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Kraft Heinz, Mastercard, UPS commit to 5th annual Rise & Lead Summit and inaugural Rise & Lead Award for Balanced Leadership

Kraft Heinz, Mastercard, UPS commit to 5th annual Rise & Lead Summit and inaugural Rise & Lead Award for Balanced Leadership

The Hague, 29 August, 2022 – Demonstrating their commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Kraft Heinz Company, Mastercard Europe, and UPS, among others, have confirmed to sponsor the fifth annual Rise & Lead Summit and the inaugural Rise & Lead Award For Balanced Leadership. The Summit will take place on September 15th and 16th, 2022, at the NH Hotel in The Hague.


The Rise & Lead Summit, the annual highlight for the Rise & Lead Women community, and features public sector leaders, corporate executives, industry professionals, entrepreneurs and next-gen leaders who share best practices and insights into driving change for equitable and inclusive workplaces.

The theme of this year’s summit is “Leading Change For A Sustainable Future”. The conversations will focus on how advancing gender balance in the workplace and marketplace can lead to economic, social and ecological sustainability.

This year’s Summit will be the occasion for announcing the winner of the inaugural Rise & Lead Award for Balanced Leadership. The award recognises initiatives that promote gender-balanced leadership and inclusion in the workplace or marketplace. The five Finalists, chosen from nominations submitted across Europe, will be celebrated and the Winner will be announced in a ceremony on September 15.

Kraft Heinz’s President of Continental Europe Willem Brandt said, “We are joining Rise & Lead Women to drive gender balance in all aspects of leadership because here at Kraft Heinz, we demand diversity, and we mean it. Equally, we are committed to making our company a true meritocracy. My job as a leader is to ensure we live up to these values to the fullest and bring them to life every day. And for this reason, we’re excited to join the Rise & Lead Women organisation to create awareness and share best practices for going beyond window dressing and achieving real inclusion and equity in workplaces.”

Cristina Falcone, Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS Europe, said, “We know that enabling diverse talent and empowering more women-owned businesses is key to unlocking more prosperity for the communities where we work and live. We are proud to be a founding sponsor of Rise & Lead Women, whose values and incredible global community align with our mission to help break the glass ceiling and encourage an environment where women can thrive and create a lasting positive impact.”

On behalf of Mastercard Europe, Jeannette Liendo, Senior Vice President for Integrated Marketing and Communications, said, “An equal world is an inclusive world, and Mastercard remains passionately committed to supporting future thought leaders. Over the past decade, we have delivered on this commitment to inclusion through various initiatives, and are proud to sponsor the innovation network Rise & Lead has built.”

Jason Bricker,’s Interim Director of Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging and Wellbeing, added, “At, we believe that life is made of experiences. Experiences we share with each other. Experiences both big and small. But sometimes, life gets in the way and stops you from getting out there in the first place. That’s why we’re on a mission: To make it easier for everyone to experience the world. No matter who you are or where you want to go, we’ll help you make it happen.”

Other sponsors include Amazon, Insight and Knauf Insulation.

According to Ebere Akadiri, Founder and President of Rise & Lead Women, “We believe that leadership is most effective when it is truly representative of the organisation or community it serves. Only then can the collective benefit from the best ideas drawn from different perspectives and lived realities. We are excited to partner with progressive organisations in the forefront of driving gender-balanced leadership.”

Among several things that Rise & Lead Summit sponsors have in common, they:

  • Share a strong commitment to creating an inclusive organisation. 
  • Actively work to advance women in leadership.
  • Take action to create a more equitable and sustainable world where everyone flourishes.



About Rise & Lead Women:

Rise & Lead Women is an international non-profit organisation in the Netherlands that champions women’s leadership and financial inclusion in workplaces and the marketplace. It was founded in 2018 by female entrepreneur, Ebere Akadiri. Through its events, webinars, and mentoring sessions, Rise & Lead Women connects aspiring leaders with experienced business executives to explore topics that are essential to professional growth and development.


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About Rise and Lead Women

Rise and Lead Women is an education, connection and social impact platform that is focused on leadership advancement and financial inclusion of women in the workplace and marketplace. Our programs include entrepreneurial leadership development, personal leadership development, mentoring circles and an annual conference.

About Ebere Akadiri

Ebere Akadiri Is a Social Entrepreneur who lives in The Hague. Her passion for helping others to achieve their goals drove her to found Rise and Lead Women along with her co-founder, Poonam Barua. Their mission is to inspire women to take the lead and unleash their leadership potential, and to help organisations and policymakers to drive the necessary changes and actions needed to close the gender leadership and wealth gap.