Preparing Brazil’s next generation of women leaders

People posing for group photo (U.S. Embassy Brazil)
U.S. Embassy Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires William Popp poses for a photo with participants in the 2019 Power4Girls program. (U.S. Embassy Brazil)

What happens when 100 public school girls are trained in business and leadership skills for six months? Empowerment, says a new program in Brazil sponsored by the State Department.

Power4Girls aims “to demonstrate our continued commitment to the government of Brazil’s secondary education reform efforts,” said Todd Miyahira, one of the program’s developers at the U.S. Embassy Brazil, “while also reinforcing our support to women’s and girls’ empowerment through entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and skill-building for the 21st-century work environment.”

Power4Girls launched in 2020 with the U.S. Embassy Brazil’s implementing partner, Instituto Gloria. The second installment began in March of this year and will last through September.

10 people posing for photo (Courtesy of Instituto Gloria)
Two Power4Girls teams from the Federal Institute of Amapa pose for a photo with representatives from program partner Instituto Gloria. (Courtesy of Instituto Gloria)

The program incorporates creative educational practices, entrepreneurship and innovation to help support young and emerging talent.

The six-month program features both in-person and online workshops and training. For the in-person programming, girls will work with women in business leadership positions. In the virtual groups, they will develop ideas to improve their communities with the support of teacher-coordinators and qualified young mentors.

The theme of this year’s program is Environment and Sustainability. Final projects will contribute to the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — a global plan of action to address the climate crisis and other challenges.

Current projects include:

  • Gurias na Ciência (Girls in Science): a plastic alternative made from the microbiological fermentation of materials discarded by industry in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
  • Conserve2Preserve: a mobile app that monitors air quality in the state of Ceará.
  • Mulheres de Fibra (Fiber Women): ceramic tiles made with coconut to act as a thermal insulator, which better keeps heat inside homes.

“We recognize the importance of promoting representation, leadership and innovation in the next generation of women leaders,” Miyahira said. “This program helps girls develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills to become leaders for Brazil in the years to come.”