United Way of Greater Los Angeles Hosts EmpowerHER Awards

BNtheMix/ LOS ANGELES/ JUNE 17, 2019 – United Way of Greater Los Angeles and United Airlines hosted a celebration at the Skirball Cultural Center to honor community partners and industry leaders working towards gender equity advancement and inclusion in Los Angeles County. The luncheon entitled “Working Together to Change the Paradigm,” created by United Way’s affinity group, Women United, featured six individuals honored as creating a more inclusive landscape, lifting up others, and redefining business. City National Bank was also a presenting sponsor of the luncheon.

Hosted by CBS 2 Los Angeles Co-Anchor, Pat Harvey, the program featured six honorees: 
Brit Gilmore, President, The Giving Keys 
Molly Higgins, Vice President, Community Affairs and Engagement, Los Angeles Rams 
Ama Nyamekye, Founding Executive Director, Educators for Excellence 
Chris Silbermann, Managing Director, ICM 
Marilyn and John Wells, Marilyn and John Wells Family Foundation

“Los Angeles County needs more leaders like the six we are honoring today,” said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “It is our hope that sharing their stories will empower other individuals to step up and join us to help our communities out of poverty,” she added.

“Investing in and lifting up women is paramount for changing the paradigm and providing more opportunities for women and young girls,” said Jane Garvey, Chairman of the Board for United Airlines, who attended the celebration today. “United Airlines is committed to breaking down the gender gap, investing in women-owned businesses and seeing female leaders soar to new levels, which is why I am proud to be here today with these six honorees as we continue to work toward gender equity in the workplace and in everyday life.”

“One of the things we try to talk about with our organization and our team is ‘We Not Me,’ and there is no one more committed to that motto than Molly Higgins, who takes that approach in her everyday life and does things the right way day in and day out,” said Rams Head Coach Sean McVay. “She enables our entire organization to use the platform that the NFL provides to do things that are lot bigger than football. It takes someone that’s selfless and has the ability to connect with so many people and help others fight through adversity. I couldn’t think of a better recipient for this EmpowerHER award.”

“On behalf of ICM Partners, I am honored to accept the EmpowerHER Awards for our 50/50 by 2020 initiative,” said Chris Silbermann, Managing Director, ICM Partners. “To us, 50/50 by 2020 means a great deal. Of course, it means gender equality in the workforce in terms of actual numbers and I am proud to say that today ICM Partners is 50 percent women and 50 percent men. But to us, this commitment means more than that. It is not enough to have 50 percent female employees. Women must be equally represented in true positions of leadership and influence throughout the company. There needs to be a balance.”

“We truly believe that where there is gender equality at the very top levels of management, workplace harassment and abuse can be eradicated,” Silbermann added. “By publicly announcing our pledge in 2017, we not only created accountability for ourselves, but for our industry. Let’s all make the 50/50 pledge count for something, and then let’s keep pushing. It’s our job, all of us, to work together to change the paradigm.”

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