Jan 8 2016
CES 2016 - Leading the Conversation @ The Girls' Lounge
It was just last year at CES that AOL began our partnership with The Girls’ Lounge. From SXSW to Cannes, Advertising Week to ANA, Barney's New York to the White House, we leveraged our female leaders across AOL and activated our women’s initiatives and brands, including MAKERS and #BUILTBYGIRLS, in order to lead the conversations that will drive forward real change for women in the corporate world.
AOL kicked off the first official day of CES with The Girls Lounge on their "Girls Gone Walking Tour." Co-led by TechCrunch's Sarah Buhr and IBM's Joanna Pena-Bickley, the tour featured U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith, 15 girls from The Girl Scouts of America over 70 senior female industry leaders. The women were equipped with wearables from Pebble, Gemio, Mira, and many more. The tour began by showcasing many of the smart cars on the show floor and highlighted that these cars are not only data powerhouses but also entertainment systems. Marketers needs to start think about how their brands can and should come to life in this environment. We continued onto Samsung where the focus was on the power of VR and 4D technology. Megan Smith also shared some thoughts on how these new technologies and their data capabilities can drive real social change and promote sustainability efforts. We then ended the tour discussing the power of the connected home, and how brands can incorporate their marketing messages in these new smart devices.
Day 2 in The Girls' Lounge kicked off by screening the new MAKERS documentary, MAKERS: Once and For All. With over 50 women in attendance, the women watched the story of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995, a watershed event in the global struggle for women's rights. Dyllan McGee, Founder of MAKERS, led a discussion with Alyse Nelson, President & CEO of Vital Voices who is featured in the film and was at the Beijing Women's Conference 20 years ago. The conversation focused on how changing mindsets is key to gender equality, and that we must engage men in order to be successful.
The day concluded in The Girls' Lounge with their signature "Power Conversation" panel. The panel was moderated by Meredith Kopit Levien from The New York Times and featured AOL's Allie Kline, IPG's Michael Roth, Facebook's Carolyn Everson, Visa's Lara Balazs, Intel's Becky Brown, NBCUniversal's Laura Molen, Google's Tina Daniels, The Girls' Lounge founder, Shelley Zalis, and best-selling author, John Gerzema. It was an unplugged discussion on moving beyond the gender conversation and driving toward activating real change to eliminate implicit and unconscious bias in the workplace. The panel called attention to the fact that gender bias has a negative impact on economic growth, innovation and company culture and diversity and inclusion is good business.
Thanks to everyone who helped make The Girls' Lounge a forum for powerful discussions. When so many smart, driven, and thoughtful people come together to talk about advancing opportunities for women and girls around the globe, you can't help but leave inspired.