Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was one of the few men in attendance Monday night for the opening of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. He had a special role to play: Presenting $25,000 to each of the two recipients of this year’s Goldman Sachs-Fortune Global Women Leaders Award.
The award recognizes women from developing countries for making a difference in their own communities, using the skills, knowledge and experience gained as participants in two special mentoring & education programs.
One of the honorees is Brigitte Dzogbenuku, who runs a sports program for girls in Ghana. In 2007 Dzogbenuku was mentored by WNBA president Donna Orender as part of the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Mentoring Partnership. The program pairs rising-star women from developing countries with participants from the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit for a month-long mentoring program each year.
The other recipient, Penelope Machipi, helps manage a computer center for girls in Zambia. As part of a women’s film-making group, she also aspires to make documentaries educating women like her about their rights. Machipi is an alum of Goldman Sachs’ 10,0000 Women program: In March 2008, Goldman committed $100 million to provide a business education to 10,000 women over the next five years. Goldman employees also help mentor and train the women. For more on Machipi’s inspiring story of triumph, check out this piece in the Financial Times.