Educating and Empowering Women: A Global Imperative

Mar 25

It seems that everywhere I turn lately, from business to technology to consumer media, everyone is abuzz with Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Both a book and a movement, Lean In is all about empowerment and accountability for women in the workforce.  According to BusinessWeek, Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead will soon top the nonfiction bestseller list of the New York Times Book Review, with more than 170,000 books sold since its publication on March 11.  In her book, Sandberg examines both external and internal forces that have typically stifled women’s voices in the boardroom and stood in the way of them rising to executive positions. She also offers no-nonsense advice on how women can reach their full potential – advice that seems to be capturing the current zeitgeist.

Empowering girls and women, both in their education endeavors and their careers, has been a focus for us since we launched last year. We have been proud to feature heroes like Dr. Mamta Patel, who heads up the NASA G.I.R.L.S. Initiative (part of the Women@NASA program), or Lisa Zagura, an engineer who chairs her local Society of Women Engineers and builds programs to take STEM subjects to girls in ways that inspire and motivate them, or Hannah Wyman, an 11-year-old computer game designer who won the 2012 grand prize in Microsoft‘s first Kodu Cup. As I’ve noted throughout, I am a huge advocate for girls’ involvement in STEM subjects, including learning how to code. I believe technology careers can and must play a critical role for women in the 21st century. This recent article in the Guardian echoes my thoughts.

With this in mind, I’m proud to feature interviews and blog posts this week that focus entirely on women educators and issues that affect both women in the workforce, and girls’ ability to receive an education. You’ll hear from educators and innovators like Christiana Peppard, Julie Clugage, Diane Evans, and Valeska Gioia. And of course, we’ll share some interesting facts and figures about the necessity of educating and empowering women.

I’d love your thoughts, too. Have you read Lean In? What do you think? How can we best encourage and empower girls? Let me know @anthonysalcito.

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