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  • The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) announces recipients of 2020 World of Difference Awards

The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) announces recipients of 2020 World of Difference Awards

29 Sep 2020 12:30 AM | Anonymous

Awards recognise significant contribution to the
economic empowerment of women

Dear Members and Friends,

I am so excited to share with you a media release for the 2020 awards. Congratulations to all our recipients and thank you all for everything that you have done to empower the women of the globe.

Diane Tompson

President of the International Alliance for Women

The International Alliance for Women has publicized the 2020 recipients of the prestigious 2020 World of Difference Awards ahead of a virtual Awards Ceremony being held on Saturday, 3 October at 5am (AEST). (See the links below to participate)

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, TIAW is one of the leading global charitable foundations dedicated to the advancement of women all over the globe.

The World of Difference Awards recognize extraordinary women and men from around the world who have contributed to the economic empowerment of women, leadership and innovation, across categories including education, community, entrepreneurship, government, NGOs and more. Over 700 deserving individuals have received awards since their inception.

The 2020 TIAW Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon distinguished former US Ambassador and co-Founder of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), Ruth A Davis.

Australia’s former High Commissioner & Ambassador to the Indian Ocean islands, Susan Coles, was selected for a Public Service / Government Award for her work enabling international mentoring program Business Without Borders to flourish in the Indian Ocean.

Canadian author and journalist Stephanie MacKendrick was recognised for her vast contribution and service to TIAW with the Mandy Goetze Award, named after one of the founding board members of the organisation

TIAW President Diane Tompson explains the organization’s focus is on building an ‘inclusive economy’ for all, driven by increasing women’s participation and contribution.


“TIAW has been uniting, supporting and promoting women and their chosen networks across all continents, and in turn supporting and strengthening the global economic fabric for forty years,” says Ms Tompson. “As Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated: ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are made’ and we are seeking to ensure that they are in those places.”

Education category awardee Mam-Yassin Sarr-Fox explained the impact her award will have.

I think that education is the most powerful space in development, and I am honored in that space. This award will go a long way in inspiring young people, especially young girls, and for this, I am grateful.”

The 2020 awardees have come from across the globe, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, France, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Biographies of some of the many winners of the 2020 World of Difference Awards

Ambassador Ruth A Davis – Lifetime Achievement Award

Ruth A. Davis is the chairperson and co-founder of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) foundation. Founded in 2007, IWEC’s mission is to connect and develop a global network of successful women business owners through working with international chambers of commerce and women’s business organizations.  IWEC is devoted to promoting women’s economic empowerment by creating an international network of businesswomen.

Ambassador Davis is an internationalist who retired from the U.S. Department of State with the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service of the United States. Her assignments in the U.S. Department of State include Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (2001-2003), Director of the Foreign Service Institute (1997-2001), Ambassador to the Republic of Benin (1992-1995), and U.S. Consul General in Barcelona, Spain (1987-1991). She was also posted in Kinshasa, Nairobi, Tokyo and Naples as a Consular Officer. Ambassador Davis was detailed to Howard University in Washington, DC as Distinguished Advisor for International Affairs and she served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2005-2008.

She has received two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards, the Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Award for mentoring, the 2005 Department of State Equal Opportunity Award, the Secretary’s Distinguished Award conferred by Colin L. Powell, and the International Career Advancement Program’s Award for visionary leadership and fostering diversity within foreign affairs. In 2015 she was named by the Economist Magazine as one of the ‘Top Diversity Figures in Public life’ and in 2016 she received the American Foreign Service Association’s Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy and the Link’s Co-Founder Award for International Service.

Susan Coles – Public Service / Government Award

In her role as Australia’s High Commissioner & Ambassador to the Indian Ocean islands (Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and the Comoros) Susan Coles was a major influencer in the development of the women’s Coaching and Mentoring program, “Business without Borders”. Susan effectively enabled the implementation of the program by supporting two entrepreneurs each representing two countries on either side of the world, Australia and Mauritius, to apply and ultimately be successful in being awarded a grant from the Australian government. The Mentoring program was devised to assist entrepreneurs in growing their businesses by empowering them by building their business acumen and capabilities. This program has been so successful that has been supported through five years of operations and three tranches of grants. In fact, Susan was so convinced of the effectiveness of the program that she accompanied the founders of the program on visits to all regions of the Indian Ocean Islands, her presence giving an enormous encouragement and demonstrably showing how important the program was to its women. She met with Presidents and senior government officials often persuading them to visit the workshops and official launches; and facilitated Australia’s then Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja, to connect with the program on her visit to the region.

Other projects Susan championed in her time as High Commissioner included the Women in Uniform networks set up by a seconded Australian police officer, empowering Mauritian and Seychelles women in police, fire, prison and nursing services; and training for all Mauritius magistrates in combatting gender-based violence through the court system, led by visiting experts from Australia.

Stephanie MacKendrick – Mandy Goetze Award

Since 2018, Stephanie MacKendrick has been CEO of Crisis Services Canada, the not for profit organization that created Canada’s national suicide prevention helpline. Stephanie’s career has spanned journalism, corporate communications, not for profit leadership and most recently as author of “In Good Hands: Remarkable Female Politicians from Around the World Who Showed Up, Spoke Out and Made Change” to encourage young women to consider running for elected office as part of their career planning.


