliver.