While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended everyone’s lives, women have been hit particularly hard. “Impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex,” stated a recent report from the United Nations Secretary-General.

Women are more likely to feel compounded economic impacts, adverse health effects due to the reallocation of health care resources and priorities, and an increase in unpaid “care work,” such as taking care of children or elderly parents, the report concluded.

That’s one of the reasons why this year’s Fordham Women’s Summit: Philanthropy | Empowerment | Change will feature panels and speakers addressing financial literacy, COVID-19 work trends, personal resilience, and modern home economics.

“The Fordham Women’s Summit is a unique opportunity for Fordham alumnae, faculty, and friends to discuss and celebrate their achievements as leaders, activists, and philanthropists, as well as attend professional and personal development sessions,” the event description reads.

The fourth annual summit, which will be held virtually for the first time, will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 21, beginning at 10 a.m. EDT.

Mary Ann Bartels. Photo by John O’Boyle.

Mary Ann Bartels, GABELLI ’85, GSAS ’92, who most recently served as the head of the Research Investment Committee and exchange-traded fund strategy at Bank of America Securities, will be the keynote speaker.

Bartels said through her talk she will aim to “encourage and empower women to achieve financial freedom,” and to help them understand their impact and force in the economy, and how they can learn to use that power to support causes and philanthropic interests that matter most to them.

A series of four panel discussions will offer attendees concrete strategies to deal with the current economic and social stresses:

Building Personal Resilience: Yes I Can! Yes We Can!
Career Outlook: COVID-19 Trends & Perspectives
Perfection Intervention: Finding Strength in Letting Go
“Who’s the Boss?”: Perspectives on Modern Home Economics

The summit will also honor three Pioneering Women in Philanthropy at Fordham—Regina Pitaro, FCRH ’76, managing director of GAMCO Investors Inc.; the late Mary Heyser, R.S.H.M., MC ’62, former Marymount College alumnae chaplain; and the late Monica Kevin, O.S.U., UGE ’48, GSAS ’61, ’64, a longtime biology professor who was the first woman to lead the Faculty Senate at Fordham.

This year’s virtual summit is free to attend, but summit organizers encourage attendees to consider supporting Fordham students by joining a Women’s Giving Circle or making a one-time gift to another area of the University. For more information and to register, visit fordham.edu/womenssummit.