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Diplomacy in Action

Inaugural Meeting of the International Council on Women's Business Leadership


Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ben Franklin Room
Washington, DC
January 24, 2012

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good morning everyone. And let me again welcome you here to the State Department, to the Ben Franklin Room, for this first meeting of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership. This is a truly remarkable group, and I want to thank each and every one of you for taking time out of your very busy schedules to travel here to share your experiences and your insights as to what more we can do to promote women in the ranks of business and provide more opportunities for them to participate.

I want, particularly, to thank our vice chair, Cherie Booth Blair. We’ve worked together on so many challenges over the years. Her foundation supports women entrepreneurs around the world, and I’ve had an opportunity to collaborate with her and the foundation on the mWomen initiative to close the global gender gap that prevents hundreds of millions of women from gaining access to mobile technology. We all know that when women have the tools to participate in the formal economy, when they have access to information and opportunity, they can be full participants.

Our other vice chair, Indra Nooyi, unfortunately could not be here. Something came up which prevented her from attending. But her leadership at PepsiCo is a model for entrepreneurs and executives around the world, and she has been closely involved in helping to organize this meeting, and I think she twisted a few arms of some of you to participate as well.

Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s special advisor, also asked that we send her regrets. The President’s delivering his State of the Union this evening, and she was not able to break free from that, something I totally understand from my prior life. And I think that we’re very fortunate to have such a good turnout today.

I only want to say a few words, because really, the point of bringing such distinguished, successful women here around this table is to hear from you and to get very specific ideas about what you think can help us boost growth, take some of the untapped resources and mobilize them, follow smart strategies to increase productivity, and add new value to companies and economies. Now, everyone is searching for answers to those questions, but not enough people realize that part of the answer, a large part of the answer, lies with women.

Last September, I delivered a speech in San Francisco at the APEC, the Asia-Pacific economic conference lead-up, to make the case for increasing women’s participation in the global economy. You know from your own experiences that when women enjoy greater access and opportunity, there is a ripple effect. Businesses have more consumers, families have more to spend, and so it goes through the economy.

We have people around this table who have devoted their professional lives to unlocking the answers to these questions. Sri Mulyani here from the World Bank – she can tell us, in first-person detail, about how the Bank has released a new report, which I commend to all of you, about the impact women can have, not just for themselves and their families, something we’ve always known, but for entire economies. If women participated fully even in our own country, our GDP would rise considerably, and that is even more true in many other parts of the world.

The State Department has another advisory council whose subcommittee on women has produced a new report that looks specifically at the impact of women business leaders on companies and organizations. I want to thank its co-chairs, Judith Barnett and Jeff Volk, who are right there, for their leadership. Now, we’ll have the full results soon, but one fact is already clear: Including more women at the top of organizations, businesses, and the public sector is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. It’s good for business. It’s good for results.

Now, we all know the numbers. About three percent of the CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies are women. There are still a lot of obstacles to women entering. It depends, of course, on national, cultural, ethnic, religious reasons. But it cuts across all of that, and it is, to a greater or lesser degree, present in every society.

So the challenge before us today as we represent government, business, NGOs, workers, institutions is what are the ideas that we can promote that can help women be able to fulfill their own potential. How do we widen that circle of prosperity which will lift the entire global economy – women and men alike – and how do we, within our own organizations, do more to train and promote women to positions of leadership?

I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas, your initiatives, your thoughts, and looking forward to working with you to try to implement them. So let me now turn to my friend and fellow chair, Cherie. 

MS. BLAIR: Well, thank you, Hillary, for those wise words as always, for your fantastic leadership for so many years now on women’s rights, and not least for having the great idea of setting up this council and getting us all to work together, as we will.

As you said, the issue of women’s business leadership is of fundamental importance around the world. International competitiveness, economic growth, are based on the efficient allocation of resources, and that means human resources as well. But because of tradition or deprivation or taboos or, frankly, just simple prejudice, half of the world’s population is prevented from making a full contribution. And as a result, our economies and our societies are suffering and will continue to suffer if we don’t do something about it.

The skill set that the private sector can tap into will be narrower. And as a result, economic opportunities around the world will be underutilized. So I am absolutely excited and energized by being asked to serve as vice chair of this council. And I will dedicate my longstanding passion and dedication to women’s rights in general, as well as my foundation’s work in particular with women entrepreneurs to make sure that this is a success.

I know that with your leadership, Hillary, and with our wonderful group of women here from all over the world, we will advance women’s economic inclusion across the public, the private, and the not-for-profit sectors.

Let me echo what you said about Indra, another outstanding woman leader. And she asked me as well to convey her heartfelt regrets that she is not with us today. She is, however, deeply committed as vice chair of this council, and will be joining us at subsequent meetings, and has already done so much to make this event happen. And all of you who know Indra – I know a number of you do – will know that she will make sure that we come up with positive recommendations and practical actions that actually will move the needle and lead to tangible results, because in the end, that’s what we need.

I want also to thank our subcommittee chairs, Maud Olofsson from Sweden – there she is – Beth Brooke, Sri Mulyani – Beth Brooke from America, Sri Mulyani from Indonesia and now the World Bank, and Sally Susman, also from America, for their willingness, actually, to take a lot of the burden of the work in the coming months. We really appreciate it.

We have set up the themes for the subcommittees. They are Access to Markets, Access to Finance, Capacity and Skills Development, and finally – and not least – Women’s Leadership. They were chosen deliberately because they resonate across – with women across the world, and, of course, were the themes of your speech, Hillary, that I heard you deliver to such great acclaim in September at the APEC Summit.

We know we’ve got a task in front of us, but we already have some good information. Hillary, you mentioned the work the State Department has done. You also mentioned the World Bank Development Report of 2012, and indeed, the Bank’s Women’s Business and the Law study that I was involved in the launch.

So we do already have some data which will help us decide where the solutions lie and what we need to do. The challenge, however, is not just about getting the internet data; it’s about putting it into action, so that we do actually see change and not just business as usual.

UN Women informs us that women still perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce over 50 percent of the food, but they earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property. That is not equitable. So we need to change two things: the facts on the ground, and the perception that men and women often have – that perception that women are less able and are less worthy, that they are second class citizens. So we have got to make sure that all women have the ability to become first class world residents.

Given that a vast number of organizations, individuals, governments, companies already work on women’s business leadership, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We simply want to pick up the good work of others, scale it, learn together, and ensure a concerted effort. And actually, we need to get men involved in this, too. (Laughter.)

