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American Express Celebrates International Women's DayEmployee events hosted around the globe, including worldwide webcast focused on professional development
NEW YORK,  March 8, 2010 -- 

American Express is celebrating International Women's Day (IWD) with a series of events in more than 15 locations, including a worldwide webcast focused on professional development for female employees titled, "Women's Career Pathways and Progression: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success." International Women's Day provides multiple forums for American Express to focus on its commitment to recruiting, retaining and advancing women in the workforce as part of the company's ongoing priority of promoting inclusiveness and diversity. 

Kerrie Peraino, chief diversity officer of American Express, said, "We strive for an environment of strong employee engagement and a culture that inspires all employees, regardless of race, gender or background, to succeed. International Women's Day provides a global platform for us to amplify our efforts to develop female talent and highlight the importance of identifying career paths for women at all levels within the company."

The signature event for this year's celebrations will be 90-minute worldwide webcast that will bring together more than 1,500 employees from around the world. The featured speaker for the webcast is Dr. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, President of the Center for Work-Life Policy, who will unveil new research about the critical role executive sponsorship can have on career progression for women. This will be followed by a panel discussion with senior executives from American Express to share their insights about how to set goals and succeed in the workplace.

In addition to the worldwide webcast, American Express will host development seminars, community projects and communications campaigns in multiple markets to celebrate International Women's Day. The company has 20 Women's Interest Networks located around the world who are spearheading these activities, which include:

  • In Japan, Mina Ishiwatari, executive vice-president of Hoppy Beverage, will be the featured speaker at an employee event
  • In the United Kingdom, renowned author Steven D'Souza, the author of "Brilliant Networking," will host an employee session on effective networking
  • In Fort Lauderdale, in the United States, Susan Kendrick, professional coach and regional director of Women Unlimited Inc., a national organization dedicated to leadership excellence for high potential women, will talk about overcoming career challenges
  • Senior executives will host interactive panels and seminars in American Express offices around the world, including India, Singapore, Spain and the United States.

In addition to employee events, American Express OPEN is hosting its own International Women's Day content on OPEN Forum and has created three guides on the "New Rules" of doing business. With so much of the business landscape – from financing to marketing – changing dramatically, these resources are designed to help women business owners grow their businesses. Learn more at

American Express takes great pride in fostering a working environment that encourages different backgrounds, talents and perspectives to thrive, which in turn, delivers enhanced products and services for our customers. American Express employs nearly 60,000 people around the world -- more than 60% of its workforce are women and more than 1 in 3 executive leadership roles are occupied by women. The company has policies that support flexible working arrangements and leave for careers, and provides support including a 24/7 childcare helpline and Employee Assistance Program available 365 days a year. The company provides enhanced pay for maternity and adoption leave and more than 85% of employees return-to-work after maternity or adoption leave.

American Express has been recognized by dozens of organizations for its efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion, including:

  • Black Enterprise "75 of the Most Powerful Women in Business"
  • Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For"
  • NAFE "Top 50 Companies for Executive Women"
  • PINK Magazine "Top 15 Companies for Women"
  • Working Mother "Best Companies for Multicultural Women"
  • Working Mother "100 Best Companies"
  • Working Mother "Hall of Fame"

International Women's Day, first established on March 19, 1911, is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

American Express Company is a leading global payments and travel company founded in 1850. For more information, visit



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