WoomUp Honors Karen Poniachik's Legacy with Inaugural Award

The Center's late director supported the organization – which provides networking and mentoring services for women – since its inception.

December 06, 2023

During its annual mentors meeting, WoomUp introduced for the first time the Karen Poniachik Award, paying tribute to the late founding director of the Santiago Global Center. The award recognizes Poniachik's enduring commitment to gender equity and her unwavering support for women in their professional journeys. The organization expressed its intention, stating, “By establishing this award, we aim to honor Karen’s life and the values she represented: closeness, excellence, the fight for diversity, and female empowerment.”

Established in 2016, WoomUp is dedicated to dismantling barriers that impede the growth and advancement of female talent. The initiative originated from a group of Chilean women who, alarmed by the underrepresentation of women in General Management roles, conceived an online platform providing networking and mentoring services for professional women across Latin America.

Karen’s support for WoomUp dates back to its inception, as Gracia Dalgalarrando (SIPA’15), the founder, remembered: “She was one of the first people we turned to. As the Director of Columbia Global Centers | Santiago, a former minister, board director, and a true trailblazer in her personal life, Karen not only agreed to be part of our journey but enriched it with her advice, closeness, and passion for empowering women.” Her contributions were recognized when she was honored as Mentor of the Year in 2018.

For six years, Karen actively participated in WoomUp’s Mentors Selection Committee. Additionally, “She urged us to apply for funds, involved us in internship programs at Columbia University, and thanks to her, Martha from Kenya worked with us remotely during the pandemic,” added Dalgalarrando.

In recognition of her outstanding commitment and mentorship, the 2023 Karen Poniachik Award was granted to Carolina Samsing, a WoomUp mentor, Advisory Board member, and CEO at Nubox, a technological scaleup specializing in small and medium-sized business management.