These days, women’s empowerment forums are a dime a dozen – as common as hand sanitisers, full-moon meditations and mentions of “mental health”. When we started planning Women of Power, we wanted to do something different and selected a group of women that wouldn’t normally be associated with each other.
From this initial idea, we debated hundreds of names. We took names off only to put them back on. We considered the number of friends of the brand who’d be angry with us for omitting them, but for the most part we stayed steadfast to our criteria: to include only those whose influence extends beyond personal power, who are able to disrupt and innovate.
We took a beating, truly, trying to break through intricate corporate webs to reach woman bosses who’d turn us down before reading the email attachment. We lost our way sometimes, enamoured by fancy titles and big family names and whom we were able to “get”.
But during the series of photo shoots we conducted over four days, when many of the Women of Power met as they floated in and out of the studio for their assigned portrait sessions, we remembered what we were here for. The co-founders of the Women’s Festival showed up together, yelling praises at each other and everyone in their paths, infecting the women who came before and after them with their enthusiasm to stay on for cake and conversation, while lounging at ease (sometimes sans trousers) with a crew of people they’d only just met for the first time.
Similarly, during the launch event that took place last week at The Hari hotel, it was electrifying to witness such a diverse group of women coming together and sharing their perspective on the present and future of our city. This contagious energy and uncomplicated confidence reminded us all what this was about from the start: women meeting other women, and then doing awesome things with each other – eating cake is, we hope, just the beginning.
The Women of Power 2021 event was made possible with the support of UOB, Veuve Clicquot, Chloé and Sauvereign