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INSEAD, Cartier and McKinsey & Company announce the laureates of the 2019 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

INSEAD, Cartier and McKinsey & Company announce the laureates of the 2019 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

INSEAD, Cartier and McKinsey & Company announce the laureates of the 2019 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

INSEAD, the business school for the world, together with Cartier and McKinsey & Company are pleased to announce the seven laureates of the 2019 edition of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. The laureates were revealed at the annual Awards ceremony held at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, the heart of the global start-up and innovation scene.

With the theme, “The Ripple Effect”, the 2019 ceremony paid tribute to entrepreneurs who serve as catalysts for change and growth within their communities and the broader society.

Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier International spoke about Cartier’s long-standing commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs: “With the Cartier Women’s Initiative, Cartier is reiterating its commitment to women entrepreneurs as well as the ambition to empower them to speak up and reveal their ideas. Their curiosity, audacity and openness mirror the values that are deeply anchored in the culture of our Maison. By showing us at which point the world is diverse, this community of conquerors inspires us to go even further in supporting them to make their dreams true and make our world better”.

We are proud to partner with Cartier on the Cartier Women’s Initiative for more than 10 years. This partnership is a perfect fit for INSEAD, which was founded on values such as diversity and entrepreneurial spirit. As leader and entrepreneurs who are driving change with creative business models, the laureates and finalists of the Cartier Women’s Initiative are contributing to solutions that address some of the world’s greatest challenges. Today, we congratulate and celebrate them all”, said Ilian Mihov, INSEAD Dean and Professor of Economics

The 2019 ceremony programme started with the “Meet & Learn” round table sessions led by influent speakers (among them Mélanie Laurent). The discussions focused on key topics such as empowering women and the ecological transition with regards to economic transformation, while allowing participants to get to know each other better, to exchange ideas and to learn actionable tips and insights.

Just like last year in Singapore, the ceremony hosted a specially curated TED session featuring a series of live talks by microbiologist Karen Lloyd, urban landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, rural social worker and founder of Bodhi Tree Foundation Ashweetha Shetty and  artistic duo Climbing PoeTree. Facilitated by Helen Walters, Head of curation at TED, the discussion focused on how to make concrete contributions towards effective and affordable solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.

The TED session was followed by the awards ceremony of the Cartier Women’s Initiative hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and content editor of the multi-media brand Clique. Before announcing the 2019 laureates, two inspiring panel conversations took place gathering, first, Lupita Nyong’o, Kenyan-Mexican actress, Maria Schriver, American journalist and writer and Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier International who keenly exchanged about women’s empowerment and gender equality. The second conversation took place between Oulimata Sarr (Acting Regional Director of UN Women for West and Central Africa), Kelsey Robinson (Partner at McKinsey & Company in San Francisco) and Ilian Mihov (Dean of INSEAD) and looked at on-the-ground realities linked to women’s entrepreneurship and women in the workforce at large.

Cyrille Vigneron then announced the seven laureates selected by an independent international jury amongst nearly 2900 applicants from over 142 countries (including Japan and Switzerland for the first time) and 7 regions given that Asia-Pacific has now been divided into two regions, namely Far East Asia and Southeast Asia & Oceania.


Ilian Mihov, INSEAD Dean (left); Cyrille Vigneron, Cartier CEO (centre); and Kelsey Robinson, McKinsey (far right) with the seven laureates. 


    SAY Global
    An online language service that trains retired seniors in Korea and connects them to Korean language learners worldwide.
    An investment platform providing student loans to underserved youth using a proprietary credit rating algorithm.

    An affordable space-saving and connected gait rehabilitation device that secures patients at the pelvis and monitors their progress.
    A blood test that detects the presence of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in cancer patients, enabling physicians to better monitor progress of the disease.
    Maharat Learning Center
    A learning centre offering behavioural therapy and educational support to children and young adults with special needs.
    Smart socks for diabetics made of Neurofabric, a proprietary technology fitted with microsensors to monitor foot temperature and guard against foot ulcers.
    Grassland Cameroon Ltd.
    Services to enhance African food supply chains through affordable asset-based financing to smallholder farmers.  

The 7 laureates will take home US$100,000 in prize money; the other 14 finalists receiving US$30,000. Finally, the 14 finalists will all benefit from media visibility, international networking opportunities, as well as a place on an executive INSEAD programme.

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity.

With locations in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and now North America (San Francisco), INSEAD's business education and research spans four regions. Our 162 renowned Faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our Master in Management,  MBAGlobal Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 10,000 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year.

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World.

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Gwenaelle Hennequin
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