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Festival in San Francisco celebrates women and girls globally

People gathered together at the first ever World Wide Women Girls’ Festival in San Francisco recently to celebrate and empower global femininity.

On Oct. 15, the World Wide Women Girls’ Festival event, hosted by The World Wide Women company, is the first global resource platform where women around the world have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with each other to solve issues that impact the female global community. The event included over 100 activities, 50 exhibitors, 17 workshops, several keynote speakers, performances and an outdoor sports and activities arena.

Founder and CEO of Women World Wide, Maureen Broderick, welcomed guests at the start of the festival. Broderick launched the website after three years of organizing it and wants the platform to be a place for women from all around the world to share, collaborate and find resources. She sees the festival as the website “come to life” and a way for women to find organizations and resources that they might not have known existed. With close to five thousand people attending, Broderick hopes that the event helps girls and women professionally.

“I hope every individual walks away with a resource. There is a career mentoring session going on and I hope they walk away with inspiration to go for the career that they want,” Broderick said.

The festival provided a space where employees from the San Francisco police department and fire department were able to advise girls that were interested in pursuing public service careers. San Francisco Fire Department Chief Anita Paratley offered career advice to girls and wants to encourage young women to take leadership roles.

“Reaching across differences is difficult. I want to see more opportunities for girls to be in charge,” Paratley said.

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Berkay
Photo Courtesy: Melissa Berkay

Chelsea Eleholm, a 2013 Mills College graduate, represented Mills at an exhibition table. She enjoyed talking to middle school and high school girls about preparing for college. She also gave numerous parents and students informational pamphlets and packets about Mills.

“This event is wonderful; it lets girls know that they have options in a modern day world,” Eleholm said. “We have a lot of young girls already thinking about college.” 

New services will be added to World Wide Women as the company grows; there are plans for organizing forums, creating a job and resume board, an e-commerce platform, and for scheduling festivals in major cities around the world.  There is also a goal to establish the World Wide Women Action Network to drive legislative changes that will improve the civil and human rights of women in the United States and internationally.