gender equity
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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Receives 2024 Trailblazer Award

Women Business Collaborative (WBC), the leading non-profit alliance advancing equal position, pay and power for women in business presented its 2024 Trailblazer in Gender Equity and Diversity Award to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The annual award ceremony kicked off the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend and occurred at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The event was led by Women Business Collaborative CEO Gwen K. Young. The ceremony brought together leaders and influencers across Washington to celebrate the trailblazing career of Dr. Ngozi. She is the first woman and first African to head the WTO.

Panel about elevating more women leaders

Following the presentation of the award, Dr. Ngozi and Ms. Young were joined in conversation by U.S. Export-Import Bank President and Chair of the Board, The Honorable Reta Jo Lewis and the Director of the United States Trade and Development Agency Director, The Honorable Enoh Ebong. 

The panel conversation highlighted the need to continue elevating more women in leadership. This includes negotiating trade agreements and integrating women into value and supply chains to advance equality and boost GDP. Both Young and Ngozi noted that digital technology is transforming industries and the economy as business growth and development become more global.  The panel discussed how women-owned businesses’ growth impacts global trade and how to close the financing gap for women.  Finally, USTDA Director Ebong discussed how global infrastructure projects must consider women. The panel also emphasized the importance and need for building a truly inclusive economy.

“We need to work together to reimagine what trade can and should look like. We need to ensure a prosperous, inclusive global trade environment for everyone, said Young. “A reimagined trade approach must include women. This must include women in leadership, women as part of value chains, women as part of the workforce, women in government.”

Trailblazer in Gender Equity and Diversity Award

The Trailblazer in Gender Equity and Diversity Award, an annual accolade bestowed by Women Business Collaborative, celebrates individual leaders who actively demonstrate a commitment to implementing innovative change for others and their communities. Previous honorees have included Geena Davis, Judy Woodruff, Sheila C. Johnson, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Indra Nooyi.

About Women Business Collaborative

Women Business Collaborative (WBC) is an unprecedented alliance of more than 80+ women’s business organizations and hundreds of business leaders. They are building a movement to achieve equal position, pay and power for all women in business. Through collaboration, advocacy, action and accountability, they mobilize thousands of diverse professional women and men, business organizations and public and private companies to accelerate change. For more information on the Women Business Collaborative, visit

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