#galswithLEI Global

#galswithLEI Global celebrates the Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration of women business and social entrepreneurs in generating jobs and strengthening communities amid a watershed moment of unprecedented disruption and change. #galswithLEI Global leverages the East-West Center’s unique access to the world’s policymakers, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and artists – virtually uniting these global forces with Hawaii’s women leaders to harness their collective experience, ambition, and passion.  

Scheduled to run bi-monthly from March 2021 – January 2022, #galswithLEI Global will offer a 75-minute keynote panel and attendee-driven open space designed to address today’s critical concerns, identify innovative solutions, and build networks of support for women business and social entrepreneurs, corporate and non-profit managers, and other community leaders across the United States and the Asia Pacific. #galswithLEI Global is welcoming and respectful to women including trans women and those who identify as nonbinary gender non-conforming. Speakers and trainers will reflect the industry, generational, and regional diversity of our audience, and their keynote remarks will be recorded. In order to ensure attendee engagement, registration is limited.


Upcoming #galsGlobal

Investment & Change for Minority & Women Owned Businesses

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 3:30 – 4:45pm, Hawaii
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Small businesses have long been touted as the lifeblood of the global economy. Representing 90% of businesses worldwide, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are important contributors to local and national job creation, innovation, and tax revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, however, hit SMEs exceptionally hard, particularly those owned by women and minorities. According to the Global State of Small Business Report which surveyed 35,000 small business owners across 27 countries, women-led small businesses were 6% more likely to close compared to their men-led counterparts while minority-owned businesses were disproportionately affected and suffered from a higher rate in closures, reduced employment, and a sharper decline in revenue. Although governments across the globe acted swiftly to support small businesses and entrepreneurs, women and minority-led businesses experienced greater difficulty accessing financial assistance and continue to face an unequal path to recovery. With the number of women and minority-owned businesses rapidly growing in recent years, these businesses play a vital role in community development and help contribute diversity to the business landscape. Their ability to acquire information, build networks, and access human and financial capital is critically important to promoting economic growth and opportunity, and their success is at the heart of an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable economic recovery. Learn from experts, investors, and businesses leaders as they discuss the state of women and minority-owned businesses, the challenges they have faced, and the collaborative efforts and supportive measures needed for women and minority-owned businesses to not only survive, but thrive in the new post-COVID economy. Panelists will also provide insight on how to expand professional networks and access more diverse types of financing.

Panelists(listed in speaking order)

  • Pocket SUN, Founding Partner, SoGal Ventures, Singapore @pocketysun
  • Sruti BHARAT, Interim CEO, All Raise and Co-Founder, FutureMap, San Francisco, CA, USA @srutful
  • Marla Momi MUSICK, Business Development Manager, MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center, Hawaii, USA @mbda.ewoc.ywca.oahu


  • Ayanna FREEMAN, CEO, Ayanna Denise Ltd. Co. and Changing Faces Seminar Alum, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Registration and additional speaker details coming soon!

Format and Protocols:

Hosted on Airmeet, the webinar will begin with a keynote panel of esteemed women panelists sharing their expertise and experience. During the keynote panel, as an attendee, your microphone will be muted and video turned off to cut down on noise interference. Q&A will begin at approximately 4:15pm. During Q&A, attendees may raise their hand to ask a question live or submit a question using the Q&A function.

Open space will begin following Q&A as an optional opportunity for attendees to "meet the speakers" at virtual roundtables. Two panelists will be assigned to each roundtable to participate in an unmoderated and informal dialogue with attendees for 10 minutes or until 5:00pm Hawaii Time. Remain online and seated at a virtual table if you wish to participate in Open Space.

Please register for Airmeet and complete your profile (including your name, organization, and country) before the webinar starts. For the best attendee experience, connect to Airmeet using a Chrome browser and disable any pop-up blockers to ensure your microphone and camera work properly. The webinar is also accessible through Airmeet's mobile App, now available to download to any iPhone or Android device. Finally, kindly note that only keynote panelist remarks and Q&A will be recorded and shared.


