Friday, October 7

Italy's Women take the Stage

Attending the WINConference all week long in Rome, of course, gets you thinking about working women.  This year, for the first time ever, the WIN Committee set out to honor the all-to-often 'Invisible women of Italy', those courageous women who, through hard work, strong spirit and a whole lot of talent as well, stick to their goals and break a glass ceiling or two.  Out of the many outstanding nominees, here is our selection of Inspirational Women of Italy:
Emma Marcegaglia – President of ConfindustriaItaly’s Business Lobby & sort of industrial Chamber of Commerce – and focal point for businesses throughout the countryOften called the Lady of Steel, as her family’s business is in the metals industry, she is the face of women at the helm, and one who has gained respect by all those around her and shows that women in Italy can break through which is often a steel ceiling.
Paola Muti – Professor, Scientific Director & Researcher at Rome’s esteemed Istituto Nazionale Tumori Regina Elena or National Institute of Tumors.
Paola has had a long career in epidemiology as a researcher & professor, and although having worked in the USA, is an example of someone countering the current trend in their field of ‘brain drain’, and who returned to Italy to continue her research & work. Italy boasts many women graduates of universities and many many more researchers, all pioneers in their field, and Paola and her team serves as a beacon of light in a country currently facing cuts in all aspects of research, universities and science.
Lorella Zanardo – For many of us in Italy, perhaps Lorella needs no introduction. But she threw a small pebble into the pond of women’s portrayal in the media, and it became a tsunami. Now dedicated to educating young women & men about the responsibility of the media to portray women appropriately and with dignity, her documentary, Il Corpo delle Donne – The Body of Women - blog & activities surrounding it have gone global. Lorella, for her work, is the body of proof that in an internet and interconnected age, “one small idea is the birthplace of great accomplishments.”
Barbara Giangravè & Rebecca Spitzmiller feted
at the WINConference VIP event
Rebecca Spitzmiller  Lawyer, law professor and nowadays, community organizer and activist in her adopted city of 25 years, Rome. Put simply, she was sick & tired of the graffiti that plagues the most beautiful city on earth. So, she grabbed her son, took some oven cleaner and started scrubbing. Since then, her initiative, Retake Rome has joined forces with the Fondazione Garibaldi to educate kids in civic pride, convincing Rome’s Mayor and the American Ambassadors in Rome to roll up a sleeve and apply some elbow grease. Even more incredibly, many of her biggest advocates and 'inside teammmates' are former 'writers' themselves. Her initiative caught the attention of Anita Garibaldi, the great-grandaughter of Giuseppe Garibaldi - the man who, with his wife Anita fighting by his side, united Italy 150 years ago - So once again a Garibaldi is literally changing the face of Italy.
And, last, but certainly not least,
Barbara Giangrav√® Journalist for Siciliaonline, Barbara has chosen to stay and live in Palermo. Barbara was a young girl when the anti-Mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone & Paolo Borsellino were assassinated in Sicily. After spotting a blitz of little posters plastered around town (sorry, Rebecca!) that read, “A people that pays the pizzo – extortion money – is a people without dignity,” Barbara joined this fledgling group, AddioPizzo. Today, Addio Pizzo boasts hundreds of small retailers no longer paying the pizzo, outlets where people can buy pizzo-free products, and now even pizzo-free tourism. And while Barbara is now no longer involved directly, Addio Pizzo has since been recognized by Italy’s President, the law enforcement people, even Bill Clinton for their contribution to their communities...But most of all, it's recognized by the people of Sicily who are taking on the extortionists and no longer letting the criminals take away their dignity.

1 comment:

AnneC said...

How fun to see both Barbara Giangrave and Rebecca on your blog for WIN recognition -- oh, I wish I'd been there! What a wonderful evening that would have been!!