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Episode #11 with Girls20 CEO Heather Barnabe She Breaks The Mold Podcast at

Episode #11: Heather Barnabe and Vandinika Shukla of Girls20

Episode #11: Heather Barnabe and Vandinika Shukla on G(irls)20’s Global Impact

This is the kind of episode I had in mind when I started this podcast. My guests are ambitious for themselves and, quite literally, every other woman in the world, and spend their days actively working to empower women in all walks of life.

I was fortunate to host TWO guests for this episode – the CEO of G(irls)20, Heather Barnabe, and Vandinika Shukla, a 2014 delegate to the G(irls)20 Summit from India who now works at UN Women’s Heardquarters in New York City, and was recently named Vice-Chair of the G(irls)20 Global Steering Committee. This is an impressive duo – you’re going to want to settle in for this entire episode and be inspired by the wonderful work they’re doing to raise the impact of young women’s voices globally.

G(irls)20 was launched in 2009 at the Clinton Global Initiative and founded by Farah Mohamed, with the goal of placing young women at the centre of decision-making processes. Through their Global Summit and Girls on Boards programs, they make strategic investments in young women through education and training, building networks, and opportunities to become leaders at home and abroad. While advocating for change at the global level through the annual G(irls)20 Global Summit, they are changing the status quo for women at decision-making tables in communities across Canada by placing Girls on Boards.

Every year, G(irls)20 sends one young woman from each G20 nation to attend the G(irls)20 Summit, held prior to the full G20 Summit. Delegates who attend produce a communique which is sent to the G20 leaders ahead of their own summit with policy ideas and suggestions for inclusion in their final global commitments.

The application deadline for this year’s Summit in Argentina has just passed, but watch for it next March if you know a young women who would be interested. In the meantime, applications for the Girls On Boards program, in Canada only, are open until May 16, 2018. This program gives young Canadian women a chance to gain valuable and real board experience acting as full participating members on community boards across Canada. This is important work!


What you’ll learn from Heather & Vandinika:

  • The three things G(irls)20 believes young women need to achieve their fullest potential
  • What confidence really means and the importance of role models in young women’s lives in building it
  • The impact and importance of giving young women the opportunity to gain experience and serve on community boards given our current reality that only 20% of board seats are held by women
  • The incredible drive and dedication of the young women of our future generations – and how they view issues that affect women broadly like child care, child marriage, digital and financial literacy, protection from violence, workplace harassment, and much more
  • Why supporting young women’s ambitions is important – from a young age
  • The commitment required to be a G(irls)20 delegate requires each young woman to work on her own social profit initiative when she returns home – find out about Vandinika’s and how inspiring it was!
  • How Girls20 measures the impact of the communique they send to the G20 leaders each year
  • The importance of social media as an inexpensive organizing tool for typically underfunded women’s movements

Heather is ambitious for:

1. Carrie KirkmanChair of the board for G(irls)20  and President of Global Brand Canada

2. Evelyne Guindon, Director, External Relations, Women Deliver

Vandinika is ambitious for:

Tanvi Girotra, G(irls)20 Ambassador and Global Advisor and founder of Becoming I Foundation

Links to organizations/people mentioned in this episode:


Three Ways to Get Involved at Girls20

UN Women

G20 Argentina 2018

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