Mira Nair to address professional women's meet

New York, March 4 (IANS) Filmmaker Mira Nair, television show "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi and actress Madhur Jaffrey will join hundreds of South Asian women professionals from all over the world here March 15 to discuss opportunities and challenges they face in their lives and careers.

The event called "Congress 2008" has been organised by South Asian Women's Leadership Forum (SAWLF) during the Women's History Month. The annual Congress will provide women entrepreneurs and professionals a forum to interact with and learn from successful business and community leaders.

The opening session will examine the precedent for women in leadership roles by comparing and contrasting the US and South Asia.

Speakers at the Congress will also address the rapid global transition that has already begun, as women work for multinational organisations, manage cross-border transactions, teams and impact global policy.

The panellists include Shahla Aly, general manager (corporate and business groups solutions delivery) Microsoft, and Punita Kumar-Sinha, senior managing director, The Blackstone Group. The closing presentation will be by Mira Nair.

Created in 2003, SAWLF is based in New York with chapters in Chicago and Washington DC.

It has 4,000 members drawn from US, UK and South Asia, its founder Simi Ahuja was quoted as saying in a press release.

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