Women in Leadership: How Through Crisis and Uprising Women Stand Tall
July 16, 2020
Women may be at the forefront of the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic and of the national fight against racism, but they are not always recognized nor acknowledged for their leadership. Women still have yet to be treated, seen, and portrayed as equals to men, with women of color facing even more barriers to equality due to intersectionality.
Globally, women make up only 7% of world leaders. This statistic is also reflected nationally for the percentage of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, with only one CEO who is a woman of color. Despite being in the margins, women have been responsible for some of the most notable and effective responses to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. These leaders, including Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser, New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors, Germany's Angela Merkel, Atlanta’s Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen, among several others, have made significant progress in calls to action that should serve as examples for others to follow.
At a time when decisions from leadership make the difference between life and death, what can we learn from these women leaders? How can women, and especially women of color, be included in today’s ongoing dialogue of leadership?
The discussion focused on the importance of women and of women of color in leadership, and what the future holds for all women leaders nationwide and globally.
NYU DC Dialogues Executive Board Member, Gabriel Avalos created this dialogue, and provided a welcome and introduction. Betsy Fischer Martin, Executive Director, Women & Politics Institute and Executive in Residence, Department of Government at American University, moderated the webinar.
Brianna Carmen, Voto Latino
Brianna Carmen is the Director of Organizing and Partnerships for Voto Latino. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, where she first became acquainted with community issues and their connection to voter apathy. This interest led her to become one of the youngest Hispanic women in the nation to manage a U.S. Congressional race in her home district, at the age of 21. Brianna later worked on a historic Senate race in Texas, engaging tens of thousands of Texans. She has maintained her passion of connecting voters with opportunities to exercise their voice at Voto Latino.
Her current work at VL focuses on building up the organization’s volunteer network all over the country, encouraging individuals to advocate for their communities at the local, state, and national level. She is also active in their Somos Mas campaign, working to register one million persons by to vote 2020.
Glynda C. Carr, Higher Heights for America
As president, CEO and co-founder of Higher Heights for America, Glynda C. Carr is at the center of the national movement to grow Black women’s political power from the voting booth to elected office.
In 2011, Carr and Kimberly Peeler-Allen co-founded Higher Heights to address the dearth of organizing resources for politically active Black women and the lack of support for those who were considering seeking elected office. Through her leadership, the organization has developed several innovative programs and efforts that have quickly solidified its reputation as the political home and go-to resource for progressive Black women.
Carr is the co-creator of #BlackWomenLead—a powerful coalition movement that is creating an environment for Black women to run, win and lead—and the Higher Heights-powered #BlackWomenVote, a nonpartisan voter-activism campaign that serves as an independent and trusted voice for Black women’s political concerns. Her work to date has helped to elect 11 Black women to the U.S. Congress–including one to the Senate–and increase the number of Black women holding statewide executive office–including helping to elect the first Black woman to serve as New York State attorney general.
Carr has appeared on the 2018 Essence magazine Woke 100 list. She has contributed to CNN.com, TheRoot.com, Ebony.com, HuffPost.com and BET.com; appeared on Cheddar, FOX News Live and MSNBC; and has been interviewed and quoted in the Washington Post, New York Times, US News, BuzzFeed and numerous other outlets.
Amanda Hunter, Barbara Lee Family Foundation
Amanda Hunter promotes the Barbara Lee Family Foundation’s mission to advance women’s representation in American politics by leading our research and communications efforts. She oversees the communications team for the Foundation, including its digital strategy and media relations.
Prior to joining the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Amanda served as Director of Marketing and Communications at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, America’s first museum of modern art. Previously, served as Senior Press Representative at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, leading media relations efforts on events like The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and Kennedy Center Honors. She also served as Deputy Communications Director at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade association for record companies, and Manager of Public Relations for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
Amanda graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in English and Communications from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.
Betsy Fischer Martin, AU School of Public Affairs' Women & Politics Institute (Moderator)
Betsy Fischer Martin is an Emmy-winning journalist and TV news executive. Currently she is Executive Director of AU School of Public Affairs' Women & Politics Institute and an SPA Executive in Residence. She is also a former co-host of Bloomberg Politics' Masters in Politics Podcast. She also founded her own consulting business, Fischer Martin Media, where she specializes in providing media training to corporate executives. During her earlier career in television news, she was the Managing Editor of NBC News Political Programming, where she was responsible for the development and execution of network political coverage. Before being promoted to the executive role at NBC News in 2013, Fischer Martin was the executive producer of the top-rated Sunday morning public affairs program, Meet the Press, for 11 years. Overall, her tenure with the program extended over 22 years, beginning as an internship during her senior year of college. She serves on the Board of Directors of Washington’s International Women’s Forum and the National Press Club’s Journalism Institute. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.
Gabriel Avalos (Student Organizer) is a rising Junior at NYU double-majoring in Politics and Media, Culture, and Communication. From Cerritos, California, Gabriel is excited to make the most of his semester studying in the nation's capital. When not studying or working at his internship, he spends the majority of his free time listening to music and reading books on music history. Gabriel hopes to pursue a career in public service and plans on fighting to improve the lives of working people.