Gender Equality and the C-Suite

Gender Equality and the C-Suite

Gender equality does not begin in the C-Suite. It starts during childhood in the classroom. The Good Search is an executive search practice that helps companies boost their diversity at the senior executive level. But we can’t get there if girls don’t go to school. Around the globe, 62 million girls are not in school: in some countries, fewer than 10% of teenage girls complete secondary school. That’s because those cultures believe girls are simply not worthy of education.

However, former First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, the Peace Corps, and corporations worldwide have been working to change that. They are expanding access to education for adolescent girls around the world.  Mrs. Obama is an American lawyer and writer who was the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She has worked tirelessly for a girl’s right to education in an initiative called Let Girls Learn.

Gender Equality Begins with Education

Celebrating International Women’s Day, the First Lady of the United States spoke on behalf of Let Girls Learn and teaches us a lesson in gender equality: you can’t get there if you can’t go to school. I’ve included excerpts below from Mrs. Obama’s speech below:

” . . . the fact is that right now, today, so many of these rights are under threat from all sides, always at risk of being rolled back if we let our guard down for a single minute. These issues aren’t settled.  These freedoms that we take for granted aren’t guaranteed in stone. And they certainly didn’t just come down to us as a gift from the heavens. No, these rights were secured through long, hard battles waged by women and men who marched, and protested, and made their voices heard in courtrooms and boardrooms and voting booths and the halls of Congress. And make no mistake about it, education was central to every last one of those efforts. The ability to read, write, and analyze; the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualifications and connections to get your foot in that door and take your seat at that table — all of that starts with education.  And trust me, girls around the world, they understand this. They feel it in their bones, and they will do whatever it takes to get that education . . . Every single one of us has a role to play on this issue . . . And no, it will not be easy.  And it will not be quick. But make no mistake about it, we can do this . . . Turn that passion into something real.  Those girls will be so grateful, because they are all of us. They are my daughters, and they are you.”

— Michele Obama

Mrs. Obama teaches us how education boosts gender equality. A girl with an education can shape her own destiny, lift up her family, and transform her community. That is why former First Lady Obama launched Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government initiative aimed at helping adolescent girls attain a quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential.

To learn more, check out our Diversity Blog Post Collection, which features articles like Pandemic Risks Gender Equality for Women and The Cost of Devaluing Women Executives

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