Much has been written on the need to increase the number of women leaders and for the women leaders that do exist to leverage their influence to help other women. So this International Women’s Day, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate just a few of the countless women in power who are giving their time, talent and treasure to support other women.
Hillary Clinton visited more countries than any other secretary of state – 112 – and on most trips, she made visiting women’s projects, businesses or advocates a priority. Her commitment to promoting women’s social, political and economic rights and opportunities inspired both conversation and action the world over.
Melanne Verveer, the first ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, leaves her successor with big shoes to fill. While serving in the Obama administration, she forged public-private partnerships to strengthen opportunities for women globally, and worked tirelessly to fulfill her duty to ensure that women’s issues were integrated in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. It will be very exciting to see what she accomplishes as the head of Georgetown’s new Institute on Women, Peace and Security.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and the first female elected head of state in Africa, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work to secure peace, promote economic and social development and strengthen the position of women.
Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” will be published next week, and she has created a foundation that will provide professional women access to research, stories and career development support to advance in their careers*.
I would be remiss if I did not highlight APCO’s founder and current CEO, Margery Kraus. Under Margery’s leadership APCO has grown from a one-woman consultancy founded in 1984 to one of the largest independent strategic communication consultancies in the world – and one of the few certified women-owned businesses of our size and scope. She lifts other women up as chairman of the board of the Women Presidents’ Organization and by sitting on the steering committee for the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management Center for Executive Women at Northwestern University.
I am proud to work for a majority women-owned company that knows first-hand that investing in and championing women offers tremendous win-win opportunities.