past event
Gender Equity

Legacy, Meaning, and the Power of Stories

In celebration of our inaugural SOAR Fellowship, the Aspen Institute’s first-ever fellowship of all women leaders committed to improving the lives of women and girls, we invite our friends and partners to engage in three virtual sessions where we will explore bold and creative opportunities to make the world a better place for women and girls.

These sessions honor the leadership and legacy of our Fellows as well as other courageous, groundbreaking women leaders who work tirelessly to advance opportunity and equality in the United States and across the globe.

Join us as we chart a collective path forward.

December 8, 2020
2:30 – 3:15 p.m. EST
Let’s Fast Track for Gender Equity and Justice in the U.S. and Globally

Despite recent worldwide attention to advance the rights of women and girls, COVID-19 has eroded the little progress we have made on gender equality.

Here in the U.S., progress has slowed or stalled completely. Due to the pandemic’s dramatic impact on service and tourism industries – jobs predominantly held by women – the gender gap has expanded. Disruptions in school and child care have increased the domestic burden placed on women at home and reduced their ability to work. Inequitable pay and inequitable opportunities also continue to impact the financial well-being and economic future of women and girls. The World Economic Forum states that women won’t reach gender parity for 99.5 years, and recent reports claim this reality may be even further away due to the lasting impacts of COVID-19.

But there is good news – we have an unprecedented opportunity to cut this estimate in half. President-elect Joe Biden is already naming key women leaders to head federal agencies at unprecedented levels. The new administration has crafted a plan for women’s and families’ economic opportunity and well-being. Women and girls are organizing in powerful ways in communities across the country and are an essential driver for change if we want to emerge stronger than before.

On Dec. 8, we will engage in an ambitious conversation on what a policy agenda could look like over the next four years and what opportunities exist to exceed equity and justice expectations domestically. We invited three former leaders from past White House women and girls initiatives to share insights from their past administrations’ experiences to join us as we set a course for the future.

Lead Discussants
• Kalisha Dessources, former policy advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls for the Obama administration, doctoral candidate at Yale University, and co-author of “Yes She Can.”
• Betsy Myers, author of “Take the Lead,” founding director of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, and former director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach for the Clinton administration.
• Lisa Ross, U.S. chief operating officer at Edelman and former deputy director of the bipartisan Federal Glass Ceiling Commission and the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach for the Clinton administration.

The discussion will be moderated by Anne Mosle, vice president of the Aspen Institute, co-chair of the Aspen Forum on Women and Girls, and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute.

December 8, 2020
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. EST
An Evening of Grace: Women’s Stories Matter

The inaugural class of SOAR Fellows give us hope. By backing bold, diverse leaders and championing new ways to drive force for change, we can strive for justice and see meaningful progress in our lifetime. These SOAR fellows are at the forefront of some of the most pressing issues facing women and girls in the U.S. and around the world today. True leadership is grounded in purpose and a deep personal connection to the issues we are fighting for.

Join us for a powerful and poignant evening performance where SOAR fellows will share their deepest stories that have made them who they are today. We are honored to have Rene Redwood, a longtime champion for women’s rights and justice, host this evening celebration of our Fellows’ unique journeys.

December 9, 2020
2:30 – 3:00 p.m. EST
Leadership and Legacy: Reflections on Women’s Leadership with Secretary Madeleine K. Albright and the Honorable Helen Clark

As we reflect on an unprecedented time in our collective history, we must take this opportunity to learn from the experiences of extraordinary women leaders who have paved the way for women to take the helm of the highest leadership positions in the world. Stepping into leadership roles that have both transformed opportunities for women and advanced major policy, these leaders have overcome multiple obstacles in times of crisis.

Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, former United States secretary of state and the Honorable Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand and will share their unique perspectives on the role of women’s leadership in the world today, emerging women leaders in the U.S. and the world, leadership in this moment of crisis and division, and their own personal perspectives on why women’s leadership matters.

Lead Discussants
• Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, former United States secretary of state, chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, and chair of Albright Capital Management LLC.
• Honorable Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, former administrator of the United Nations Development Program, chair of the Independent Commission on Pandemic Preparedness, and patron of the Helen Clark Foundation.

Moderated by Peggy Clark, vice president of the Aspen Institute and co-chair of the Aspen Forum on Women and Girls.

Event information
Tue Dec 8, 2020 - Wed Dec 9, 2020