The last session of Global Forum 2010 also included female speakers from the Public Sector.  Kathleen Turco of GSA, who had also been a panelist at the Collaborative eProcurement session, stated that her entire career has been in the Federal government.  She has worked for 4 American federal government agencies and in most of these positions, she was the first woman to fill it.   She obtained these positions because she sought advice and did mentoring.  As a strong woman, Turco in turn likes to hire strong women!

Dr. Rachelle Heller of GWU, the host institution, jokingly thanked the panelists before her for making all of her points already.  Dr Heller stated that IT is “value and gender-neutral,” and research has shown that women are collaborative, can multi-task, and enjoy networking; IT is supported by these traits.  Furthermore, IT helps women’s voices be heard.  Studies have also been done where the same blogs were published with men’s, women’s, and neutral names (with initials).  Sadly, readers preferred the blogs of male writers over women writers.

In conclusion, chair Thaima Samman and President of the European Network for Women in Leadership, asked the panelists to give a 30 second conclusion.  Some panelists ended with a challenge.  Sharon Numes of IBM asked participants to think of the necessary and scarce resource of water: even if women in developing countries have access to cell phones and the internet, they will not have the time to use such technologies if they must spend have the day fetching water.  Linda Zecher of Microsoft encouraged women and men alike to contact local organizations and become a mentor to young girls.

Thaima Samman, Chair of Women's Innovation and Entrepreneurship session, as well as Kathleen Turco and Melanne Verveer