So let’s work together on ensuring that a woman who runs a business is able to take out a loan to grow that business. Let’s work together to ensure that women’s products do reach markets, and that women have the right to buy and hold on to productive assets. Let’s work on legal reform to enshrine women’s equality in every new law that is passed across the world. And let’s work together to ensure that women can get equipped with confidence, with capacity, and capital. That would mean a better world for us all. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Excellent. And thinking about those statistics – 66, 50, 10, and 1 – (laughter) – as we do our work.

We’re going to excuse the press now as we turn to the specifics that we wish to delve into today, because obviously, there’s a lot for us to discuss together and also to try to sort out what is the most effective way for this group to contribute to the effort. I think Cherie made a good point: There is a lot of work being done – thankfully, now, more than has been done in the past. I think the historical approach toward, first, trying to establish that women had rights, had human rights, has certainly underpinned our work and taken us very far. But now, shifting the focus to look at the economic potential of women is another way of making the argument because, unfortunately, we need every good argument we can muster on behalf of the changes that we seek.

So the goal for today is to hear from as many of you, if not all of you, in the time that we have, to essentially give us advice and ideas about the way forward so that we can take up the work that is before us. And I know that a number of you have a lot of experience and understanding, and now I’d like to invite three members to share with us some good practices – practices to promote women’s business leadership, practices that are in both the public and the private sector, because it’s important that we really work with both to achieve our goals.

Now, first, on government policies, I want to turn to the Minister of Finance for the United Arab Emirates Sheikha Lubna. I kidded her that every time I pick up a news report, she’s been given more responsibilities in the UAE. And yet, she found time to participate with us on this important committee, and I’m grateful to that.

Sheikha Lubna will be followed by Ofra Strauss, who is a very successful entrepreneur from Israel, and will address a number of private sector initiatives that she believes could make a difference.

And then finally, Dr. Judith Rodin, my longtime friend when she was the president of the University of Pennsylvania, where she did such a superb job and now, leading the Rockefeller Foundation, who will share with us some innovative public-private partnerships.

Sheikha Lubna, you have the floor.

MS. LUBNA: Very kind of you. (Inaudible.) Your excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen – because we’ve got few here – it is great to be back here in Washington, D.C., especially here at the State Department, as part of this esteemed council to provide input to the formulation of U.S. policy and strategy in several focus areas, based on my experience, to help promote economic empowerment of women in order to achieve global economic prosperity.

While traveling to various countries in the past years, I have noticed a very clear sense of momentum building up around the cause of empowering women in all facets of society – business, government, sports, art, and culture. It is my belief that this initiative will further add speed to the current momentum through shedding light on the important issues that are critical to the role of women and its significance around the world.

Only through those such initiatives can be the objective of facilitating women’s potential leadership skills to transform lives while accelerating the peace and prosperity in their local communities as made possible. The United Arab Emirates is an example of a rapid and successful development story in the region, in the Middle East, in terms of both the infrastructure and economy and the country, and the progress of our people. The UAE’s achievement is perhaps best typified in the evolution and growing prominence of Emirati women as partners and contributors in this remarkable nation-building process.

Women are today at the forefront of the workforce in the UAE, in both the government sector as well as a growing number in the private sector. And by the way, in the government, I think they are the dominating number in terms of percentage in the government sector. Aided by the government’s commitment to empower women and provide them with equal opportunity, the status of women within the UAE has flourished in parallel with the country’s growth since the federation that was established in 1971. It is evident across the UAE that women today constitute a vital part of the nation’s workforce and actively contribute to the country’s government and economy.

Having made significant progress, the UAE does not intend to stagnate with regard to its women empowerment policies, but rather to continue and develop along the strategies that further these policies. In partnerships with the private sector, which is being encouraged to promote women based on merit into frontline organizational positions, the UAE intends to establish a new benchmark of gender empowerments in the region.

Although no formal quota systems exists in the UAE in either the government or the private sector, our leadership believes that the positive discrimination towards women and active encouragement for their entry into previously male-dominated fields is an essential first step towards an equal society. This might be a number that – probably surprise some of you, but 70 percent of enrollments in universities are actually women. There are more women at the universities than men in the UAE.

In order to prove themselves in their chosen careers, women must first be given the platform to achieve. Forums such as this council will help identify ways we can progress to global adoption of policies which promote economic empowerment of women on many levels, both in the public and private realm.

Once again, I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to you, Secretary Clinton, and the Department of State, as well as my fellow council members for providing me the opportunity to be part of this important initiative to help formulate policies that would encourage development for more women leaders worldwide. I thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Sheikha Lubna. And we will look forward to learning from you the ways that the leadership in the UAE moved this agenda forward over the last 40 years, because I think it’s an agenda that could really make a difference in other countries as well. So, thank you so much.

Let me now turn to Ofra Strauss.

MS. STRAUSS: Well, it’s nice to know that our region has something to say about women. As a representative of the private sector, one of the things that we, the business world, are known for is really looking at numbers. So everyone thinks it’s only about really profits, but from our experience – or from my experience, really – measuring the number of women in our organization in every level is a first step, really, to talk about results and how to move the needle. And I have to say it really takes time to get those numbers. But what we as an organization have done is really broadcast lists, thanks really to the U.S. that really taught us how to measure the numbers. So now we measure our own number, the whole private sector numbers, how many women are on board, how many women are in every level of management.

And we started also to make the difference between women in the corporate world and women entrepreneurs, because these are completely different numbers, but in order to really empower women in Israel, and in order to really move the needle making them part of the working force, we actually understood that we need to do both – women entrepreneurs owning their own businesses and really having more and more women within the corporate world.

So we also initiated a whole research, and now we have the numbers of how many women entrepreneurs we have in Israel and how many of them own businesses, how many of them are really tiny businesses, small businesses, and medium-sized businesses. And really, when we put together those numbers, really, we started to see that, luckily or not, our numbers are really not that great, but they’re exactly the same number as the rest of the world.

So once you know it’s not really a private problem or an Israeli problem or an American problem, you start to understand that, yes, prejudice is there, but it’s everywhere. So in order to make a difference, sharing those numbers and looking at them makes it a really worldwide issue.

Going back, really, to what I have done or we have done in our own business is exactly that – making sure that, really, the men are part of those numbers. So it took – it really takes time. It really takes time, because really the business world thinks we need to bring results. So why women? Again, it’s about the ethical part and about really bringing results. At the end, you learn that both things matter. And when we talk about the whole organization, really, that’s what’s really grabbed our hearts. It’s about making the right things, which is – we cannot really – 50 percent of the population cannot be poor. And it’s about our daughters, it’s about everything about our life. And really what I saw is that more and more CEOs, men, put those numbers and are measuring them year after year. So at least in our organization, it’s there. There are targets. Four years from now, we want to have 50-50 women and men at the top level.

