Home > Events > Unity in Diversity: Empowering Women Everywhere

  • About the event

    In 2023, 39.1% of all U.S. businesses were owned by female entrepreneurs. The number of women elected in congressional leadership has increased by 15% in the past 20 years. Today, women make up 28% of the 118th U.S. congress. That said, of the 193 member states of the United Nations, only 13 of those leaders are women. There is still much work to be done.

    Join us in observation of International Women’s Day on March 12. The Council will host a panel discussion featuring Dallas’ very own Nina Vaca, chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, and Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska, career diplomat from the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, to discuss women who lead in such a way that encourages other women leaders. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Rama Yelkur, dean of Texas Woman’s University’s College of Business.

    ABOUT THE PANELISTS

    Katarzyna Rybka-IwańskaKatarzyna Rybka-Iwańska is a career diplomat, currently serving as Head of Public and Cultural Diplomacy at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C. Previously, fulfilled several roles in the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv, including the role of the head of mission. Her career includes positions in Poland’s Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With expertise in strategic planning and a focus on public and cultural diplomacy, Katarzyna is passionate about promoting women’s narratives. She has led educational programs, delivered lectures, and managed a Hebrew-language YouTube channel dedicated to women’s contributions to Poland’s history. Katarzyna speaks Polish, English, Russian, and Hebrew.

    Nina Vaca Headshot

    Nina Vaca embodies the American Dream as a pioneering Latina entrepreneur, philanthropist, and global leader. She founded Pinnacle Group in 1996 and has since served as its Chairman and CEO. Under her leadership, Pinnacle has experienced rapid growth, evolving from a one-woman IT staffing firm into a leading provider of workforce solutions across various industries such as telecommunications, financial services, transportation, and technology. Pinnacle expanded nationwide in 2007, entered the Canadian market in 2009, and is now expanding internationally to Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, and beyond. The company has been recognized in the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies 13 times and was named the fastest-growing women-owned/led company by the Women Presidents’ Organization in 2015 and 2018.

    ABOUT THE MODERATOR:

    Dr. Rama Yelkur Headshot

    Dr. Rama Yelkur, TWU’s College of Business dean, leads with a wealth of academic and consulting experience. She has held leadership roles at St. John Fisher University and Saginaw Valley State University, fostering global competence among business students and establishing partnerships worldwide. With extensive expertise in marketing, she has published in top journals and conducted international corporate training. Dr. Yelkur also boasts three decades of consulting in sports marketing and advertising, notably with Kimberly Clark and the NFL. Actively engaged in various boards and professional organizations, she is committed to leadership development and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Mississippi State University, an MBA from PSG College of Technology, and a BSc. in Mathematics from Ethiraj College for Women, India.

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