Claudia Chan, Founder of SHE Summit
Claudia is one of the early pioneers of creating conferences to empower women in the workplace and beyond. Prior to developing SHE Summit, she founded the company SHE Globl to accelerate diversity and inclusion, especially in corporate spaces. Read about how her mission has driven change in today’s feature!
Claudia, you have built an amazing name for yourself and by garnering attention to your summit. Can you share what inspired you do it all?
In 2010, Dermalogica's founder Jane Wurwand sent me a copy of Half the Sky - a book that documented the greatest atrocities women and girls faced in developing countries: forced prostitution, sex trafficking, maternal mortality and gender-based violence. I was shocked and then started researching the state of women and girls in the first world like the US and the major inequalities and injustices women still face. I was ashamed that I had gone to all women’s schools and was running a women’s lifestyle media company and yet unaware of the issues. So I launched the first SHE Summit in 2012 to ignite women to become change agents for women’s issues and to start movements for change. SHE stood for SHE HELPS EMPOWER though it has evolved over the years. Today it stands for SHE, HE & THE EQUITY OF ALL PEOPLE — and is a broader platform to connect, educate and activate women and men to rise as inclusive leaders and co-create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace and world.
We love what S.H.E. Globl represents and the execution of the organization’s ethos, how do you keep S.H.E. Globl / S.H.E. Summit different and ahead of your “competitors” or like-minded groups like yours?
SHE GLOBL is the movement behind SHE Summit. Today we are very focused on driving change in global corporations as that’s where I believe a new generation of courageous change agents are needed. SHE Summit convenes people around the topics that must be showcased for true equity to be possible, and hear from exceptional thought leaders—with the goal of activating them to COMMIT to driving change. But SHE GLOBL supports corporate leaders throughout the year to accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion with content, convening, consulting and a coalition. Together we aim to change the global private sector.
I don’t think of competitors when I work because we are all running in our own race with different destinations of impact. I do aim to collaborate with others in my space because impacting change requires community.
In the process of achieving your success, what has been the most rewarding part of your role?
Seeing the ripple effect of impact that is born out of of inspiring 1 person...and when I add up all the people and companies I have inspired and planted seeds in to take action since SHE GLOBL’s launch in 2012 to my book This Is How We Rise... it’s overwhelming to see the initiatives and impact that has resulted.
I’m actually a very dedicated Christian and we’re taught to live for lifting others. At the core of my heart and passion is turning people into leaders and changes agents for issues and innovations that need solving for. The world is so broken and God’s creation to solve problems was always PEOPLE. Yet so many don’t see themselves as the leaders our communities need. My goal is to awaken all of them.
What is next for you Claudia and S.H.E. Globl?
From my perspective, citizen engagement is high on social and gender issues. I feel the world needs an even stronger vehicle to drive change.
After working with corporate partners for six years, I believe the global private sector business is one of the greatest forces we have to accelerate change because of the people they impact through their employee culture, value chain, industry, product and service quality, advertising and global footprint. To accelerate the equality and empowerment of all humans, SHE GLOBL/SUMMIT is dedicated to activating and supporting a new generation of people to lead change through their organizations and workplaces.
Interviewed by Chary