And as the head of the business social responsibility in Israel, what we actually have done as well is took those targets as part of the right business social responsibility in Israel. So more and more organizations – really high-digit number – share their experience. And speaking with the government, we actually looked at – this is also one of our own government goals, five years from now to have more women as part of the workforce and entrepreneurship that started to put the money, started to put the targets. So again, it is about collaborating; it’s not about – it’s about being transparent, sharing those numbers. It’s not nice numbers to look at, but once it’s out there, one, it’s the shared goal of everyone. The private sector really can make a difference because it’s about making money, it’s about going home and being again a role model.

So that is actually our small stories. It cannot be only about the private or the one business; it’s about all the businesses together, sharing the numbers, and being out there and talking about those numbers every day, again and again. And actually, we started to resolve – the gap started to be closed in the last three years. The numbers are better, far from where we want to be, but the gap started to really be much smaller.

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Ofra. And your point about (inaudible) is critical. And I worked with the OECD on a gender initiative to begin to collect data, because you cannot talk about changing something if you don’t really understand it, if you don’t have the numbers that will give you the information necessary for employing strategies and tactics to move toward goals.

So we’re going to begin collecting data on both women’s employment and women’s entrepreneurship, and then to harmonize the data, because the United States Government, the EU, different governments around the world, we collect data, but it’s often in different forms so it’s hard to compare. And so we are looking to support this kind of an initiative – to get the data, to harmonize the data, to publicize the data. I think it’s a very important driver of change.

Judith, please.

MS. RODIN: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. It’s wonderful to be here and see so many old friends and new colleagues. And we look forward to working together with you on this.

I’ve been asked to talk about public-private partnerships, and I think we all know that that definition is about the private sector and government and NGOs, or civil society more broadly, working together to achieve positive outcomes. What I’m going to try to do, though, is talk about new ways that public-private partnerships are really accelerating change, and how each sector is really trying to catalyze what it does best in a way that really is innovative and accelerating. And I’ll use a couple examples that I know from the Rockefeller Foundation, but there are many others as well.

A couple of years ago, New York City needed to acquire enough new land to build 30,000 units of affordable housing. The major banks in the city were not willing to put up the funding for land acquisition, although they were willing to work at a later stage of development. So the mayor asked the Rockefeller Foundation to bring a group of other foundations together. We put in the tier of the riskiest capital – $50 million of risk capital – because obviously, philanthropy is risk capital at its best. The banks then were willing to come in as the second tier of risk; they put in about 300 million. And then the city put in a hundred million as the least risky capital, and 30,000 units of affordable housing are being built. So what you see is a collaboration where each sector is doing what each does best – in this case, to mitigate risks to produce social outcome.

The second example: At the G-20 two years ago, the ministers – and I think Secretary Clinton remembers this – wanted to think about what governments could do – the G-20 governments could do to help small and medium-sized enterprise grow to scale. What are the obstacles and what would be the accelerators? So they came to us as a philanthropist and we brought in Ashoka, which is a great NGO that has a platform where they can run competitions – global competitions, virtually – to get new ideas.

So we opened it up to the world to see what ideas there were. There were hundreds of applicants, and they picked 17 winners and the G-20 countries committed a half a billion dollars to fund these new ideas for how to scale, in the social space, the most innovative, small- and medium-sized enterprise companies to grow. This is exciting for us as a philanthropist, because it cost us a half a million dollars to mount the competition, and we unleashed 528 million. So when I talk to my board about leverage, that’s a really good thing to be able to talk about.

Another kind of innovation – very different in this instance that brings together government, private markets, and NGOs in new ways – is social impact bonds. Social impact bonds generate new investment from private investors to scale proven, effective interventions for pressing social needs. So this is a unique investment model that actually prevents future costs for government and problems for society by creating pressure for scaling proven innovations and interventions. We are supporting the first experiment on this in Peterborough in the UK to tackle recidivism in adult males who serve repeated short-term prison sentences. But it can be taken to many places. President Obama has committed a hundred million dollars from the U.S. Government, and there are several states now in the United States. So again, scalable solutions from social sector, philanthropy coming in to kind of seed the mix, and then government is really paying the private sector, the retail investor, because at a certain level it’s better to pay out the bond than pay for the consequence of a social problem. So, a very innovative way to be thinking about public private partnerships.

And finally, because we are looking to the private corporate sector as well, as Ofra has said, we’re trying to really focus on those places in public-private partnerships that accelerate beyond CSR – corporate social responsibility – to ROI. How is it good for the bottom line for these companies if they work together? And there’s a lot of very interesting work on what is being called hybrid value chains, where a large corporation will partner on the ground with a social sector NGO that really has the feet on the ground, knows how to access both the workers to reach people at the bottom of the pyramid, and also the people themselves.

So, many examples of this. One quick one: Zurich, a global insurance company, recognized in Mexico, for example, that there was – it was a very low penetration in the insurance market and that the financial burden for people at the bottom of the pyramid – ill health, death – was absolutely enormous, particularly in rural Mexico. They partnered with an NGO called the Mexican Association of Social Sector Credit Unions and they hired – they used their people, the credit union people, as salespeople for Zurich because they knew where in the communities to go, how to access, where was the credibility, rather than Zurich hiring their own employees to do that.

So many, many – they have now 56 million Mexicans who have been reached since 2009 through this project. So again, a very innovative public-private partnership to really accelerate change. There are many other examples, but I think what each of them shares in common is a commitment to innovation and a commitment to each sector saying what it does well and respecting what the other sector does well, and then thinking about what the accelerated impact could be. So I think those are helpful. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, those are great examples. And we want to try to think of how we can apply that model to partnering in order to help meet the needs we have identified in our four subcommittees; how do we improve capacity, access to credit, leadership, and the like.

And so to that end, I want to turn to our subcommittee chairs who have very graciously agreed to shoulder a little more of the burden that the council will be going forward with. And we’ve heard briefly from Cherie about the subcommittees, and I hope everybody will sign up for one, because I think it would be great to have that sort of virtual discussion going on, because clearly, we’re not going to be able to meet as often as we would like to for each – for the benefit of each other’s company.

So let me start with Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the managing director of the World Bank, on access to capital, and also maybe say a few words about the work you did in Indonesia, which was truly groundbreaking.

