Dayle Haddon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

YOUNG AT HEART: Model-turned-activist Dayle Haddon took her empowerment message to Washington, D.C., with the help of Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau.

In honor of the “International Day of the Girl,” Haddon joined the leader, his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, and others who have “generous spirits, had a fierce intellect and deep passion for women’s issues” in a roundtable discussion. Other heavy hitting attendees included Jean Case of the Case Foundation, Maria Eitel of the Girl Effect and the Nike Foundation, Jennifer Frazier of Twitter, Carol Hamilton of L’Oréal Luxe USA, Amy Hepburn of WomenOne, Arianna Huffington, Gayle Smith of the Bono-supported One campaign, Kristin Lemkau of J.P. Morgan Chase, Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen, Carole Wamuyu Wainaina of Africa 50, Pam Scott of the Curious Co., Regina Scully of Artemis Rising and Scott Rutherford of McKinsey & Co. A personal favorite of Haddon’s was Malika Saada Saar, senior counsel on civil and human rights for Google, who spoke of “all the new ways that Google is developing empathetic communication from a woman’s view.”

As WomenOne’s founder, Haddon connected with Trudeau through his chief of staff about linking her work with the Canadian efforts about a year ago. “It was very important to me to not work in a silo. I am very big believer in helping especially other women with what they’re doing to support positive women’s issues,” she said. “What we have to do is move the bar for women’s issues and not wait for government to do everything. We have to as a private sector come together. It’s all about partnering. I don’t believe in doing things on your own. Whatever I have I’m willing to offer it up — whatever resources. Let’s have these great women, but there are men, too, who come together and say, ‘Let’s do this because it’s the right thing to do.’ Why sit back in your armchair and complain about the way things are going? Let’s peacefully and with a lot of strength join together and say, ‘Let’s do what’s right by women and girls globally.’”

The 65 million girls who are not in school need to get back to it, Haddon said. “We are going to be the beneficiaries of their opportunities. We are going to live in the world that they are going to help change. It’s extremely important from the fashion and beauty business. I’m looking for anyone who has an interest to join us in this roundtable and contribute to this G7 when those leaders get together.”

With three weeks’ notice, several attendees rejiggered their schedules, flying to Washington from Seattle, San Francisco, as well as Columbia, Casablanca and other countries. Trudeau has created a gender identity advisory council that will address representatives during the 44th G7 summit when it is held in Montebello outside of Ontario in June. In the meantime, Haddon aims to keep the conversation going. “At this time, he is a particular shining light, and very open. I think 50 percent of his cabinet are women. We came up with the idea of bringing together great thought leaders who are successful in their fields with the prime minister attending,” Haddon said.

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