Marie Wilson has been an advocate of women’s issues for more than 30 years and is founder and President of The White House Project. She is also a co-creator of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work ® Day and author of Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World (Viking 2004).
In 1998, she founded The White House Project in recognition of the need to build a truly representative democracy – one where women lead alongside men in all spheres. Since its inception, The White House Project has been a leading advocate and voice on women’s leadership.
On January 30th, 2011, I had the privilege to be among 250 persons from different countries around the world to dine at International House, New York, with Marie Wilson. She spoke about the role of women in politics and urged men to push for more presence of women in politics. She noted that so far, women have generally proven to be great leaders around the world and should be encouraged to participate further towards economic development. I must confess that after hearing her speak I was deeply inspired. After dinner, I spent sometime thinking about women who have in my view contributed to society both politically and in the business sector. I came up with a few names of women who we should all be proud of for their initiatives and work towards economic development.
- Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria – Former President of Chile
- Maria Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – Former President of Philippines
- Dilma Vana Linhares Rousseff – President of Brazil
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – President of Liberia
- Angela Dorothea Merkel – Chancellor of Germany
- Dalia Grybauskaite – President of Lithuania
- Doris Leuthard – President of the Confederation, Switzerland
- Roza Otunbayeva – President of Kyrgyzstan
- Laura Chinchilla Miranda – President of Costa Rica
- Cristina Elizabet Fernandez de Kirchner – President of Argentina
- Mary McAleese – President of Ireland
- Tarja Halonen – President of Finland
- Pratibha Patil – President of India
- Julia Gillard – Prime Minister of Australia
- Yulla Volodymyrivia Tymoshenko – Ukraine’s first female Prime Minister
- Jadranka Kosor – Prime Minister of Croatia
- Kamla Persad-Bissessar – Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
- Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama – First Lady of the United States
- Hilary Rodham Clinton – United States Secretary of State
- Shella Collen Bair – Chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
- Christine Lagarde – Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment of France.
- Sonia Gandhi – President of the Indian National Congress
- Chanda Kochhar – CEO & Director (MD) of ICICI Bank
- Dame Marjorie Morris Scardino – CEO of Pearson PLC
- Bartz, Carol Ann – President & CEO of Yahoo Inc.
- Braly, Angela F. – WellPoint
- Burns, Ursula M. – CEO of Xerox
- Anne M. Mulcahy – Chairman and Former CEO of Xerox Corp
- Kullman, Ellen J. – Dupont
- Nooyi, Indra Krishnamurthy – Chairperson & CEO of PepsiCo
- Rosenfeld, Irene B. – Kraftfoods
- Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan – Wife of King Abdullah of Jordan
- Well no list would be complete without “the Queen” (Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom – Head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Do you know more women who have proven to have a great influence on our World?Ufuoma Barbara Akpotaire is a Program and Research intern with the SISGI Group’s Research Division. To learn more about the SISGI Group please visit www.sisgigroup.org.