MS. INDRAWATI: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. It’s really an honor as well as pleasant to work with you all here. Our finance minister of Indonesia, on the breakfast meeting, I introduced briefly about my previous job. During – I mean, Indonesia, it actually looks like a European country 10 years ago. That was when we had the financial crisis, so we inherited the financial sector which needs to be fixed, caused a lot of bailout money from the public funds. So the public finance is in a real burden because of this crisis.

With that, definitely, then we are facing with a lot of unemployment, then women suddenly suffer even more, because even in a happy economic condition, they are actually having a difficulty in accessing the finance because of their immediate position, sometimes no property rights, no land titling, even in this case, no tax identification number. So there are a lot of thing that we can identify.

The first for a company, definitely make it – the country healthier is one necessary condition. And my job as finance minister is to put and to rebuild the foundation of the economy, reforming the tax, the custom, which is seen as the most corrupt institution in Indonesia, cleaning up and then become more credible, healthier public finance – or (inaudible) in this case. So Indonesia currently just upgraded into an investment gride, so it’s good to be in that position, especially when many advanced country now is suffering from downgrading.

So that is a very valuable experience, but apart from the bigger public finance experience, I think dealing with a woman is something which has also repeatedly become very evidenced in including the economic performance in general. And in this case, it is not only by saying that we need the mainstream woman within the design of the policy, but most importantly, what we could do in order to really eliminate, in a very concrete way, this discrimination against woman, especially on the economic activity.

One of the example which I just mentioned earlier is actually to give the opportunity for woman to have their own tax identity, because without any tax identity, you cannot actually access to the formal financial access, especially on the banking sector. We do identify – and a lot of work has been done in the World Bank. We also have the World Development Report. I see also, identifying from 141 economies that we survey, 48 different types of discrimination against woman that can apply. It’s almost – all but only 20 countries which is not having this discrimination against woman. So on a legal area, as far as the policy area, we don’t have to do the work from scratch, because there are many at research, so we can start from that.

And I guess this council is going to be very strategic. It’s not only identifying the problem, because like Sri mentioned earlier, it is really to put the work in a concrete action. And that can be demonstrated from a very high level, especially with the role of Secretary Clinton and many international fora, but also in many of our work all over the world. We connect and we communicate with policymaker. We even, in this case, also have a quite strong influence in both private sector foundation as well as the community. So we can see, and I think the challenge for us is really how to make this – all this data and information to become a work of action.

It can be done, maybe more or less, efficient and fast because of the information technology. Even in this case, our meeting like this can be also efficient because with the technology of – information technology, we can even communicate very efficiently. And so I think we really need to accelerate work based on all the lessons which is learned.

The World Bank – in this case, my current job – is definitely also have a lot of steady policy as well as even a project which is related with this gender equality. We are now putting this World Development Report on gender equality, which is identifying not only just the progress on the millennium development goal on equality between male and female roles on education and health, but most importantly, also in term of the political participation as well as on the economic access in this case.

We will put this in the action – in action – the report, and that – we will use both spring meeting as well as the annual meeting together, all the policymaker. We are now actually establishing a club or a council of many of the finance minister or development minister, especially from developing country, who will recognize this issue and then try to sense it. In this case, we can even support, whether through our policy loan as well as our technical assistance, as well as the knowledge that they have, so that they don’t have to invent from scratch in term of the design of the policy and so on.

We also work through (inaudible) in term of working both with the private sector as well as improving business opportunity, because the distortion for the woman not to be able to participate in the economic activity, it’s not only from the legal constrain, politic constrain, but sometime also the business environment which is not friendly. In this case, many economies are not allowing woman to open even the bank account for themselves. So there are so many, maybe, that we can think of that we can eliminate in – much faster, because we can identify which economy is actually having this kind of constrain, and how we can affect that.

The work on the subcommittee which I was asked to chair that is on access of finance, if I can suggest maybe we can a little bit in large – it’s not only finance, because it is the (inaudible), because when we cannot have the land title, when you cannot get the access, so maybe the better title is going to be the access of – access. In this case, I will try to link this with the work both in the G-20 forum that is the financial inclusion, because it will also – including the scope of work which is much wider, that it’s not only in term of financing access for the credit for the work, but also in term of their inclusion of financial services in general.

So I will try to link many of the work with (inaudible) within the World Bank Group, but also in my own experience, when I was finance minister, in trying to promote many of the policy which is gender equal, and that is going to be quite a lot of work need to be done. But I’m glad to hear from you, or especially from the private sector, and all the experience which is also practical. I think that this can be a very good combination between the – what you call it, the top-down policy approach after the very bottom-up of the practical action which is – can be done at the private as well as the CSO.

So thank you very much of having this – serving this council, which you are, and certainly would like to offer anything from my own experience personally as well as institutional experience that we have, both in the Bank as well as in Indonesia.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. And the story of Indonesia, of Brazil, of India, of other countries – South Africa – of the last decade is particularly important. And so as we move forward, kind of mapping out all the obstacles – because you’re absolutely right; it is everything from not being able to inherit, to not being able to have land titles, to not being able t open a bank account. And it wasn’t that long ago – I mean, it’s in my own lifetime – when those things were hard for American women. So it’s not like we have solved this problem, and therefore, we can’t relate.

I can remember when I was a practicing lawyer and my husband was the attorney general for our state of Arkansas making, as I recall, something like $15,000 a year, so I was making a lot more money than he was, and I could not get a credit card in my own name. And so – this was probably 1977, 1978. I see some heads nodding. The younger women are looking incredulous. (Laughter.) And it took me about 30 years before I would even consider getting a credit card from the company that denied me. (Laughter.) But that’s – those are the kinds of little things that build up over time and have aggregate socioeconomic impact.

So let me turn to Sally Susman to brief us on access to markets.

MS. SUSMAN: Thank you so much, Secretary Clinton, for your inspiration and your lifelong commitment to these issues. And thank you also for bringing together this amazing group of women in the council. A very funny thing happened over breakfast this morning. We were sitting around the table, and we were introducing ourselves to one another, and we didn’t finish – (laughter) – because the stories and the experience of these people is really profound, and so we have a great opportunity that you’ve given us at this council to do really, really important work.

The work of the Market Access Committee will be really to identify those barriers, whether it’s getting a credit card if you’re breadwinner of your family, or, more profoundly, structural bias against the ability for women to enter the market and really collect and audit these challenges. And I think the really hard part is to figure out where we can make a meaningful and significant difference, because much great work has already been done, and I know the people around this table are not the type of people that want to duplicate work that’s been done, but to find a niche that we can lean into, work hard, and be able to say, when we finish: “Here’s the difference that we made for women and their ability to not just thrive, but to -- ” I’m sorry, “not just survive, but thrive.” And I think that’s the core of the committee.

