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The Top 5 Moments From the 2013 Women in the World Summit

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This past week marked the fourth annual Women in the World Summit, an event founded by Newsweek/The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown.

The two-day summit, held at New York City’s Lincoln Center, united world leaders, high-powered CEOs, grassroots activists, and young movers and shakers in addressing global gender challenges. Single name stars like Hillary, Oprah, Meryl, and Angelina also put in appearances, adding a dash of glamor to the mix. Five of the most outstanding moments are recapped here.

1. Hillary Clinton calling women’s rights the “unfinished business of the 21st century.” Walking out to a standing ovation, Clinton delivered a powerful call to action to confront gender challenges around the world and reminded the rapt audience that there is still work to be done here in the U.S., particularly where equal pay is concerned. Clinton’s headline-grabbing address prompted a new wave of speculation on a 2016 presidential run. Read the full speech transcript here and watch her in the clip below.

2. Angelina Jolie’s salute to Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai. Yousafzai was shot at point-blank range by the Taliban for her advocacy of girls’ education. Yousafzai, who survived the attack to become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee in history, appeared through video to announce the first grant for the Malala Fund, which supports the rights to education for Pakistani girls. Jolie herself pledged $200,000 to the fund.

3. Spanx founder Sara Blakely discussing her career path. Blakely’s ubiquitous undergarments have made her the world’s youngest self-made female millionaire. She credited the launch of Spanx to a less-than-stellar LSAT and her father’s lessons in embracing failure, reminding us that there is no straight and narrow path to success. Blakely, who has retained 100 percent ownership of Spanx, highlighted the importance of trusting your gut and said that listening to women has been the number one factor in growing her business.

4. Women helping women in STEM. A panel moderated by Chelsea Clinton took a look at four women who are transforming technology. Panelist Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, focused on the importance of equipping girls with the skills for STEM careers as early as possible, saying that “the train is leaving and we can’t leave our girls behind.” The need for more women in STEM was a big theme at the summit.

5. Oprah’s interview with her hero, Dr. Tererai Trent. It’s a rare moment when Oprah is star struck, so you know that Dr. Tererai Trent of Zimbabwe is something special. Trent, who was denied an education as a child and forced to marry at age 11, never gave up on her dreams of a diploma and in a truly spectacular display of overcoming odds, earned her bachelors, masters, and PhD degrees. Watch Dr. Trent’s inspiring story here.

To learn more about the Women in the World Summit, visit

Photo courtesy of Kirsten Murray.


Entrepreneurship #Angelina Jolie #Charity Women in Politics #Hillary Clinton #Oprah News
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Women & STEM. It is an urgent issue - here's why - and these numbers come from NCWIT (National Center for Women in Information Technology):

1.4 million computer specialist openings expected in the U.S. by 2020
30% of these jobs could be filled by U.S. computing graduates by 2020

25% of professional computing occupations in the 2011 U.S. workforce are held by women
3% of computing workforce who were African-American women in 2011
4% of computing workforce who were Asian women in 2011
1% of computing workforce who were Hispanic women in 2011

79% decline in the number of first-year undergraduate women interested in majoring in Computer Science between 2000 and 2011.

Kelly, thank you for breaking down these stats on women in STEM. The 79% decline in first-year undergrad women majoring in computer science is a particularly sobering and scary data point, particularly given where the job market is heading. I've spoken to a top female recruiter at a big tech company who encounters the impact of these statistics every day, which is essentially that there are precious few women engineers available for her to recruit. Getting more women in STEM is definitely an imperative.

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