Harnessing education to empower women, Tupperware Brands today announced the creation of the Tupperware Global Links Program, a yearlong externship designed to inspire a new generation of Iraqi women entrepreneurs and, in turn, help strengthen the country’s struggling economy and rebuild its middle class. Tupperware, a longtime World Economic Forum (WEF) participant, is announcing the initiative at the annual meeting because of its strong and ongoing connection to WEF’s Global Gender Parity Group and because it exemplifies this year’s conference theme: The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models.
Developed in partnership with the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and Rollins College, the Global Links program will sponsor a female Iraqi professor in the United States for one year. The two-part program includes a hands-on externship at Tupperware’s headquarters in Orlando and an academic year in residence at nearby Rollins College, where she will participate in a specially designed curriculum focused on entrepreneurship, women business ownership and financial self-sufficiency. Using a “train-the-trainer” model, the program will enable the professor to return to Iraq and impart her training on hundreds of Iraqi university students.
At Rollins College, she will participate in a comprehensive curriculum that includes graduate-level business courses, such as social entrepreneurship and sustainable enterprise, courses in English/Business communications and women’s studies, job shadowing, participation in third-party entrepreneurial and leadership activities, and one-on-one faculty coaching.
Selma Bruce, Wedding Photographer, Iraq.
“Our global focus and hands-on approach to management is ideal for this program and a model for teaching women to start businesses of their own,” said Craig McAllaster, Dean of the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. “Our intent is to create an opportunity for the visiting professor to experience firsthand our approach to entrepreneurial opportunities, an experience she can take back to Iraq and share with other women there. It is a proud moment for Rollins to be involved with a program that will bring empowerment to women in Iraq as their country develops a stronger economy and they achieve inspiring personal success.”
Melanne Verveer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, has said, “Iraqi women entrepreneurs are a vital source of growth to power the Iraq economy, yet they face tremendous challenges to their full economic participation. The Global Links program is a unique public-private partnership that was designed to meet some of the most pressing needs for Iraqi women seeking to expand entrepreneurship in the country. Combining the power of executive business education, mentorship and hands-on experience shadowing leading entrepreneurs in the United States, the program will help unleash the potential of a professor who is dedicated to helping a new generation of women contribute to the future growth and development of Iraq.”
Dr. Amel Abed Mohammed Ali, professor and head of the Department of Industrial Management in Babylon University’s College of Administration & Economics, has been selected as the inaugural Global Links scholar. Among other topics, she specializes in conflict and change management in business, and believes the program will enable her to “develop both the intellectual and economic standard of Iraqi women, as well as the Iraqi community.”
The Global Links pilot begins this month and will continue through December. Tupperware expects to continue the program next year and hopes to inspire other universities and countries to use its program as a model for international learning.