As Judith said so eloquently, it’s not about CSR, but ROI. We want to do good, but we’ll do good when women have the ability to really do well. I also am noting a lot of overlap and common purpose among the subcommittees. So I think one thing we may want to consider as we speak later today is not only how does each committee work independently, but how do we knit ourselves together so that the left hand and the right hand are really working closely.

And then lastly, I just wanted to share a fact that I learned recently, and that is that over the last 100 years, we’ve added 30 years of longevity. So chances are each one of us are going to live about 25 years to 30 years longer than our grandparents. And I wanted to lay that on the table this morning, not only because I have a 99-year-old grandmother, and the thought is horrifying – (laughter) – but because I think this longevity has a significant impact for women.

What does it mean for us personally? What does it mean for society? And what does it mean for the role we often play as caregiver, chief medical officer of our family, the person who’s supposed to help and to assist as societies move forward? So I hope we can keep in the back of our minds what kind of health and wealth will be required for women to be strong contributors to society. And I’m very, very excited to be here and look forward to working hard in our committee. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Sally, I think that’s a really important issue to raise, because I don’t think – well, I’ll speak for myself. I certainly don’t want to give up the caregiving family commitments that are really what makes life worth living. You look around and you think about the relationships – family, close friends, colleagues – those are essential to who we are and what our values are. And I think it is important for us to recognize that a lot of women’s time across the world is uncompensated time that is devoted to caregiving. And nobody wants to undermine, or in any way denigrate, let alone eliminate, that important role.

So as we live longer, though, we’ll have more stages of life to go through, and how we are productive, self-sustaining, healthy enough to be able to keep going in the many different roles we all play is one of the overriding issues that is still yet to be determined in any society, no matter how advanced the economy or how advanced women’s participation is, because it still is just harder. And those are burdens that many of us are happy to assume, but it doesn’t make it any easier, then, to make sure the doors remain open for women as we come in and out of different stages of our own lives and the responsibilities that we have.

So I don’t know how we work that in, Cherie, but it is one of the continuing questions that I talk about with my friends all the time, and so we need to follow Sally’s good guidance here.

Let me now turn to Beth Brooke.

MS. BROOKE: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton, and thank you for bringing this council together. I think we’re all thrilled to be a part of it, recognizing that no problems can be solved alone. We know that all too well. So the bringing together of this mosaic – mosaic of ideas, which I think, Sally, as you pointed out, breakfast was – could have gone on forever because of the sharing of ideas.

But progress has been too slow. And so I think in terms of the Capacity and Skills Committee, one thing we’ll be looking at is holding ourselves accountable to a standard of a step change versus incremental progress. How do we do something that will dramatically move this needle? Because all of us, either collectively or personally, are frustrated with the pace of progress on this issue.

I think you have so well changed the conversation, and you echoed it in your remarks this morning about this is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. It is an economic argument. It is about ROI. And that resonates with business, and it is resonating with business, and I thank you for changing the conversation to that, because it’s important. I was struck this morning picking up The Wall Street Journal and the calls for growth versus austerity. And I wanted to see the follow-on to say growth and that world’s half-untapped population of women is that economic engine for growth. But we’re not – we don’t naturally follow on that conversation yet, so the – we have work to be done, very clearly. I think Judith pointed out well each sector needs to do what it does best. And when we collaborate – and what you’ve brought together, I think – and we saw the richness of it this morning – when we collaborate, I think we really can perhaps achieve the step change that we’re all looking for.

From a capacity and skills perspective, we do. The education pipeline is rich and getting richer for women. Our mission will be to help figure out what we can do to skill them better around entrepreneurial skills, employment skills, but then also looking at the population of women entrepreneurs. I know at Ernst & Young we’ve looked a lot at how women entrepreneurs get stuck. They grow to a certain level, and then they just get stuck. And so many of the reasons they get stuck are the exact same reason women in the private sector tend to get stuck – lack of access to capital, lack of visibility, lack of access to networks, which means lack of access to customers. All those same barriers can translate and apply.

So I think the richness of us looking at that together will help unlock potential that’s sitting there in the world in women entrepreneurs who are stuck. I think part of that is looking at how we create a demand in supply chains, so major corporations, as they have supply chains, looking at a richness of diversity for women in those supply chains can help create the demand for the private sector to invest more in women entrepreneurs in their supply chain. Government has a role to play in procurement policies, I think. So there’s both a push and pull in that.

The opportunity I think we have is with globalization. And the private sector today is looking for growth wherever possible. And so much of that today is obviously coming from the emerging markets, the frontier markets, and those markets are not well understood. The emerging market consumer is not well understood. So Judith, to your point about – I think you used the Zurich example of how they didn’t necessarily understand that emerging market consumer, so they teamed with an NGO to better understand it. You see that now starting to happen all over the world as the private sector struggles to find growth, but to understand that growth rather than going into markets where there are traditional products and watching them repel backwards because they just don’t understand the market they’ve gone into.

So I think there’s tremendous opportunity as we come together. Yes, again, in Capacity and Skills, we’ll hold ourselves accountable to a step change and try to create that kind of an effect. And I want – I would like to have everybody on the council as part of this committee. (Laughter.) Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Inaudible) at the end there. (Laughter.) Thank you so much, Beth.

Let me now turn to Maud Olofsson. And Maud has had both public and private sector experience, and I think that’s the kind of synergy that we really need to bring to bear on resolving some of these outstanding issues.

Maud.

MS. OLOFSSON: Thank you very much, Madam. Let me also say that I’m honored, of course. We are all honored and it’s a privilege just to be here and meet all these fantastic women, also to get inspired by yourselves and get new ideas. And being – working for so long time, I know how important it is to get all these good examples from all over the world, which we can share with each other. And I, of course, also want to thank Secretary Clinton, because I think if we want to change something, there has to be leaders around the world that are talking about this, which are important, which people listen to. And of course, Secretary Clinton is crucial. But we need more women around the world to talk about women leaders and women in business. And I think – when I look at this group, I think we can use this as a platform for having discussions all around the world because we’re coming from different environments, from different parts of the world, and we can use this platform and just be that important as we want to be, and show that personally and privately also when we go back to our countries and our positions.

I think it’s important when we talk about leadership that we see that leadership is about – well, it could be about Secretary Clinton. It could be about former deputy prime minister or whatever it can – but it’s also about local leadership out in the township in South Africa, in a small village in India, or wherever, because when women take leadership, they make a change. And I’ve seen it. I was in India and met those who are working with microfinance, and I saw the strength in these women when they earned their own money, when they started up their own business, and they could say, “Well, I can now pay for the education for my children.” And this is changing a lot in each and every country if we can do that. So I think it’s important to see. It’s in the private sector, it’s in the public sector, it’s within the NGOs, it’s all over, and on all levels.

