Alexandra Trower | 2014 Leadership Honoree

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., USA.

In recent years, the global community has seen an increasing focus on strong, steadfast female leadership. With women at the helm of major organizations and companies, it is an essential step in helping bring a balanced focus to the importance of women’s leadership in the ever-expanding corporate world. One such trailblazer who excels in defining the progressing role of women in business, while demonstrating outstanding commitments to responsible and innovative leadership is Alexandra C. Trower.

As the current Vice Chairman of the IWMF’s Board of Directors, Trower will be honored on October 22, 2014 with the 2nd annual International Women’s Media Foundation Corporate Leadership Award—a prestigious honor first presented in 2013 to Anne Finucane from Bank of America.

Upon being first introduced to the IWMF some fifteen years ago by a friend, Trower became extremely moved when she learned about the organization’s history and mission. In becoming involved, she became aware of the plight of female journalists around the world who were working in difficult circumstances. Through it all, she learned a very important lesson that is often difficult for women to even consider, “Ask for what you need and what you want. Don’t be afraid of being told no. Just find another way to ask.” Had Trower not asked her friend directly how she could be involved, it might not have ever happened for her.

At the time in 1999, Trower worked at JP Morgan Chase where she served as Managing Director and was responsible for Corporate Communications of its asset management business. With the combination of her astuteness and determination, she was able to get one of the world’s leading financial services firm to sign on as the IWMF’s National Presenting Sponsor—and which till today, continues to support the IWMF.

When Trower transitioned to Bank of America as Senior Vice President of Global Media Relations, she and acclaimed political journalist, Judy Woodruff teamed up to help bring the IWMF to Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, Anne Finucane and the rest of the Bank of America team. Soon the nation’s leading financial institution signed on to become the National Presenting Sponsor. The Bank of America has now proudly been the IWMF’s National Presenting Sponsor for eight years with Finucane receiving the inaugural Corporate Leadership Award last year.

In 2012, Trower was asked to serve as chairperson for the IWMF’s presentation of the New York Courage in Journalism Luncheon, where soon after she was asked by the organization to join their Board of Directors. With her aptitude and savvy leadership skills guiding the way to such a distinction, she is one of the first non-journalists to be included on the board. This year, Trower began her tenure as Vice Chairman of the IWMF’s Board of Directors.

Upon receiving the news of the IWMF bestowing her with the 2nd annual Corporate Leadership Award later this fall, Trower has expressed her utmost gratitude, saying she is touched and humbled. With this honor, she reveals how she now feels an increased level of responsibility to promote the incredible work that the IWMF is doing around the world.

When the IWMF was first founded 25 years ago, the aim was to protect female journalists and ensure equality so that their rights wouldn’t be breached. However, the world has since become increasingly complex and dangerous for the many female journalists who are risking their lives to bring stories that are challenging, and oftentimes perilous, to light. These journalists provide the necessary objectivity in places and situations that frequently lack traditional checks and balances.

Since joining the organization, Trower has taken up the cause for highlighting the global dangers faced by female journalists who work in sometimes the most difficult conditions, while bringing to attention initiatives that include environmental protection, sustainability, human rights, diversity, global ethics and compliance issues. What sets Trower apart from the rest is her intelligence and intuition which enables her to leverage her influence to devote herself to causes that affect female journalists.

Currently serving as Executive Vice President of Global Communications for The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., – which is a strong, committed financial supporter of the IWMF – Alexandra C. Trower isn’t just a strong female leader who appreciates and understands the importance of female leadership in our business world, but someone who believes the citizens and beneficiaries of a democratic society play a crucial role in preserving the essential tenets of free speech around the world.

Follow Alexandra Trower on Twitter: @alextrower

By Tania Hussain

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Arwa Damon, USA | 2014 Courage in Journalism Award
Solange Lusiku Nsimire, Democratic Republic of the Congo | 2014 Courage in Journalism Award
Brankica Stanković, Serbia | 2014 Courage in Journalism Award

Alexandra Trower
Alexandra Trower
Alexandra Trower
Trower with 2011 Courage and Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Alexandra Trower
Trower with 2012 Courage and Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Alexandra Trower
Trower with 2013 Courage Awardees

Photo credit: Estée Lauder (1); IWMF (2-4)