Yesterday, was The White House Working Families Summit. It was a program designed to bring attention and appreciation to families and the progress made by women and their careers.
It was a full day event, filled with great speakers and a strong panel of brilliant women. President Obama, the First Lady, the Vice President and Second Lady, were among the speakers. As we all know, the Lilly Ledbetter Act was the first bill passed by Congress. This has long been an issue enforced by the President. He has been saying that it's important for women to get equal pay for equal work. It's not just right and an issue for women's rights, but it's a family issue.
With so many dads staying at home with the kids or with many mom who are single parents and have trouble finding child care, it's important that full pay is provided. Parents all over, know how challenging and expensive child care is. And if an emergency occurs, It's hard for many people to find someone to take care of their children.
The Panel consisted of pioneering women like, former Speaker and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Activist, Feminist and Journalist,Gloria Steinem, BET CEO, Debra Lee, President of the Rockefeller Foundation and former President of UPENN, Dr. Judith Roden, and Katherine Phillips, senior Dean of Columbia School of Business. The discussion was hosted by the co-host of Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski. And this turned out to be a great conversation. It was filled with honesty, dignity and women sharing stories of their journeys. And you know, inspire of the fact that these are all well known, well respect women, their stories are so relatable to ours. They regaled on stories of when they got started and how it effected their lives as wives and mothers.
They discussed the challenges facing women and the great strides that have been made by women. They talked about how to go in for a raise and how to stand your ground. They talked about negotiating and how crucial it is, to know your own voice and to go for what you want. They encouraged women to speak with young girls and young women. Encourage them to know that they to, can become leaders.
And of course, another major advocate on women taking the leadership charge, Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, sent a message, via video. She spoke briefly about the work that women have done, the work that needs to be done and the work that is going on right now. She said, that even though great strides have been made by women in the world today, she said that Men is still predominantly considered for the role of leaders. And you know, that made me think and ask myself one question.
When will Women take over the Fortune 500?
When will we be the larger percentage of CEOs and leaders in our world. As you all know, on the Fortune 500 list, 24 CEOs are women. That's only 5 percent. Simply unacceptable. Why are so many people nervous about us? Why are so many people worried about us as leaders? Do they feel like we can't handle it? Do they think our emotions will get out of control? Do they think that women are nothing more than skirts and heels? Why is it we are often times, still be overlooked when it comes to leadership roles?
I think that it can happen. I think that women can take over the Fortune 500. I think that we can become President of the United States. I just believe those things. For instance, this may come as a shock, but, I wasn't surprised when we got a Black President! That might sound like the craziest thing, but I wasn't surprised. It's not like I know about the history of our nation or the hell that black people went through all those year ago. The fights, the struggles, the protesting, the strength. Of course I knew. But, I had faith that would change. And in 2008, we did it! So, it's not to say that Women can't rule the world. (Secretly, we do already!) But, it's to say that it about time we take our open stand and claim what we've earned and what's rightfully ours.
It's not impossible. It's just long overdue.
If you're interested in hearing the panel, log onto whitehouse.gov or their Youtube channel. Trust me, it's worth your time!
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