AUP Student Shines Light on Women’s Leadership at 2023 Women’s Forum in Paris


Morgan Smith is a current AUP student in MSc Strategic Brand Management and an alum of the undergraduate International Business Administration program. 

She was recently invited to attend the Women’s Forum Global Meeting held in Paris which ran from November 28 to November 29, 2023. The forum was a global conference dedicated to connecting and empowering women's voices for innovative economic and policy initiatives driving social change. After learning about the opportunity from AUP’s student development department, Smith applied and was selected as a youth ambassador for participants aged 16 to 25. She was then welcomed as part of the Women’s Forum, Youth Voices Initiative, launched in November 2021.

Passionate about bringing visibility to issues affecting women, while studying as an undergraduate, she became the President of ReSisters, the intersectional feminist club at AUP and currently serves as the President of the Graduate Student Government. As part of the Youth Delegation, Smith had the opportunity to meet international speakers at special sessions, network with leaders from global companies and benefit from the guidance of Women’s Forum community members.

For the AUP leader, the forum’s plenary session about creating safe spaces for female health, moderated by CNN journalist Athena Jones and featuring Chelsea Clinton, was particularly impactful. “The conversation showed how important it is to break down the barrier in women’s access to healthcare to make sure women’s health isn’t a barrier to job progression, promotion and leadership,” said Smith. 

Through attending the talk and several other sessions at the forum, Smith learned more about the importance of providing care to women worldwide who face barriers to accessing healthcare rights, from contraceptives to breastfeeding in the workplace and period poverty.  “In male-dominated fields, women are made to feel like they’re a burden but hearing powerful women speak on how they’ve overcome harmful narratives in their professional lives was empowering.”

The conference left Smith with lasting connections to fellow female youth ambassadors and with an eagerness to deepen those relationships. “In the New Year, we’re planning to get coffee and touch base to see how we can build our friendships and partnerships,” she said.

Following her experiences at the Women’s Forum, which provided her with many examples of women who have created their own successful career paths, she felt reassured about the wide range of opportunities available to her. 

In the future, surrounded by like-minded women, Smith wants to continue using  her voice to lead, and to highlight women’s leadership. 

A key takeaway from the conference was the confidence to keep exploring her interests and to seek guidance along the way. “I’ve always been interested in the business sector and executive leadership, specifically within marketing and branding. I’ve thought about entrepreneurship and potentially starting my own business in the future,” she mentions. “Being around women who made it possible to have an amazing personal fulfilling life and also be the leader of your own company have shown  me that I can be in leadership roles wherever I am.”