Previous #galsGlobal

 A Better Balance:  The Fight for Family Leave

Thursday, September 16, 2021 | 3:30 – 4:45pm, Hawaii

The resilience of businesses and organizations around the world has been increasingly challenged by the competition for talent and employee retention. Those challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which left millions without a job and exaggerated the competing personal and professional burdens experienced by caregiving employees. In the United States alone, 1 in 5 Americans reported leaving their job due to care obligations, and 1 in 4 women said that they were considering reducing their roles at work or leaving the workforce entirely. In recent years, employers have reported that one of the key differentiators for attracting and retaining employees and ensuring positive employee morale has been workplace flexibility and an equitable and inclusive leave policy. A recent study by the Pew Research Center, for example, found that employees are four times as likely to leave their job if paid leave or flexible work isn’t provided. A common concern amongst opponents of paid family leave is the economic and logistical cost it would impose on employers. Numerous economic studies have shown, however, that the impact on employers is minimal, and a vast majority have reported a positive effect on employee productivity and morale. While these policies have gradually expanded over the past few decades with the private sector taking the lead in the absence of government mandates, the pandemic has brought increased visibility to and amplified the need for family-care benefits. It has also revealed how flexible work policies could change the way we work forever, and for the betterment of women globally. Hear paid family leave experts and advocates discuss the challenges and inequitable distribution of caregiving, the benefits of paid leave, and why employers and policymakers should embrace policies that allow employees to balance career and family during the pandemic and beyond. Finally, share ideas for advancing paid family leave regionally and across the globe during the optional Open Space discussion. 

Panelists(listed in speaking order)

  • Machiko OSAWA, Professor Emeritus, Japan Women's University and Author, Why There Are So Few Women Managers in the Japanese Workplace, Tokyo, Japan
  • Sue MORONEY, Former Member of New Zealand Parliament and CEO, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa, Wellington, New Zealand @suemoroney
  • Nancy NGOU, Associate Partner, EY Strategy & Consulting Co., Ltd, Tokyo, Japan @Japan_EY
  • Cathy BETTS, Director, Department of Human Services, State of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA


  • Christina Marie SABLAN, Representative, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature and Changing Faces Seminar Alum, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands @reptinasablan

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:

Thank you to the following organization for supporting this event and sharing program information with their community.


Indigenous Voices, Indigenous Environmentalism

Thursday, July 15, 2021 | 3:30 – 5:00pm, Hawaii

Indigenous peoples, who comprise just 5% of the world’s population, contribute significantly to the world’s environmental diversity as more than 80 % of the world’s remaining biodiversity are found within their lands. As such, climate change poses a dire and immediate threat to the survival of Indigenous people worldwide, due to their dependence upon and close relationship with the environment and its resources. Preservation of the environment, transmitted as traditions of generational stewardship, is at the center of their existence, identity and culture. With traditional ceremonial practices rooted in the interconnectedness of the environment and people, Indigenous environmentalism offers perspectives on climate issues that underscore social and economic equity. The newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, in fact, states that there is “high agreement that Indigenous knowledge is critical for adaptation.” Within Indigenous communities worldwide, women have been and continue to be at the forefront of grassroots movements to secure land and territorial rights and equitable representation globally. Indigenous women have successfully defended their lands, territories and natural resources from private and government interests through advocacy and concerted, collective action, while developing coping strategies and mechanisms to minimize the impact of climate change. Indigenous women are, thus, critical allies in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Join Indigenous women leaders, environmentalists and activists representing Native American, Filipino, Indonesian Dayak and Native Hawaiian communities in giving voice to the importance and value of adaptive practices and processes, sustainable management and use of natural resources, and collaborative efforts across Indigenous communities globally in addressing environmental degradation and climate change.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Heidi TODACHEENE, Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA

Panelists: (listed in speaking order)

  • Dina GILIO-WHITAKER, Author, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock and Lecturer, American Indian Studies, California State University San Marcos, San Clemente, California, USA @DinaGWhit
  • Joan CARLING, Co-convener, Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development, Baguio City, Philippines @JoanCarling
  • Emmanuela SHINTA, Filmmaker, When Women Fight & KAHARAPEN and Founder & Director, Ranu Welum Foundation, Kalimantan, Indonesia @EmmanuelaShin
  • Ulalia WOODSIDE, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi and Palmyra, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA @UlaliaWoodside


  • Stephine POSTON, Owner & Chief Executive Officer, Poston& Associates LLC and Changing Faces Seminar Alum, Sandia Pueblo, New Mexico, USA @SandiaPoston

