Message from the ABAC Chair

Message from the ABAC Chair 2011: Deborah Henretta, ABAC USA

Why an ABAC Women’s Forum?

Deborah HenrettaWhile APEC’s Leaders were putting economic inclusion and the improvement of opportunities for women in business higher on their agenda, policy mechanisms within APEC were considered still not effective enough. Against this backdrop, the APEC Women Leaders’ Network (WLN), a non-formal APEC organization comprising women from the private and civil sectors, approached us at ABAC at the end of 2010 seeking collaboration on promoting policies that raise the gender profile, by leveraging ABAC’s high-level input into APEC policy bodies.

ABAC’s women members – all senior executives from around the APEC region – subsequently identified a real need for action as anindependent group, and a new approach to reinforcing policy mechanisms under the APEC umbrella. By working with the WLN, the APEC Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN) and other groups, we at the ABAC Women’s Forum aim to strengthen the voice of business women within the APEC framework, enhance intra-APEC collaboration, and inspire the next generation of woman entrepreneurs.

I greatly appreciate the strong support that the United States Government has given our group, and the importance they have placed on the gender issue within the APEC agenda, and I hope that through the ABAC Women’s Forum we can continue to raise the profile of women in business.

Moreover, as the first woman Chair of ABAC, I feel especially privileged to have this opportunity to serve the ABAC community in this expanded capacity and to significantly improve the lives of businesswomen and entrepreneurs throughout the region.
Deb Henretta

Deborah ‘Deb’ Henretta

Deb Henretta is Group President – Asia for The Procter & Gamble Company, responsible for $15 billion dollars of retail sales. Since assuming this role in 2007, Deb has been responsible for delivering four consecutive years of record sales and profits, redesigning how P&G does business across Asia by creating a One Asia organization, and significantly expanding the company’s presence in key emerging economies.

Ranked #20 in Fortune Magazine’s list of “Most Powerful Women in Business – International”, Deb is an influential voice in global business. As the Chair of the 21 economy APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), she plays a leadership role in shaping policy on business and trade across the Asia Pacific. She is also a Board Member of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

In addition to actively supporting a number of global causes (such as YWCA prevention of violence, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and P&G’s Advancement of Women initiative), Deb is a volunteer for Caring for Cambodia, helping to build schools for Cambodian children in need. In July, 2010, Deb was awarded the Public Service Medal by the Government of Singapore.

Deb has an MA in Mass Communications and Advertising, from Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, USA. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate by St. Bonaventure University, USA, for Humane Letters in 2010. She is married and has a son and two daughters.