I also think that we need to see that you can gain leadership in many ways, because you can teach it in universities, of course. But you can also practice it and take – go step by step. From my own experience, I think the support from other women has been crucial. Somebody’s telling me you can, and I think to find out how can we support women to take further steps in their leadership, and there are very many good examples from all of you that we can use in that.

I can see it also in the private sector. If we look at the boards, for example, we know – we all know, as Secretary Clinton said, that there are a lack of women in the private sector. And I think a lot of the problem that they have with today is about that. Half of the consumers are not represented in the boards. So they don’t understand. I worked with the car industry, so I know. And I think it’s crucial. And I told at the breakfast that we supported the program in Sweden about old – so-called board power programs, where we gave education and training to 200 women. Half of them have got a question now to sit in the board. And many of the questions were “Oh, we don’t have any women; we don’t know about them; we don’t see them; that’s why.” So we have to show also – and also in – when we start programs, it’s getting more public, and they know where to ask us and see where they are.

I come from Sweden, as you know, and I’ve been the deputy prime minister, I’ve been the minister of energy and enterprise, but I’ve also been a party leader and a party leader for an organization with around 60,000 members. So I know how it is to handle. I see that my position has also encouraged other women to take leading positions. So now, the one who came after me as a party leader was a 28-year-old woman. So I think you can change also by yourself in being a role model.

Coming to Sweden, I think that I want to pay a tribute to my mother, because she was engaged in politics at home. And she paved the way for me to be a leader. She paved the way to give me the same education as my brothers. And today in Sweden right now, we – they introduced all the way – they introduced childcare and talking about how can we make it easier for women to get into leading positions. Of course, taking care of the children is crucial, and it’s crucial if you talk about a township in – in (inaudible), as I visited a few weeks ago. But it’s also important in a developed country like Sweden. Also, parental benefits; we share most of the benefits between men and women. And if we share the responsibility for the children, then it’s easier for women to become leaders.

I also think that we can – as I said, we can be role models for so many, so I think we have to find out how can we be these role models, and how can we make visible that we are doing a lot of things around the world. And I think in pictures – I don't know how you do it – but I envision an act where we can put dots and say, “Oh, Cherie Blair, she has been in London talking about women leadership, and you have been in Indonesia,” or “You have been in Stockholm talking about access to capital over debit.”

So we can have these vision and this map showing that we are doing a lot of things, and I think that a lot of people that want to watch the map – how many doctors are coming this week here and are – (laughter) – and watching you. So I think it’s not just about making a report; it’s also about making it reasonable – do you say – visible to what we are doing.

I also think that it’s not just the report. We have – we also need to talk with all these organizations that are working with women leadership, like UN, like World Bank, like OECD, like European Union, African Union, and all these. We have to influence them to put these issues on the agenda, because it has to be natural. It has to be natural, not just coming – something after all – we have discussed all these important things and then we have some women issues also. So it has to be natural to discuss that.

And in my group, I hope that we will be able to start a discussion about proposals to make it possible for women to become leaders. I’ll mention a few things. How can women business and women business – how – what impact does it have on leadership? How can women take part in political discussions, I mean, in leading positions? What has to be done by institutions and legislations? How can we play a more important role in the private sector? The roles of NGOs, what can they do? And also show the best practices and good examples, and also what kind of actions do we need to take to change all these – all those who are working with this.

And second, but – last but not least, how can we be a group of power which people want to follow, want to listen to, and want to take part, be an important part in the discussion on women leadership? That’s how I want to work with this group. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m seeing all those little dots before my eyes, Maud. (Laughter.) I have about 30 minutes that I would love to use hearing from others of our participants before I have to depart, and there are so many of you who I have admired from afar.

I wanted to just throw it open, and if no one volunteers, then let me turn to you, Wanda, because what you’ve done in Brazil, along with your colleagues, has been transformational. And I would love to hear more about how that work can be applied, because going back to the point about – you have to help stabilize a whole economy in order to create opportunities for more people, but then you still have to reach out to help people who would otherwise be left behind. And the cash transfer programs that Brazil pioneered, I think, could be so well used in so many other countries, and I don’t understand why everybody doesn’t line up to say, “Come show us how to do it, Brazil,” because it makes a very big difference.

So, Wanda.

MS. ENGEL: Thank you. Thank you for the invitation. Thank you for giving the possibility to talk about this.

The first time in Brazilian history, we have economic growth and degrees of inequity, the first time. In ‘70s, we have a very important economic growing, but the inequalities are growing also. And the difference between the two periods is the – very strong social policies, including cash transfers, conditional cash transfers. In this opportunity to implement this program, I was the former secretary of social development in this time. The focus was the poor woman. All the program – the main program, the transfer – cash transfers, and the other programs, other social protection programs are directly for the poor woman, in the main – of the women. And the (inaudible) – I don't know – all the programs. And I think that the focus in poor woman may be the main direct of the policies in (inaudible).

The second one is data. Data is absolutely important. No data, no problem; no problem, no solution. But – (laughter) – data, to be the (inaudible) to policies, and in these kind of problems, I think that the proposal of (inaudible) – now, the policies have to be including partners – my English is so bad, okay, okay. (Laughter.) The partnership between government and the economic field, they are very, very, very important. Now, I am going to implement a program in Brazil, joint federal level and state level and the biggest bank in Brazil, named Itau Unibanco.

In this – the provincial – the high education, the secondary education, our big problem in Brazil now – I think that to break this generational vehicle of poverty, we have to guarantee of all the poor, the young people are – assess and concluded the high school. The high school is now the passport to introducing (inaudible) market. And the young people in Brazil are out of school. We have 10 million people between 15 and 17, and only 50 – 5 million are in the high school. The other one are in the elementary school or out of the school. That’s a big problem.

The – I am the first candidate to capacity-building because I think that the root of the problem is education. If we can’t introduce a formal education, this problem, this issue, the perception how to be a man or how to be a woman, the economic and the financial education in the formal education – I think that we are going to put the finger in the center of the problem. I am a candidate, okay? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: The point you make about conditional cash transfers, microfinance, the reason that women became the focus is because poor women, when they get some cash, will improve the lives of their children. They will pay the school fees, they will buy the uniforms, they will buy the books, they will move to a better house so that the conditions are better for their children. I mean, there’s just a direct line through a poor woman into the next generation, that, for all of the experience we’ve had, doesn’t work the same way if the money goes to the father or the male head of household.

