NEW YORK – May 13, 2019 – On Friday, at the inaugural ASCEND Summit, Ellen Kullman, a co-chair of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition and the former Chair and CEO of DuPont, participated in a conversation on the status of women in the workplace with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. The day-long forum focused on the need to get more women into leadership positions in the corporate world and the steps that companies can take to close the gender gap.

During the conversation, Ellen shared what drove her to join current and former women business leaders to create the Paradigm for Parity® coalition: “I was personally motivated to get involved when my adult daughter came to me with concerns about her job, her work, and how she was being included – or not included. And I realized she was facing the same issues I faced in the 1980s.”

Mika and Ellen also touched on how the talent war requires companies to expand their hiring pools. As Ellen states, “There’s a much larger pool of capability out there and if they want to draw the best and the brightest, they’re going to have to broaden the pool where they are acquiring talent.”

Ellen explains that the Paradigm for Parity® coalition is “not only a CEO commitment, it’s an integrated action plan, and it’s also creating a community where companies can learn from each other and can then move it forward.” She went on to talk about one of the critical key components of the coalition’s 5-Point Action Plan: giving women sponsors. She explains, “I had the benefit of having great mentors and sponsors who helped me understand my power. That’s why mentorship and sponsorship are so important. And women more than men really benefit from having an advocate in the room.”

The day-long summit featured leaders in business, government, academia and media on the need to expand the role of women in the c-suite and on boards, including representatives from Paradigm for Parity® member companies Bank of America, Thrive Global, SAP and Accenture.

Mika Brzezinski interviewing Ellen Kullman at the ASCEND Summit.

Mika Brzezinski interviewing Ellen Kullman at the ASCEND Summit.