Musings On Milan And A Human Rights Film Screening For Members Monday

Dear LadyDrinks members.
I’m just back from 5 days in Milan and Venice. My friends and I had literally booked the flights back in February as Emirates was having a fire sale on flights.

And boom. Before I knew it, the trip was here.

I felt a little bit like a heel going away. Call it the American in me. But with seven LadyDrinks events greenlit between now and November, plus speaking engagements, who was I to be faffing off and going on a trip?

So glad that I did.

No matter how much I love my work (and I do!), I can’t keep being creative when on empty.  It’s tough to see things from a new perspective or find new insights.

Standing at the feet of the Duomo in Milan, I took a break from my usual New York day to gaze up and marvel at one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. Construction began in 1386. It took nearly six centuries to complete. The project, which today, stands tall in the center of the city, ran up against hurdle after hurdle. Politics. Changing artistic direction.  No money. No ideas. It was exploited for stone.

Today, it stands proudly in the Piazza del Duomo, as a testament to someone’s persistence. More than 3400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figurines dot the cathedral—all in marble.  The handiwork was apparent even in the scorching mid day Milanese sun.

Sometimes, persistence is the only arrow left in our quivers when trying to get something done.
I returned this morning to do two important phone calls.

The first was with Julie Cohen, one of the two filmmakers behind RBG. The documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg is truly a testament to persistence as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
We are screening the film on October 25th at the National Arts Club in New York City.  Julie described interviewing Ruth as ‘magic.’  Small and teeny in stature, but always big in expressing her thoughts. Like the folks who ultimately saw the construction of the Duomo in Milan through, she spoke to Ruth’s persistence at a time when it was unseemly for women in the 1950s to have ambitions and big dreams around their work. Ruth persistently and doggedly fought for women’s rights anyway. BUY TIX HERE

The second phone call was with the subject of a film that ten Ladydrinks members are invited to on Monday.

Kailash Satyarthi has spent 40 years, dedicating his life to freeing girls and boys from slavery and trafficking all over the world.

On the phone this morning, he recalled being all of five years old, and going to his first day of school. He saw a little boy, sitting with his father outside his school, polishing shoes. He asked the father, why his son didn’t go to school?  The father merely replied, “We are born to work. My father, my grandfather, his father. We all worked.” The idea of putting a child in school never crossed his mind.

That was a tipping point for Kailash.

Today, he not only sets up sting operations to rescue children from slave labor situations, but he has set up systems to teach children vocational skills so they can eventually work.  Kailash’s work hasn’t come without its own headwinds. He has also worked persistently to bridge gaps in the legal system. For example, India amended its Constitution in the mid 2000s to effect education as a fundamental right for children, as a result of his lobbying.

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim who produced “An Inconvenient Truth” and “He Named Me Malala,” brings us “The Price of Free.”  Join us at the Tribeca Screening Room, 375 Greenwich St. #2  on Monday September 24th at 4pm for the screening. I will be conducting the talkback with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi from 5:30 to 6:10 PM. Please email me at if you would like to be one of 10 LadyDrinks members to join.

LADYDRINKS LUNCH AND LEARN WITH PERSONAL STYLIST MONISHA KAPUR SEPTEMBER 27TH There is ONE SPOT LEFT for theLadyDrinks ‘lunch and learn’ with personal stylist Monisha Kapur of 344pm next Thursday. Why give a hoot about this particular metric as business women? “We dress to attract the types of clients and opportunities we wish to attract,” said stylist Tania Sterl, at a recent NAWBO event. We need to put as much intention into how we show up in the world as we do in putting that white board strategy together. Buy tix here

Upcoming events 

  • Sept 27th Lunch and Learn. Dressing for Entrepreneurs with Personal Stylist Monisha Kapur, 344pm. Buy tix here:
  • October 11th Fireside Chat with Tina Ramchandani, Tina Ramchandani Creative. MEMBERS ONLY Buy Tix here
  • October 18th Fireside Chat with Umran Beba, Chief Diversity Officer, Pepsi. Buy tix here:

You know what the motto at LadyDrinks is for 2018? “INDIAN GIRLS DO!”
This is in response to all the things we aren’t supposed to do, weren’t meant to do, weren’t allowed to do.
In a continued effort to put South Asian powerful role models in front of the LadyDrinks demographic, the New Jersey October edition of LadyDrinks introduces you to Tina Ramchandani, Principal in the interior design firm that bears her name, and someone that DOES! Please note this event is only open to LadyDrinks members

She has a long history of working and studying under Vicente Wolf, one of the premiere interior designers in the NY Metro area. Then—she hung out her own shingle. Today, Tina Ramchandani Creative, is known for its minimalist style.
In fact, it was just that style that earned Tina a dedicated article in House Beautiful. She will be our featured speaker Wednesday October 10th, and share how she carved her niche in the high end interior design market. Buy tix here
Join us for a LadyDrinks members only wonderful wine and cheese reception, generously made possible by Sarah Walko of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and Melanie Curtis, coach, speaker, author, and professional skydiver.

I am sure you heard that Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi, is stepping down.  Her departure leaves only 24 womenleading Fortune 500 companies. This will be a topic of discussion October 18th during our Fireside Chat with Umran Beba, Chief Diversity Officer at PepsiCo.

When she was at Pepsico Turkey, the number of women in management was a whopping 53%. At Pepsico Middle East Africa, female representation in the workforce jumped from 5% to 20% during her tenure.
Her track record of success meant only one thing: New York.
Thursday, October 18th, I’ll be in conversation with Umran. Buy tix here

The talk will focus on Umran’s own climb to the C-suite. But most importantly, the best practices she put in place to get female representation up at a Fortune 500 company, in a region where only 5% of the workforce was female to begin with. Topics will include the importance of work life balance. Communication. Culture. Professional development–and most importantly getting the nod from management when moving the gender diversity needle forward.
Join us for this important and compelling conversation 6-8pm at WeWork 300 Park, 12thFloor.  Light refreshments and wine to be provided.

This event made generously possible by Ruchi Modi Harlalka (Pepsi), Deepti Sharma (Food to Eat), Annette Diaz (UPS), Shivani Chopra (WeWork), Devashree Parikh (IMed Consulting), and Rhonda Graber (Skylands Insurance Group)

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