White House Holds First 'United State of Women' Summit
The White House recently hosted the first ever “United State of Women Summit” at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The summit, which brought together over 5,000 women game changers and trailblazers in academics, public service, business, government, entertainment and grass roots from across both the U.S. and international arenas, was held to highlight accomplishments of the Administration, the great strides made in gender equality, and the challenges that remain in order to chart a path forward.
NCR Regional Administrator Julia E. Hudson (R11), GSA’s Designee on the White House Council on Women and Girls attended the Summit along with Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Sara Manzano-Diaz (R3), whose national initiative is Work-Life Balance.
The Summit featured Plenary Sessions and Solution Seminars that centered around six specific pillars; Health & Wellness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Violence Against Women, Economics, Educational Opportunity and Civic Engagement & Leadership.
President Obama delivered a resounding speech at the Summit that highlighted the accomplishments of his Administration pertaining to women, and sounded the call on the additional work that still remains. The President received the loudest reaction from attendees when he made reference to himself saying, “I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.”
At the Opening Plenary session, Vice-President Joe Biden spoke passionately about the urgent need to change culture and break stereotypes surrounding violence against women.
Administrator Roth also provided a call to action keynote address at the U.S. Small Business "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Summit" that preceded the international event where she highlighted the critical role of women business owners saying, ".......where weak job markets or other barriers raise challenges for economic success, small business has always been a source of strength and opportunity....for women."
High profile participants, panelists and special guests at the "United State of Women Summit" included ----- but were not limited to; billionaire investor Warren Buffett, activist Gloria Steinem, sports legend Billie Jean King, mega television producer Shonda Rhimes, actresses/activists Kerry Washington, Amy Poehler and Mariska Hargitay in addition to numerous women members of the U.S. Congress.
The event culminated with an unforgettable armchair interview with First Lady Michelle Obama conducted by Oprah Winfrey. In response to Oprah's question, " What can men do leaving here", the First Lady responded, "Be Better fathers... Be Better husbands... Be a Better employer...Just Be Better."