“Women’s Leadership in the 21st Century” is the theme of the next Barcelona Challengers Conference, which takes place on 15 June at Mazda Space. The second event in a series of three will feature Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman as the keynote speakers. Among other things, they will talk to the audience of international students and European media about the challenges female leaders like themselves face. The two activists jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for their struggle for women’s rights and against violence and repression.

Other prominent women will then join these laureates for what is anticipated to be a thought-provoking panel discussion. Although coming from diverse backgrounds, they have one characteristic in common, namely a staunchly convention-challenging spirit. Following the regular conference programme, those in attendance will have the chance to meet top women managers from Mazda in an informal networking lounge atmosphere, learn about their career paths and discuss topics like work-life balance.

“These women have overcome obstacles and proven themselves as effective and indeed exceptional leaders,” says Mazda Motor Europe President & CEO Jeff Guyton. “We’re pleased to give the future leaders at the conference a chance to benefit from these women’s experiences and perhaps as a result feel better prepared to embark on careers of their own.”

Looking ahead, the focus of the third Barcelona Challengers Conference in September will be the future of work. Organised by Mazda and the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, the conferences were conceived to celebrate the laureates’ challenger spirit and encourage young people to work towards a better future. Mazda Space, the carmaker’s European cultural and event hub, is hosting all three Barcelona Challengers Conferences.