So, I mean, what Brazil has done is really revolutionary because you’ve empowered for women to make decisions for the betterment of their own children, and that has helped to begin breaking that cycle of poverty, so thank you very much for that.

MS. ENGEL: That’s true. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

MS. SHULER: I’d like to thank you, Madam Secretary, for including a worker perspective within this group. I was thinking to myself, if I was at a collective bargaining table, I’m a little outnumbered today. (Laughter.) But thank you again for being such an advocate for women, but for workers as well. And I know many of you around the table have had experiences working with unions in your countries.

And I guess I just wanted to put a plug in for thinking of worker organizations in terms of partnerships as well, because there are a lot of innovative partnerships going on, but very few of folks around the world hear about the innovations going on with labor and management partnerships, and we actually – the AFL-CIO just entered into a partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, I might add, in terms of leveraging pension investment dollars to build infrastructure in the U.S.

And so we believe that that will be not only an opportunity and an engine for job growth, but also opportunities for women, because a lot of what we’re focusing on is investments in green energy. And we’d like to think that there’s a lot of opportunities for women in creating new jobs in that emerging industry, and the union movement also puts a lot of energy and resources into training programs – once again, in partnership with management counterparts, taking union wages and employer dollars, putting them in trust funds so that we can actually invest in the workforce of the future in providing trained, highly skilled, qualified workers for your companies.

And so I think that’s something that, as we move on forward through the discussion, that we should keep in mind that often, unions can be some of your best partners in innovation and looking for ways to make your businesses more efficient.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Liz. Well, we’re so happy you are on this council because of your experience and your perspective. And the fact is that unions have played a major role, certainly, in the development of economies in the 20th century in the West. And the absence of worker protections in many parts of the world really undermines the creation of a middle class, because there is just no way for people ever to get ahead, because they can’t put their own voice and their own efforts break through the kind of barriers that exist.

So, who would like to go next? Yes, please.

MS. LUHABE: Wendy Luhabe from South Africa. I wanted to share a perspective of something that we did in South Africa after we became a democracy in 1994. We started life as a democracy which – very robust, gender-equality positions as a country. But what we quickly realized was that unless women choose ownership of these policies and provided leadership in translations of these policies into tangible programs, it actually wasn’t going to happen. And I think that in many parts of the world, there are very good policies with respect to gender equalities. But they don’t get translated because we step back and assume that someone else will make that happen.

And just to give you an example of what we did, I pioneered with three other women the founding of an investment company, an example that has not been done anywhere in the world, where we educated South African women over 18 months about how the economy functions and how to become investors. We were able, after the 18-month road show, to get 18,000 women to be able to participate as investors for the first time. And just a demonstration of that in the country showed many other women what was possible with respect to financial independence. And I think there’s been many references to how critical that is.

In my view, there are three areas that we need to include in our discussions. One is around the area of identities, the fact that when we become mothers or when we get married, we lose our identity. And to really try and understand the many ways that that happens – and I think there’s been reference to many examples in other parts of the world about how that happens – the second area is around the issue of financial independence. Money features in so many of these ways that we get discriminated from salaries in the workplace where women are employed at the lower scale of the same wage of the same job. So there are lots of things that happen that are – that get justified to maintain this gender gap.

And then the third element is really the one of access to resources – how do we get to the bottom of that? And I have some ideas about very specific things. You made reference, Madam Secretary of State, about the fact that the work that women do to bring up women is uncompensated. I have some ideas about solutions around that. I think that we should think about insurance products that can protect women and compensate women for work that they do to bring up children, or to be at home so that we’re not tragedies. Or insurance products that can look at what happens to women when they get divorced. In many parts of the world, women get divorced and they are left with nothing. So I think that there are insurance products that can be created to try and respond to some of these issues so that we level the playing field.

So a lot of the issues for me are around money and how money is managed and the access that we have to our own money as women and what insurance we have in the event that our circumstances change.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Wendy, those are great ideas. I mean, what you did in South Africa with, in effect, creating a giant investors club for 80,000 women is just brilliant. And now this idea about somehow creating an insurance product that could help women navigate through the trials and tribulations of life, whether it’s death of a spouse, divorce, whatever it might be, I think is another very smart proposal that I’d like – I’ve got all my smart people here who have all this expertise in the second rows, and I’d like them to think through what that means, and we’d love your ideas about that. And Judith, this would be a great idea for the Rockefeller Foundation to help us with.

PARTICIPANT: Anyway, I just put illness (inaudible) as well, because if you have a sick child, it’s often the woman – you have to take the time off to look after the child, and that can be hugely disruptive.

SECRETARY CLINTON: But also a sick parent.

PARTICIPANT: Yeah.

PARTICIPANT: Very true, that too.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I mean, if you have the means, it can be managed. But if you don’t and you have responsibility for a mother or a father, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle, a lot of the products that currently exist, like long-term insurance and the like, are so expensive. So I think that’s exactly the kind of thing that would be very worthwhile, right?


So, Audrey.

MS. HINCHCLIFFE: Thank you, Madam Secretary. We have a problem in Jamaica, and we mention this morning that women are stuck, whether it – we are in (inaudible) or whether we are in any other type of business. And so that a project was recently started called the Way Out Project by the Bureau of Women’s Affairs. And it’s interesting; if you’d quickly like to hear our statistics, women make up 50.7 percent of the population; they are only 17 percent in parliament, 16 percent on private sector board. Women enroll more than men in international institution – as a matter of fact, twice. Women are seeking job at a rate 30 percent higher than men. Women unemployment is twice that of men. Majority of domestic violence are female, and women have the higher rates of depression.

On the other side, we are now stop talking about women’s affairs, but gender affairs, because we are beginning to find that there’s a correlation between the role of men and the role of women. And it is becoming clear that we are both keeping each other back, both the men and the women. The men constantly perform worse than women in the public education system. Majority of the people in conflict with the justice system are male. Ninety-eight percent of the persons arrested and charged with major crimes are male, and a lot of those crimes are against women. Ninety percent of the persons that visit to correctional facilities were the male, and of course, men are unable to access paternity leave, so the problem of child rearing falls to women. Majority of the households are by women, so that there was a need for this project.

What is happening recently, organizations – for example, I sat for many years as the sole woman on the board of GraceKennedy, the largest conglomerate in the Caribbean, it’s not – and South Florida as well. And we are now starting to look at where women are in the organization itself because they are stuck at a certain level and very few get to the top of this international organization.

