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United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business.

Tripartite Event Showcases Trailblazing Women

Friday, June 24, 2022 11:00 AM | Anonymous

OWIT-Toronto partnered with OWIT-Tampa Bay and OWIT-South Florida for the 2nd Annual Stories from the Trenches: Women who Lead in International Trade webinar in June, supported by the Canadian Consulate General in Miami and moderated by Susan Harper, the Consul General there.  The virtual event featured three dynamic women selected by each chapter who shared their different experiences in trade:

Nadia Theodore, SVP, Global Government & Industry Relations, Maple Leaf Foods, Toronto * – Always fascinated with the idea of bringing trade to companies and marrying up policy with practice, Nadia joined MLF after spending 20 years in the trade policy branch of Global Affairs Canada.  She was one of two executive leaders who supported the chief negotiators for the CPTPP.

  • There are challenges [in being a woman in international trade] but also moments when you realize that sometimes success comes because we are women.

  • We need to talk about who benefits from trade and how they benefit  and find ways to bring trade to more people.

  • There are numerous paths to international trade. Really think broadly about what your strength looks like in terms of a career in trade.

  • What has served me well is the ability to read a room and calibrate the response accordingly. Sometime that means doubling down and other times it means biting your tongue. 

    *Since presenting on this webinar, Nadia was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Many congratulations from OWIT-Toronto!

Jeneth D’Alonzo, CEO, DMSI, Tampa Bay – Both CEO and an engineer in a manufacturing company – a sector where there are few women -   Jeneth designs things  like fibreconnectivity products.  Despite having no education for it, she built a fibreoptic manufacturing  facility in the Philippines in 2009, the first of its kind.

  • Corruption was probably the biggest challenge in building a manufacturing plant in a developing country. 

  • When you enter international trade, come first knowing who you are and be confident; have faith in what you do and you’ll be awesome. 

  • Although the manufacturing industry is male dominated, I was accustomed  to it from school where I was only one of two woman in a class of 48. Once you are seen as an expert, you will get respect.    

Jen Diaz, President, Diaz Trade Law, Miami  – After 10 years at a large firm, Jen decided to start her own firm, which specializes in  trade compliance. She loves international  trade  and finds every day different.

  • The enforcement space is growing and is a great career path, even though it is very male dominated – that’s why OWIT was a godsend for me.

  • We as business owners wear 18,000 hats.  Building and maintaining expertise in a specific niche has helped me tremendously. 

  • This is an interesting time to be in trade in the US since there is so much going on eg. forced labour issue.     

  • There is great power in an international network like OWIT. Part of being an amazing woman is having a network and tribe and being around successful women, who will make you better.

If you missed the webinar, here is the link to the recoding:

Access Passcode: Qqh$dR6^

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