Camille Mirshokrai serves as a Global Director on the Board of the International Women’s Forum and is Accenture’s Growth & Strategy lead for Growth Markets—responsible for Asia Pacific, Latin America, and MART (Middle East, Africa, Russia and Turkey). She is also the sponsor of the Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Board, Accenture Japan. During her 23 years with Accenture, Camille has driven innovation in a variety of leadership positions across key areas of Accenture’s business. Most recently, she was responsible for the company’s global leadership development strategy, including succession planning for all key leadership positions. Prior to that, Camille worked in Accenture’s business consulting practice, providing technology and consulting services to clients. Camille is also the Chairman of the Board for AdvanceNet Labs, the Dallas Chamber of Commerce—including the Chamber’s Executive Women’s Roundtable, and previously served as Director on the Board for the Accenture Foundation.
In my role as Growth & Strategy lead for Growth Markets at Accenture, I have the privilege of meeting women around the world—women who are experienced leaders—and women who are developing leaders—most of whom are committed to seeing all women realize their full potential in society and business. And, as a board member of the International Women’s Forum, I collaborate with like-minded women who have made it their vocation to live the IWF mission: to build better leadership around the world. Through all of my experiences—at Accenture—with the IWF—and beyond, I’ve witnessed the power of the multiplier effect. Most commonly, this term is applied to the world of economics to describe a chain reaction of activities that stimulate the economy. I extend the meaning of the multiplier effect to describe a series of activities and relationships—the undeniable power of connecting many intelligent, ambitious and committed women who collaborate toward a common goal.
The power of connection is undeniable. At the IWF we see it in action—every day—in all that we do. For more than 30 years, the IWF has brought together diverse women of high achievement to promote better global leadership by empowering women. The IWF harnesses an unprecedented global membership to exchange ideas and develop programs that can literally change the world. We originated in the U.S., but currently span six continents. Today, the IWF has more than 6,500 members representing 35 nations. Now, that’s connecting!
A recent McKinsey Global Institute report found that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by simply advancing women’s equality. Women have always been and will continue to be one of the world’s greatest drivers of collaboration and of economic growth. This also highlights the important role of IWF and our mission to build better global leadership across careers, continents and cultures. We need to facilitate and enable women to reach their full potential.
One of the ways we work toward helping women to achieve their full potential is through the Leadership Foundation, IWF’s charitable and educational entity which was established in 1990 to empower high-potential women leaders through executive training, mentoring and networking opportunities. The Fellows Program is the flagship initiative of the Leadership Foundation and provides women from around the world with the resources, the education and the network they need to succeed at the highest levels. Each Fellow possesses the ambition to push to the highest levels of her career and the desire to lift others—with regard to legacy and mentoring—as she rises. I was selected as an IWF Fellow earlier in my career and to this day I leverage the learnings and the relationships I gained through the experience. Accenture continues to sponsor several accomplished women leaders to participate in the Fellows Program each year—it is an incredible opportunity for them—and for Accenture.
The Leadership Foundation is relentlessly working to raise $125,000 in the End of Year Campaign, which runs through December 31, 2016 and reinforces the Foundation’s operational budget that comprises programs (77 percent) and essential overhead (23 percent). The campaign is a tremendous opportunity for each of us to take up the gauntlet—to become a positive factor in the multiplier effect—by contributing to the IWF mission through a donation that supports the Leadership Foundation, a U.S. 501(c)(3) organization.
I believe that the world is at a critical juncture for strong leaders and great leadership, and that the IWF can be a key enabler to advancing women leaders at the highest levels. Our priorities and our issues remain the same regardless of political affiliation. As women, it is imperative that our voices, our issues and our strengths are at the table. There is much yet to accomplish to ensure equitable access and opportunities for women. IWF will remain focused on these issues as we drive better leadership for economies, societies and individuals around the world. As 2016 comes to an end, I pause to reflect on our accomplishments and on the work that remains to be done. I am optimistic that we will continue to advance our agenda—through the power of our connections.