After 16 years as President of Canadian Women in Communications at forefront of women’s career advancement, Stephanie ran a consulting and coaching practice combining career transition coaching and gender diversity strategies for corporations.


Stephanie currently sits as Vice-Chair of the Board for Samara Canada, a charitable organization promoting citizen engagement in politics and public life. She was a founding co-chair of the 30% Club Canada steering committee, a global campaign that originated in the UK and seeks to raise the proportion of women on corporate boards in Canada to 30%. Stephanie also served as President of the Board of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 she founded co-founded the TIAW World of Difference 100 Award which has recognized close to 500 recipients from more than 80 countries since it was created in 2008.

Stephanie has received numerous awards; WXN’s Most Powerful Women: Canada’s Top 100 in 2005 and 2012, Canada’s Telecom Hall of Fame (Advocate) for promoting women’s advancement, the Innoversity Angel Award for promoting diversity, 2012 Women of Influence Diversity Champion and in 2010 was admitted to the freedom of the City of London (UK).

About the Mandy Goetze Award

Marian E. (Mandy) Goetze has played a pivotal role in TIAW right from the beginning when she attended planning sessions in 1979 as a representative of the Baltimore Executive Women's Network. She was a founding board member when the organization was first created in 1980 and named the National Association of Professional & Executive Women’s Networks. Mandy has been here throughout our evolution from NAPEWN to TIA (The International Alliance) to where we are today as The International Alliance for Women. Mandy was behind many of the initiatives that built TIAW’s impact and influence, including a series of ten annual Washington Briefings where she brought policy-makers and women leaders together to hear about the most important issues of the day. She also organized four European meetings that led to what was then the National Alliance to adopt its international orientation.

As someone who represents the heart and soul of this organization it was only fitting that there be an award in her honor: the Mandy Goetze 21st Century Award; an award that is bestowed annually to a TIAW member who has made an outstanding contribution to TIAW, whether it is a long-standing effort or an exceptional achievement in a specific time frame. To this day, Mandy Goetze remains a thought leader and true inspiration to the entire TIAW community.


Full List of 2020 World of Difference Awardees

Community Awards

·       Melek El Nimer (Lebanon)

·       Aparna Nagesh (India)

·       Liz Reinert (United States)

Corporate Initiatives for Women’s Economic Empowerment Awards

·       Rasha Al Agouz (Saudi Arabia)

·       Michele Piercey (France)

Education Awards

·       Neelofar Ali (United States)

·       Aurélie Jean (United States) 

·       Jill Klein (United States)

·       Debby Rooney (United States)

·       Mam-Yassin Sarr-Fox (United States)

·       Dr Shaheen Shariff (Canada)

Entrepreneurship Awards

·       Jennifer Classen (South Africa)

·       Holly Galbraith (Australia)

·       Melanie Gleeson (Australia)

·       Dr Trisheetaa Tej (India)

Non-Profit / NGO Awards

·       Ingun Bol de Bock (Netherlands)

·       Gabriela Fiorini (Peru)

·       Rachel Ho (Malaysia)

·       Kirthi Jayakumar (India)

·       Crystal Little (United States)

·       Regina Llopis Rivas (Spain)

·       Luciana Malamud (Argentina)

·       Justina Montalico (Peru)

·       Nancy Ploeger (United States)

Public Service / Government Awards

·       Susan Coles (Australia)

Champions for Women’s Economic Empowerment Awards

·       Nicholas Haines (United Kingdom)

·       Sunhit Mehra (India)

Lifetime Achievement Award

·       Ambassador Ruth A Davis (United States)

Mandy Goetze Award

Stephanie MacKendrick

Live event:

The virtual event will be broadcast live from Australia on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 

5 AM (AEST). Friday, October 2, 2020 at 12PM PDT); 3PM(EDT); 8PM(BST); 9PM(EET)  

Taped event:

The taped event will be rebroadcast, available from Australia on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12 PM (AEST). Friday, October 2, 2020 at 7 PM (PDT); 10 PM (EDT); Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 3 AM (BST); 4 AM (EET)   


Please use the following ZOOM link to connect to the event: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81350935081?pwd=SFNJYys1U2VsV2FwRGd0VE1wVUxPUT09

Meeting ID: 813 5093 5081
Passcode: 626601
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbFFJTS53s


Please feel free to share the event details and the great news about your TIAW World of Difference Award with your network, using any of the following hashtags and logos: #TIAW #WODA #Worldofdifference #Womenempowerment #womendevelopment #womenentrepreneurs #empoweredwomenempoweringwomen #microfinance #womeninbusiness #womenledbusiness #IWECRuthDavis


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TIAW (The International Alliance for Women) is a charitable foundation. TIAW is unrelated to and not the same organization as IAW (International Alliance of Women Equal Rights - Equal Opportunities).

TIAW is organized as a 501(c)3 foundation in the USA.

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