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:


Normalizing the Conversation: Women's Health & Sexuality

Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 3:30 – 5:00pm, Hawaii

Women’s health and sexuality are frequently stigmatized and taboo subjects worldwide. Words related to menstruation, reproductive health, sex and sexual health, menopause, and LGBTQI health and sexuality, are routinely censored, and critical conversations silenced. Women of all ages, across the globe, are made to feel self-conscious, ashamed and afraid of discovering their bodies, sexual feelings and behaviors, preventing them from seeking adequate support and medical care for their health and sexual concerns. Join experts and advocates in literature, health, and civil society in challenging stigmas and normalizing women's health and sexuality. Hear as they dispel some of the most harmful myths concerning women' health and sexuality and discuss their own efforts to catalyze a culture of openness in how women understand and discuss their bodies.

Panelists: (listed in speaking order)

  • Mabel WONG MD, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Director of Women’s Health, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, Hawaii, USA @KPHawaii
  • Kristen TRACY, Author, Lost It, Los Angeles, CA, USA @kristen_tracy
  • Asuka SOMEYA, Chairperson, PILCON, Tokyo, Japan @pilc0n
  • Brenda R. ALEGRE, PhD, Lecturer, Gender Studies, The University of Hong Kong and Member, Board of Directors, The Society of Transsexual Women Advocates of the Philippines (STRAP), Hong Kong @strap_org


  • Radziah MOHD RADZI, President, Sisterhood Alliance and Changing Faces Alum, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:

Shecession:  The Pandemic’s Impact on Working Women

Thursday, March 18, 2021 | 3:30 – 5:00pm, Hawaii

The economic downturn triggered by COVID-19 has taken a disproportionate toll on women, leading some economists to deem the crisis a “shecession.” A recent analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute found that although women comprise only 39% of the global workforce, they make up 54% of overall job losses and their jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the crisis than men. Reasons for this unique impact include women leaving the workforce due to child-care responsibilities, the lack of flexible work options, and steep job losses in female dominated industries. The recession threatens to erase years of economic gains and societal progress for women as women respond to these challenges by reducing their hours or dropping out of the labor market. Hear from economists and experts as they discuss how the pandemic has affected working women across the globe; the systemic inequities that led to the “shecession;" what can be done to mitigate the economic effects of the crisis; and the challenges and opportunities ahead as the world works towards building a resilient and inclusive economy.

Panelists: (listed in speaking order)

  • Anita BHATIA, Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women, New York City, New York, USA @abhatiaunwomen
  • Ariane HEGEWISCH, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Washington, DC, USA @ArianeIWPR
  • Ishanaa RAMBACHAN, Partner, McKinsey & Company, San Francisco, CA, USA @McKinsey
  • Khara JABOLA-CAROLUS, Executive Director, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA @HawaiiCSW


  • Ginger VAUGHN, Lecturer, Rice University, and Changing Faces Alumna, Houston Texas, USA

Click here for headshots and biographies.


The East-West Center is proud to partner with Hub Coworking Hawaii, Under My Umbrella, Blue Startups, ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Lab, WE Empower, JWLI Ecosystem and Pacific Business News on #galswithLEI Global.



#galswithLEI Forum

Workshops # Open Space # Reception

East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center

It is the East-West Center's intention to benefit and celebrate women innovators and entrepreneurs in our community and throughout the Asia Pacific region by creating a space, which enhances and encourages Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration. As such, #galswithLEI is not your typical publicly ticketed event; rather, information sharing is purposeful, collaborative, and dynamic. The 6th Annual #galswithLEI Forum will take place in July 2022, offering a keynote panel and six interactive workshops focused on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration followed by an attendee driven open space forum and a networking reception featuring local female chefs. Workshop panelists and special guests will include local established women leaders, bold millennials, and the Changing Faces Women - blending the experience, ambition, and passion of all those in attendance.

For photos of the 2019 #galswithLEI Forum, please visit the @EWCSeminars on Instagram or check out our Flickr album.


Contact Information
Liz A. Dorn
Seminars Program Coordinator
East-West Center
1601 East West Road
Honolulu, HI  96848  USA
Phone: 1-808-944-7368
Fax: 1-808-944-7600