MILAN—A new program, "Empowering Optical Women Leadership: The Challenge of Eyewear" is kicking off at a special multi-pronged session on the first morning of Mido later this week, an initiative of ANFAO, the Italian Optical Goods Manufacturers association in partnership with Italy's Bellisario Foundation. The event, starting at 10:30 a.m. CET on Saturday, Feb. 4, will be hosted by Barbara Serra, a well-known journalist and writer. The program will spearhead a new long term initiative, consisting of new and exclusive research conducted by ANFAO about women's roles at companies in the Italian eyewear sector, several presentations, a unique roundtable of women's executive eyewear leaders, and a panel of human resource and organizational managers from within the industry and across Italy.

The Bocconi School of Management and government and policy experts will also take part in the two-hour event, designed, according to ANFAO, to establish a consistent framework of support for the professional development of women in the optical sector. Registration is not required, but a Mido show badge is necessary for entrance to the Otticlub, at the rear of Hall 3 at the Mido exhibition area of Rho-Pero.

According to organizers the Program will include:

10:30 a.m. (CET): Giovanni Vitaloni, ANFAO president:, with a welcome and the reasons behind the project.

10:35 a.m.: Barbara Salimbeni, ANFAO director and VP Global Trade Marketing, Marchon Eyewear: to discuss the content and scope of the project.

10:40 a.m.: Lella Golfo, president Fondazione Bellisario (dedicated video contribution) and Valeria Ferrero, head of Fondazione Bellisario Piemonte: Fondazione Bellisario in Italy and the patronage to ANFAO.

10:50 a.m.: Marge Axelrad, co-founding board member Optical Women's Association (OWA) and senior VP/editorial director of Vision Monday and VMAIL, Jobson Optical Group, will discuss the emerging role of professional women and OWA's mission in the U.S.

11:10 a.m.: Marina Elvira Calderone, Minister of Labour and Social Policies (TBC)

11:20 a.m.: A Roundtable - Women's Leadership, including Sara Osculati, chief brand and product officer Thélios - LVMH Group; Clara Magnanini, group communication director, Marcolin; Cristina Di Bari, founder and sole director Trasma and president Fondazione Cottino; Barbara Tadolini, president of Enel Board of Auditors.

12:00 p.m.: A Roundtable - Policies to support female leadership, including Hélène Zago, global HR director, Thélios - LVMH Group; Sabrina Paulon, global HR director, Marcolin; Manuela Pes, HR manager Southern Europe and UAE, Marchon; Simone Sartori, HR director, De Rigo Vision; Lorraine Berton, president Ente Bilaterale Occhialeria and president Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti; Benedetta Missaglia, UILTEC national official; Simona Cuomo, associate professor of Practice of Leadership, Organisation & Human Resources, SDA Bocconi School of Management and coordinator of the Diversity & Inclusion & Smart Working Observatory; Laura Ravetto, member of Parliament; Elena Murelli, Commission for Labour and Social Affairs; Valentina Picca Bianchi, president of the Impresa Donna Committee of the Ministry of Enterprise.

Barbara Serra will conduct the event and moderate.

The women's leadership event is one of a series of Ottiiclub special learning and education sessions planned for this weekend's Mido exhibition, Feb. 4-6, at Rho-Pero. Times and details of the programs planned for Feb. 4, 5 and 6 are posted here. They include a series of "How To" sessions for optical retailers and ECPs, the "Books@Mido" sessions, various Myopia Management sessions, and other presentations.

A Mido badge is needed for entrance to the Otticlub, at the rear of Hall 3 at Rho-Pero conference center.

The "Empowering Women's Leadership" program will be livestreamed on the Mido Digital Platform's homepage here.