Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, Alibaba Group CFO Maggie Wu and actress Jessica Alba are among more than 500 women from the fields of politics, business, technology, fashion and media who are expected to attend a two-day conference on women in business hosted by Alibaba Group.
Scheduled for May 20-21 in Alibaba’s hometown of Hangzhou, China, the inaugural Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship is being held to spark dialogue and action on what can be done to encourage more women to pursue their professional and personal ambitions, according to Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company. The event will also explore how the Internet has created opportunities for women and how information technology can be harnessed as a force for change in society.
“The world is a better place because of women’s important creations and contributions,” said Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma. "We know that women will lead us to a better and brighter future, and we are honored to host so many inspirational women as we work to empower the next generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs in China.“ In addition to Huffington and Alba, speakers and panelists slated to appear at the conference include several top Alibaba Group executives such as Wu and Ma; Yahoo! Chief Development Officer Jacqueline Reses; Barbara Woodward, British ambassador to China; actress, singer and director Vicki Zhao; among others.
FOR CONFERENCE FACTSHEET AND LIST OF SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS, CLICK HERE.
Ma added that "Women have been an integral part of Alibaba Group since its inception, and without them, we would not be where we are today.” One-third of Alibaba Group’s 18 original founders are women, many of whom have since risen through the ranks to lead Alibaba’s business divisions; and 9 of the 30 Alibaba Lakeside Partners, the company’s management committee, are women. Currently, more than 40% of the employee base is female and approximately 35% of executives are women.
Women are also integral to Alibaba’s e-commerce ecosystem as business owners and consumers. There were 6.52 million female store owners on Alibaba’s vast Taobao Marketplace C2C shopping website at the end of last year, slightly more than half of all store owners. They and other entrepreneurs like them have interesting stories to tell. Check out the videos below to hear a few.
All over the world, female entrepreneurs have tapped into Alibaba’s international retail and wholesale marketplaces to launch online businesses and source the raw materials needed to realize their visions. Watch videos of these enterprising women below.