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Womxn Breaking Barriers Virtual Panel
March 11 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Pre-registration for the event is sold out, but you can watch the livestream on our YouTube channel
Join us on March 11 to celebrate International Women’s Day with an exciting, free virtual panel with local womxn leaders discussing how we can all #ChoosetoChallenge gender bias, stereotypes and discrimination in our community.
Panelists include arts advocate and film-maker, Tracy Rector, Female Founders Alliance CEO and Founder, Leslie Feinzaig, and women’s equality evangelist, Blessing Omakwu. The panel will also explore the intersectionality of gender and race—especially how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted marginalized groups.
We hope you can join us on March 11!
Read more about our panelists below:
Blessing Omakwu (Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of The She Tank)
Blessing is a Nigerian-American Gender Equality Evangelist and a Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she leads the Goalkeepers initiative. Goalkeepers is a catalyst for action on the Sustainable Development Goals—bringing together leaders from around the world to accelerate progress toward ending poverty and fighting inequality.
Over the past decade, Blessing has worked with and advised a variety of international organizations and government agencies, including the ONE Campaign, the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives and the United Nations. In 2020, Blessing served as the co-lead of Room 5 (for SDG 5) of the Rockefeller Foundation and Brooking’s Institutes 17 Rooms initiative.
Blessing is also the founder of The She Tank, a modern think tank supporting the realization of equality for women of African descent. Her personal essays explore the intersection of womanhood, religion and (pop) culture. She ran the “On Being A Woman” blog between 2015-2020.
Leslie Feinzaig (Female Founders Alliance CEO and Founder)
Leslie Feinzaig is a Latina entrepreneur and tech executive. In 2017 she launched the Female Founders Alliance, now a 25k-strong professional community dedicated to forging a future where powerful business leaders are more reflective of the world they serve. FFA creates content, community and programs to accelerate the success of women and non-binary leaders. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Leslie moved to the US to attend Harvard Business School on a full scholarship. She has since been named one of Forbes Most Powerful Women from Central America, the Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 and Seattle Magazine’s Most Influential People. Leslie serves on the boards of the Washington Technology Industry Association and the Girl Scouts of Western Washington and is a contributing writer for publications such as Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Fortune.
Tracy Rector (Managing Director of Storytelling at Nia Tero Foundation)
Tracy Rector has a passion for amplifying and empowering Indigenous voices. She brings two decades of experience as a community organizer, educator, filmmaker, film programmer and arts curator—all infused with her deep roots in plant medicine. For the last 20 years she has directed and produced over 400 films, including shorts, features, music videos and virtual reality projects. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, ImagineNative, Seattle Art Museum, National Geographic and the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, as well as at international film festivals, including Cannes and Toronto. Tracy served as a Seattle Arts Commissioner for 8 years, sits on the board of the Mize Foundation, and is the co-founder of Longhouse Media and the founder of Indigenous Showcase.
Mika Yamamoto (Executive Vice President and the Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer at F5)
Yamamoto joined F5 in 2019 from Marketo, where she was global president, and led the company through the go-to-market integration after the acquisition by Adobe. Prior to Marketo, Mika was SAP’s chief digital marketing officer and CMO for the small-to-mid-size business segment. In addition, she has held senior leadership roles at Amazon Books, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Stores, Gartner Research and Accenture, establishing a strong track record of enterprise marketing results.
Yamamoto holds a B.A. in Commerce, Economics and Marketing from Queen’s University in Canada and serves on the board of United Way of King County and the Rainer Valley Food Bank.
We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the title of our event, Womxn Breaking Barriers. You’ll note that we’ve spelled Womxn with an X. In choosing this spelling, we hoped to create the most welcoming space possible. We have received feedback that for some, our efforts to be inclusive may have instead been exclusionary. We know that language is dynamic and evolving and we will continue to listen and learn as we work to build a better, more inclusive community.