Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a visit to the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) Summit last week, congratulating eBay Inc. on its innovative approach toward empowering women leaders.
“I love this idea,” said Clinton of WIN. “Building relationships, growing careers, breaking down biases, opening doors for collaboration and development - it’s no wonder that WIN has helped eBay more than double the number of women in leadership roles.”
Clinton, who was interviewed by Beth Axelrod, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, shared her own life lessons as a leader.
“It was really inspiring, and great that we’re doing this to promote women in leadership,” said Sheri Hunt, Director, Accounting at PayPal. “I enjoyed seeing Hillary Clinton speak and hearing her personal stories.”
Five hundred attendees, including four hundred of eBay Inc.’s women executives and about 100 male executives, gathered in downtown San Jose from March 11-12, 2015 for the fourth WIN Summit. This year’s summit focused on the theme of “Inspiring Change” in the new go-forward companies, progress made on gender diverse slates in hiring at eBay Inc., and passing the torch to CEO designees Devin Wenig and Dan Schulman.
“Diversity and inclusion are now on the map at eBay and PayPal,” said eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe. “It's widely accepted as something that is important, not just because it's the right thing to do, but also because it's going to contribute to our business success.”
“This summit has particular meaning to me,” said Axelrod, who co-founded the program in 2011 with Donahoe. “We have made very real progress. We are in a better place for women to build lasting careers than we were back then.”
Throughout the conference, participants learned how to identify unconscious and hidden bias towards women and men and develop clear systems and processes to ensure more equal treatment for leaders, regardless of gender.
“When you bring people together around a positive agenda, great things can happen,” said Wenig, President and CEO-designee of eBay, commenting on the energy and results from the summit.
Schulman, PayPal President and CEO-designee, also reiterated PayPal’s commitment on diversity and inclusion: “We need to create a culture where respect is the foundation.”
Other activities during the conference included networking lunches, a panel discussion with executive women, and a viewing of “Out and Around” - a documentary that captured one couple’s journey to find the leaders of the global gay rights movement. Jennifer Chang, Head of Buyer Experience and Cross Border Trade & Geographic Expansion at eBay, created, developed, and starred in the film.
At the end of the summit, Donahoe honored and congratulated Axelrod for her leadership in creating and developing WIN and her unrelenting commitment to building a workplace based on respect and enabling talented women to succeed.
“I think that if I've learned anything, it's the value of resilience and commitment,” said Donahoe, when asked about his own lessons from WIN and eBay Inc. “That's when leadership happens.”