As part of the Longines Global Champions Tour Cannes, the highlight of the season for the Cannes Stars Powered by Iron Dames riders, the second ‘Meet the Iron Dames’ event was held in partnership with the City of Cannes.

The roundtables highlighted the inspiring careers of women whose perseverance and success have broken stereotypes and opened up new horizons in traditionally male-dominated fields. The event was attended by Deborah Mayer, founder of the project, and a strong representation of the Iron Dames with 11 athletes representing both Iron Dames Racing and Iron Dames Equestrian.
After an introduction by Deborah Mayer, founder of the Iron Dames project, and Antoine Babu, local councillor, the first round table brought together Sarah Bovy (Iron Dames Racing driver), Orianne Aymard (diplomat and humanitarian), Anny Courtade (businesswoman and philanthropist), Anne de Gravelaine (CEO and owner of AR2G Mode, Design INDIES et Bleu, Blanc, Rouge) and Maeva Lanier (volunteer firefighter and skateboarder) on the theme “women pioneers: breaking stereotypes and paving the way”. Focusing on the challenges they faced in making their mark in fields where they were not expected, they discussed the barriers and prejudices they faced in making their mark in fields where they were not expected, as well as their recipes for success, paving the way for future generations.

The second roundtable, on “succeeding where you’re not expected: an invitation to daring and excellence”, featured Julie Amblard (Iron Dames rally driver), Charlotte Lemay (French influencer, activist and model), Celia Martin (Iron Dames racing driver), Olivia Veran-Kenck (Vice President of Biotech Dental) and Soha Albari (President of the Génération 2030 association). They explored the experiences and successes of role models who can act as catalysts for the aspirations of others, inspiring them to dare to pursue their own dreams. The debate was also an opportunity to reflect on strategies to promote excellence among women and to create a more inclusive and equitable environment.

In the presence of Jan Tops, President and Founder of the Longines Global Champions Tour, the third part of the morning presented the Jumping International de Cannes and the ‘Cannes Stars Powered By Iron Dames’ team, the first and only 100% women’s team in the championship and currently leading the standings. After their victory in Saint-Tropez last weekend, Kim Emmen, Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann and Sophie Hinners are determined to fly the flag for Cannes and the Iron Dames project.
Following the success of the first edition of Meet the Iron Dames in Doha in February, this new stage provided another opportunity to highlight and celebrate the achievements of remarkable women whose life stories demonstrate that with courage, determination and hard work and that any dream is possible. By sharing their journeys, these women inspire others, particularly the younger generation, to break through barriers and pursue their own ambitions with confidence and resilience. Such gatherings not only honour the individual accomplishments of these trailblazing women but also serve as a powerful catalyst for fostering a more inclusive and equitable future, where excellence knows no gender.

We would like to thank the City of Cannes and its Mayor, David Lisnard, for their warm welcome to this event. I’m delighted that together we can shine the spotlight on talented women whose experiences and testimonies show that no barrier is insurmountable and who are paving the way for future generations. It is also a great honour and source of pride that our team of Cannes Stars – Powered by Iron Dames riders bear the name of such a prestigious city that is so close to my heart. I hope they will carry high the colours of the city and the Iron Dames project at the Jumping International de Cannes.

Deborah Mayer, Iron Dames Project Founder

Entrepreneurship is an investment, an act of faith and belief in the future. At Cannes, we like to honour and thank those who undertake, and therefore those who take risks. We even believe that the notion of risk needs to be reinvented, because it is a sine qua non for fulfilment. There can be no prosperity, no progress and no virtuous collective wealth without individuals who, through their audacity, take risks. So it’s only natural that the Mairie de Cannes should support the ‘Meet the Iron Dames: paving the way’ project initiated by Déborah Mayer, which recognises the creativity and perseverance of these female entrepreneurs and sportswomen, and encourages new vocations. It is also in line with the constant attention paid by the municipality to issues relating to the value of equality between men and women, which is a fundamental right and an essential principle of democracy and social progress.

David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes: 


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