Women around the world contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement, but there still is much progress to be made when it comes to equality.
Gender parity was the campaign theme for International Women’s Day March 8, and we here at Forever Smiles were proud to sponsor a Chicago event in honor of the holiday.
The Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International hosted Women in Leadership on March 10, in celebration of International Women’s Day. The event featured a reception, dinner and speaker presentations moderated by Aleksandra Efimova, who co-chairs the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International and also is the founder of Russian Pointe, a dance apparel company.
Speakers included four women who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields, locally and even internationally in some cases:
- Elena Mossina, partner-in-charge at Sikich, an international tax services company
- Mridu Sekhar, Ph.D, founder of Sidvim, Inc., Chicago Center for Advanced Dentistry
- Natalia Sklyarova-Yurchenko, All Around Gold Medalist at the 1983 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and owner and founder of C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy
- Natalya Pavchinskaya, IT director at Abbott Laboratories, Cybersecurity Portfolio Management (born in Odessa, Ukraine).
“It was our honor to sponsor and support Aleksandra's very important event,” says Anna Razdolsky, operations manager at Forever Smiles. “We enjoyed meeting very inspiring, motivated speakers and interesting guests.”
Anna felt a level of kinship with many of the speakers, as most of them were born and raised in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States as young adults, just as Anna did when she left her native Ukraine in the 1980s.
“Many of these women came to America right after high school, and what they have achieved since then is amazing,” she says.
Not all of the speakers were strangers to Anna. Natalia Pavchinskaya once was a Forever Smiles patient, and her three sons are part of our patient family today.
About International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133, according to the International Women’s Day website.
This year’s celebration focused on “Pledging for Parity.” Men and women can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly, according to the organization’s website, “whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity,” the website states.