Why does this happen? My experience indicates that it's not because women are giving free rides to other women, but because women don't wear the blinders about women's capabilities that many men wear. It is statistically obvious that if there were no blinders, no stereotypes, fewer mis-applied perceptions and assumptions, the numbers of women executive officers, CEOs and board members would be much closer to 50% than they are.
Another example of how women in positions of power are able to advance other women came in Hillary Clinton's prepared statement for her confirmation hearing for Secretary of State. She said,
“Of particular concern to me is the plight of women and girls who comprise the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid. If half of the world’s population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal and social marginalization, our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity will remain in serious jeopardy. We still have a long way to go and the United States must remain an unambiguous and unequivocal voice in support of women’s rights in every country, every region, on every continent.”She went on to describe the significant benefits to women and families that derive from microcredit programs and Ann Dunham's (President Obama's mother's) commitment to economic justice for women.
I know neither Madeleine Albright nor Condoleeza Rice's stands on advancing the interest of women or on micro-credit. I like to think they actively supported both. But for Hillary Clinton the status of women has been an ever-present concern and my hope is that she will continue to be both a voice and an instrument for advancing women around the world...and here at home.
Posted by: Susan Colantuono, CEO and Founder of Leading Women
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