Forum on Education Abroad Conference: Women Leaders and the Future: An Expanded Vision for Education Abroad

This morning’s Breakfast Plenary was the most sobering, yet inspiring, keynote presentation.  The Honorable Linda Tarr-Whelan is a Former Ambassador and a Demos Distinguised Senior Fellow and Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute.  She recently wrote the book :  Women Lead the Way: You Guide to Stepping Up ot Leadership and Changing the World.

As I’m trying to publish this post before the next session, I’ll simply provide some bullet points:

– She spoke of the 30% solution: Tipping Point at the table of decision makers when voice of WOMEN can be heeded.

– The need for the “echo chamber” – often being the lone woman at the table requires someone to reiterate and support our valid points.

– example of how the US has not come far in terms of women leadership:  1st female film director won at the Oscars this month, yet the % of women behind the camer is the SAME as 46 years ago!

– she quotes a colleague:  “Do you think that if it had been Lehman Brothers & Sisters that it would have been less successful?”

– French study indicated that less companies fail when they have at least 30% women on the Board of Directors.

– In a nati nonal survey (Girl Scouts) , only 30% of girls think that they can be leaders while 65% of boys stated that they could.

–  Business research shows that women take a longer time to make decisions, have a stronger focus on teamwork and leadership, and increase flexibility in the work environment.

– Research also shows that GDP of the US would INCREASE by 9% if women had the same opportunities and pay as men. However, this hasn’t driven policy or change in this country.

– 101 other countries have legislation to change the % of women in leadership. This includes South Africa, Cuba, Angola and Rwanda.  Interestingly, Rwanda is the only country in the world with the majority  of women in their Congress.  Torn apart by war, women knew something needed to be done differently.

– In the US , only 3% of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies.

Something to think about!

Session is about to start….will post more on this important session as soon as I’m available to….