Local Leaders Share Personal and Professional Successes at Inaugural Women's Leadership Program

HOUSTON, September 28, 2015—Asia Society Texas Center launched the Women’s Leadership Series with its inaugural program: “In Conversation: Powerful Women Making a Global Impact.” The sold-out luncheon featured Dr. Anne Chao (Philanthropist and Professor), Donna Cole (President and CEO, Cole Chemical) and Y. Ping Sun (First Lady, Rice University; Counsel, Yetter Coleman, LLP) and was moderated by Stephanie Mehta, (Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg Businessweek). The women shared stories of their childhood, prejudices they overcame, successes, and their views on how women can continue to push for equality in the workplace regardless of gender or race.

In the U.S., female representation on boards and in C-suite positions is declining. According to Anne Chao, “the problem is the social arrangement…if women are to advance at the same rate as men, men must take over more of the home responsibilities.”

The ladies also discussed the value they put on philanthropy and mentorship. Y. Ping Sun noted,“Premier Zhou Enlai was my role model, I too can be a people’s ambassador and connect people. Giving back to the community is my responsibility…I’ve been given so much since I came America.”

Despite struggles, the women agreed that when one door closes and two open. Donna Cole said, “Failure is practice for success. You have to fail to learn. The biggest, most expensive lessons are the best lessons you will never forget.”

This program was the first of the series; future programs will feature luminaires Elaine Chao (24th U.S. Secretary of Labor) and Lulu Wang (CEO of Tupelo Capital Management). The goal of WLS is to inspire, educate, and empower women by learning from established leaders across the globe.

The Women’s Leadership Series is made possible through generous support from presenting sponsors Anne and Albert Chao, Nancy T. Chang, and ExxonMobil. Lead funding provided by Nancy C. Allen, and BP America, with additional support from Cathay Bank, the Mandy Kao Foundation, Paula Hinton, Teri and Jeff Lee, Amegy Bank, and United Airlines. Generous funding also provided by the Friends of Business & Policy at Asia Society Texas Center, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming.

View more photos from the program here.




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