Last week, the 4th annual Spirit Forward Summit—powered by Bacardi—brought together current and future female change-makers for a day of speeches, panels and activities aimed to empower and educate women who are passionate about shattering stereotypes.

This year’s theme, “Be You, Be Better,” inspired individuals across industries to identify their authentic self and engage in thought-provoking discussions on topics such as inclusivity, paying it forward, financial empowerment and more. As female leaders continue to break down barriers in the face of adversity, Bacardi is giving them a platform to share their voice.

Scott Ballina, Paula Glickenhaus, Demetha Sanders, James Pogue

Scott Ballina, Paula Glickenhaus, Demetha Sanders, James Pogue

More than 500 female and male trailblazers gathered at the Spirit Forward Summit at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, which serves as Bacardi’s Women in Leadership marquee program of the year. With speakers from all over the country, thought provoking conversations and clear call to action moments, some highlights from the day included:

Cyndie Spiegel

Cyndie Spiegel

  • Keynote speaker and author of A Year of Positive Thinking, Cyndie Spiegel opened the day with a resounding talk on personal branding, encouraging women to hone in on what makes them unique so they can stand out amongst the noise.
  • Head of Global Reflections at Bacardi Paula Glickenhaus moderated a panel on diversity, which included leaders across industries such as Global Talent Management & Inclusion Leader, Demetha Sanders, and Senior Director, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Citrix, Scott Ballina. Panelists championed the importance of an inclusive environment and the impact on work culture when everyone feels that they can bring a sense of who they are to the workplace.
  • MSNBC journalist and author of Perfectly You, Mariana Atencio, closed the summit with a powerful speech reminding the audience that being a powerhouse means always being unapologetically, and perfectly, you.
  • Regional President at Bacardi in North America, Pete Carr, spoke to the audience about how Bacardi believes that empowering women and having women in leadership makes companies better and creates a richer and diverse environment that leads to better thinking and stronger performance.
  • The day also included a Bar Spar boxing break, meditation session by Elena Brower, and power sharing breaks, along with stalls from local female entrepreneurs in the summit’s marketplace.

In true Bacardi style, following the summit, guests were invited to enjoy a cocktail reception that put the spotlight on local female mixologists and brand ambassadors.