THE BLOG

How to Really Break the Glass Ceiling

10/23/2013 04:13 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Five iL2L alum from five nations have been invited to give the youth report on the findings at the annual Women's Forum in France. This year's program's theme is competition, cooperation, and creativity. Delegates will look at open digital innovation and the role women uniquely play in this arena. The program also examines the digital effect on Europe and what the future holds. The following Gen Y report comes to you from the Women's Forum.

This blog is written by Elizabeth Woodward, iL2L Global Ambassador of the USA.

We often hear people say that real change happens on the ground and not by people sitting in a room talking about issues. The Women's Forum defies that view of progress -- here powerful women debated economic and social problems from a women's perspective and promoted women's empowerment worldwide. In lectures in vast auditoriums, panel discussions in conference rooms and in chats over coffee, the open dialogue here planted the seeds for change. The Women's Forum is a space where the exchange of ideas and opinions start a meaningful conversation. The theme of the Forum was "The Open World: Compete, Cooperate, Create." Here, influential women leaders from around the world creatively connected the dots in new ways and shared their ideas to empower women. Progress starts with unraveling problems and this is where momentum starts.

An event like the Women's Forum also creates a network of innovative women from a wide spectrum of sectors. We hear so much talk about the barriers to women of the "old boy's club" -- here an "old girl's club" is forming. To be a leader, you have to have a vision and take risks to accomplish it. And those risks are easier to take if you have a support system of other determined women to help you when and if you fail. The glass ceiling will not be broken, if only a few take a hammer to it, but if women band together to work towards women's empowerment -- then that will make a real impact for gender equality worldwide. That is what the Women's Forum is all about.

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iLive2Lead is a youth leadership-training program based in Washington, D.C., that conducts training in various nations in each region of the world. iL2L brings the most exceptional young leaders together for International Leadership Summits and works with them to develop social initiatives which they lead back in their home nations, thus creating global examples of social responsibility and a ripple effect of impact worldwide.