Global Women’s Leadership Network Empowers 20 Women Entrepreneurs


Sheryl Grant, executive director of Global Women’s Leadership Network with 2017 graduate Jumoke Kassim of Nigeria. Photo by Carla Thomas.

The Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) held their Women Leaders for the World graduation gala at the Stonebrae Country Club in Hayward on Thursday, August 17. In an intimate ceremony overlooking Hayward Hills, 20 women representing nine countries, were celebrated as 2017 graduates of the organization’s transformational leadership program.

Executive Director, Sheryl Grant says the event celebrates the global work and powerful impact each woman can achieve with the right tools, support and guidance.

“Bringing women together gives them the ability to connect, collaborate and gain new strategies,” said Grant who held a lit candle with each graduate representing the light “they will shed in the world.”

Guest speakers included Leah McGowen-Hare, Director of Technology & Products, Salesforce; Molly Q. Ford, Director of Global Equality Programs Salesforce; and moderator Tamara Steele, attorney, author and speaker.

Graduates from Nigeria included Jumoke Kassim, Dr. Aisha Abubakar and Chineye Ogoko as well as South Africans, Phillie Mkhize and Priya Thakoor. Graduates of India included Deepali Gotadke, Madhu Bishnu and Abha Singhvi. Dr. Florence Temu of Tanzania, Charly Jaffe of Australia, Dicky Chhetri of Nepal, Bengu Berk of Turkey and Phionah Musumba of Kenya were also among the graduates. Representatives of the USA included Ashley Bryant, Erin Montgomery, Karen Henken, Sheryl Grant, Tanya Monsef Bunger and Anna Aliaga.

Founded by Linda Alepin in 2004, the GWLN chooses women who already lead and helps them propel their work’s impact through leadership training. Linda is co-author of You as a Global Leader – a transformational leadership education program.

“Women are problem solvers,” said executive director, Sheryl Grant. “With training, support and guidance, women are limitless. Our goal with GWLN is to give women a platform to generate more equity in the world, economically, politically and socially.”

For over 10 years, GWLN has provided leadership training, Women Leaders of the World (WL), is in the U.S. and Kenya, serving over 200 women.  The training session provided by Bay Area experts, is followed up with 12 months of coaching and entrance into the GWLN alumni network for lifelong collaborative support.

New graduate, Jumoke Kassim of Nigeria founded Earth Shield International Foundation, promoting environmental sustainability and climate change awareness. “The training was life-changing and I look forward to implementing what I learned,” she said. Kassim is also a clothing designer and hopes to expand her reach.

Through Collective Impact Partners (CIP), a joint venture among five leading global women’s organizations, GWLN collaborates with the Global Fund for Women, World Pulse, the Public Health Institute, and Rise Up. “With this partnership, our goal is to digitally link 10 million economically empowered women and girls to mobilize a billion more,” said GWLN board chair, Jennifer Kenny. For more information visit:


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