Public talks

Through 2016 and 2017, UBS is presenting 'Women for Women', a talks program addressing topics of global and regional relevance to women's rights. The series was launched in March 2016 in San Francisco with a program hosted by Annie Leibovitz and Gloria Steinem.

See the talks on

Previous Talks

San Francisco, March 2016

The series was launched in March in San Francisco by Annie Leibovitz and Gloria Steinem. In an intimate dialogue led by Gloria, the audience and Pediatric AIDS health-care worker Denise Manong, shared their personal accounts of gender equality, female empowerment and the major challenges women face today, in the US and globally.

"How come we’re more valuable for our wombs than our brains? We’re still more valuable in youth than in age, theoretically. At least in our culture." Gloria Steinem

"I came from a place where there wasn’t a lot of powerful women and when I became a CEO in Silicon Valley, and started pitching, it was the first time I actually met women who had full control of their lives. I feel welcome and a part of a community of women who’re really killing it". Audience member

"Talking to women, I realised that HIV wasn't going to control me as a person. I was the one who was going to control the virus." Denise Manong

Singapore, May 2016

Women whose work supports female entrepreneurship, economic independence and gender equality in business spoke at the event which explored the opportunities and challenges for young women in Singapore today. Speakers included: Rosa Daniel, Deputy Secretary (Culture) of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & CEO of the National Heritage Board, Junie Foo, Chair of BoardAgender Singapore and Trina Liang-Lin, President of the Singapore Committee for UN WOMEN.

"Failure humbles me. It’s a great experience. If I had to do it again, I would still embrace the closure of all 21 of my stores and bankruptcy. My advice to parents is we are raising adults, not kids, and we are raising them to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurship embodies risk-taking, integrity, sharing, taking care of yourself and others, and giving back to society." Nanz Chong, Founder of Nanz

Hong Kong, June 2016

Examining the portrayal of women in media and the role it plays in shaping the lives of young women in Hong Kong, Su-Mei Thompson, CEO of The Women's Foundation said "we can't be what we can't see. There is a growing disconnect between where media are and what consumers and society are really concerned about. We have reached a tipping point." She was joined at the event by Charlotte Judet, Vice President of Communications, Kering, who suggested that the attitudes of large brands are slowly changing. "We have to find a balance between responsibility and creation". With the backdrop of portraits of Kathleen Kennedy and Shonda Rhimes by Annie Leibovitz, Charlotte shared that only 9% of directors in the US are women.

Mexico City, July 2016

Gloria Steinem discusses the pressing issue of violence and abuse, and the impact it is having on the lives of women across the world: "violence against females is the biggest indicator of violence in the street and whether a country will be willing to use military violence against another country. ... We are trying to attach it to foreign policy and make it a consideration of our governments in assessing foreign policy." On the situation in Mexico, feminist human rights lawyer Andrea Medina Rosas, who courageously works towards defending murdered and disappeared women, from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico City added: "We are provided with no safety. We are not given the benefits we need to live a full life. And we, as women, in addition to denouncing this violence, are making a great effort to build a community."

Milan, August 2016

Amy Richards, feminist organizer, author and executive producer of the WOMAN series on VICELAND was joined by women in business and the community, exploring topical issues for Italy such as women in leadership, societal forces encouraging or inhibiting progress in women's empowerment, and the pressing issue of prejudice and violence. "The problem is that while we’ve empowered women to take on what have traditionally been male roles, we haven’t empowered men to take on what have traditionally been female roles."

Frankfurt, September 2016

Exploring the challenges women globally and in Germany can face in or outside the labor market, whether as a new migrant, an aspiring entrepreneur or women advancing their careers, Vildan-Nalan Karaduman-Bastiyalı, Educational consultant to adults, children and young people for migration and refugee matters said: "we need to find an anti-ethnocentric, tolerant way forward, supporting women"

New York, November 2016

Gloria Steinem led a discussion on how the presidential election had put women's issues center stage. "I have part of the answer, and every one of us has part of the answer…All of us are prisoners in some ways of culture, of customs, of limitations...Domestic violence – violence in the family is, like, the paradigm of all violence, and the source of all violence." The event was held in the unique exhibition venue, a former women’s prison in which there was the highest rate of sexual abuse of prisoners by guards in the United States, soon to be known as the ‘Women’s Building’, a future hub for women’s groups and services.

Zurich, January 2017

Annie Leibovitz and a panel of inspiring women in Zurich discussed perspectives on the current state of women's education and its impact on human rights and equality. "How do you break a mindset?" asked filmmaker and human rights campaigner Leslee Udwin, "you can't do that with numeracy and literacy… so there is a third dimension to education, a missing subject and that missing subject is social and emotional learning."

Gloria Steinem, New York City, 2015 © Annie Leibovitz from WOMEN: New Portraits

"Why do a project on women? There have not been representations of women that show them as whole human beings. So this is remedial. Each of these photographs, each one is a novel."

Gloria Steinem

Join the conversation

#WOMENxUBS by @AnnieLeibovitz

Contact us

If you have a question or require further information, please get in touch.