Also, we are looking at the role of women on boards. A study was just completed, and now they can’t say anymore they can’t find women, because it’s now documented that women are indeed available. So that what this project that has been started, the expected outcome is that where – the more public education on the role of women, both in the public and private sector, to get us unstuck.

The financing of women’s businesses – we are now seeing a little bit more sensitivity from the financial institutions, because woman business owners group have been asserting themselves in talking with these institutions. But our businesses tend to be still small and medium enterprises. I had one of the very few that has broken the barrier, but it was not without a fight with the institutions. And we have to find a way to get the support from women to support other women. That is a serious problem that we are having.

And I’m really happy to be here and to hear the example, particularly of what is happening is Brazil, what is happening in Indonesia, because I will be able to take back some of this information to the groups. And as you are aware, we just got a new female prime minister. We have a lot of work to do. Jamaica cannot, nor the Caribbean, can deal with a top-down program. We – our pyramid is such that the top is very narrow. There is not enough there to trickle down. We’re going to have to look at the broad base of our pyramid and to see how do we now assist our new government with projects and programs and so on to enter into that core. Because if – and I just want to say, that’s who put the government in place. It is the large base of the pyramid who votes, who gives you the government.

So Madam Secretary, all the help that we can get for programs and projects at the broad base to assist the growth, and that broad base is a majority of women, that is the only way we can see any prospect for growth and job creation in Jamaica. So I have a lot to take away from this group, so I’m very, very happy to be here. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I intend to talk with the prime minister soon, and certainly the United States will support the World Bank, support the Inter-American Development Bank, and other entities with experience, such as Brazil, to try to come to the prime minister with advice. Because I know exactly what she hopes to be able to do for the people in her country, particularly the women. So, thank you.

MS. HINCHCLIFFE: (Inaudible) very happy to hear about the role of workers organizations, that we really have not been working with them close enough. And the International Labor Organization has now been looking at that area with the hope of getting us to do some work there. And when I served as president of the Employers’ Federation, we saw the opportunity there to start working with our women, so we formed the Women Executive Forum. And the next thing we are looking at is starting a women’s leadership institute so that training for women can be on a sustainable basis. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Excellent. Well, I want to hear from Meera and Sue, and then I’ll have to excuse myself. But again, this has been very helpful and informative for me.

Meera.

MS. SANYAL: Thank you. It’s a real privilege and honor to be here amongst this gathering. And one of the thoughts that has really troubled me over a long period of time is that, while in India, we do have relatively benign policies towards women so there is no overt discrimination, a lot of the attitude towards women is governed by the attitude of men towards women. So in India, Indian men look at their mothers as goddesses and they place them on a pedestal, but unfortunately, they look at their daughters as burdens. And this is reflected in the declining sex ratio that we have in our country, which has been falling at quite a distressing pace.

What is also interesting, I think, is in the last few decades, that women are beginning to shape this perception. As women are entering the workforce, more in employment in urban areas and more in entrepreneurship in rural areas through microfinance, women are beginning to shape that agenda, and I actually see women getting more empowered. They enter governance into local self governance. You start seeing better outcomes, not just in health and family indicators, which have been very powerful, which we discussed this morning, but also in governance, in (inaudible) corruption, in more water housing structures, in better management of forests and areas, I mean, just a host of – whole series of things there.

And as I’ve been engaged, both in our microfinance and our livelihood assistance programs, what I’m finding as a banker, it’s really important – not just empowerment, but basic tools. When we talk of financial inclusion, people need to have access to basic savings. And many women have said, “Look, we’d like to save 50 rupees every week, because if we don’t have somewhere to put it, it’ll get taken away for the drink of my husband, it’ll get taken away for the toy of my child, it’ll get taken away for the illness of someone.” But if it’s in a bank account, then it can be saved up.

Insurance – I mean, we’ve talked about insurance. Nothing sets a poor family back than the ill health of someone. I mean, I have seen entire families ruined, because no matter how poor you are, you will pay for the illness of a child or a parent or a brother or a sister, and it’s wiping out families. So insurance is a basic product.

And certainly, last but not least, is affordable credit, but also sustained access to that credit. And one of the big concerns I have is that policies seem to change and governments seem to change their policy frameworks. And you have assumptions which result in perhaps the wrong interventions. At the moment in India, microfinance is going through a tremendous crisis because, in my view, of some very misplaced assumptions. And we are seeing destitution across the board. So sustained policy initiative, but also women shaping the agenda in terms of how we perceive our daughters rather than just letting our men shape that for us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That was a very rich set of comments, because India so fully represents both the potential and promise as well as the perils and problems that this whole set of issues confront. So I really look forward to hearing your ideas.

And finally, Sue, thank you so much for being part of this.

Ms. Fleishman: Thank you so much, Secretary Clinton, and thanks to all of you. And I have to say I am awed and daunted by being here at this table since I bring a slightly different skill set, I guess I would say.

I work in an industry that has been rightfully criticized for how it portrays women. I also work for a company that has been extraordinarily supportive of women, and everything from board training programs to specific leadership programs designed to help women form those informal networks that get us to where we need to go. Judith made an interesting comment about golf this morning, about – you’re the high-powered, accomplished women at Wharton wanting to know if they needed to play golf in order to succeed. And there was a part of me that was, like, “Eww,” because I know all these men do that, and I used to think the same thing. And I’ve decided I absolutely do not have to do that, thank God.

But what I’d like to offer up here, and what I think I can bring, is communications, the power of that, the ability to tell stories. Liz and I were speaking this morning about the unsung single mom who works two shifts, who’s raising the children. Those stories, the ability to provide platforms, distribution platforms, we are probably the most global of all of Time Warner’s divisions. While we’re not Ernst and Young, we do have a lot of people all over the world and a lot of territories.

And so what I would like to offer is the ability to use media in a positive, constructive way to show and tell all of these stories. How do we do that? What can I do? What can I bring? What can my company bring? And what can connections within the industry bring?

So I’d like to offer that as a way of doing good in the world and supporting women. So, thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is an important part of the solution, because all of these cultural images and stereotypes that everybody lives with, we all live with them. And one of the great challenges of the 21st century is to overcome them. But the pace of change, unfortunately, actually pushes many people into inward-looking assumptions about where they are vis-à-vis the rest of the world, and they feel more comfortable kind of making it us against them. So if it’s a religion against another or an ethnic group against another or a tribal group, or men versus women, and – so I think that how we crack that cultural code is one of the real challenges we still face.

So this has been, for me, tremendously stimulating, and I’m very excited about the work ahead. I’m going to leave Cherie and Melanne to continue the conversation. But again, on a personal basis, thank you so much for being willing to participate in this groundbreaking effort.

Thank you.



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