2018: An Amazing Journey…with Miles to Go
By Lynn Branigan
If you’re looking for profiles in courage, tenacity and hope, 2018 was abundant with incredible moments and acts. At the intersection of women and diversity, we lived through dozens of defining moments, including these:
- Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund contributed $13 million to support women seeking justice for sexual harassment and assault.
- Emma Gonzales was one of many teens who rose from tragedy to galvanize March for Our Lives and give shape to a permanent impact on gun laws in America.
- Sarah Zorn became the first woman in history to serve as regimental commander at The Citadel.
- Tammy Duckworth broke an outdated Senate rule by bringing her newborn daughter to the Floor to cast a vote.
- Backstage Capital’s managing partner Arlan Hamilton announced plans to raise $36 million in seed money exclusively for companies founded by black women.
- The majority of commencement addresses at the top colleges in the US – 60 percent to be exact – were delivered by women in 2018.
- The New York Stock Exchange promoted Stacey Cunningham to president. Her promotion means that the world’s largest two stock exchanges are led by women for the first time in history.
- The bravery of Christine Blasey Ford testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee was an affirming moment for countless women with whom her experience resonated.
- New York’s Carolyn Kenyon and Judith Jones satisfied $1.5 million in medical debt for 1,284 strangers.
- More than 100 women were elected to the House in the midterm elections. The diverse group of freshman senators historically included two Native Americans, the first Muslim women, immigrants and children of immigrants.
- The #MeToo movement helped to balance the scale of power between women and men.
- California passed a law at the end of September that requires publicly held corporations based in that state to have at least one woman on the board of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021, companies must have at least two or three female board members, depending on the size of the board of directors.
- Our Inclusion and Diversity Accountability Consortium (IDAC, #inclusivebrands), published the first-ever metrics to measure the state of diversity in the marketing, media and tech industry, and welcomed the 21st company as a Consortium partner.
None of this was easy, yet the momentum is palpable, and we have to make every milestone matter in 2019. The disappointing truth is that while women make up 58 percent of the American workforce, only 24 of this year’s Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. It isn’t equitable, and it isn’t healthy for business or the global economy.
Because our mission is to pave the way for more women to lead at every level of marketing, media and tech, She Runs It is working to multiply the list of milestones in 2019. We will take lessons from this year’s leaders, warriors and role models to increase the number of women CEOs, to double the list of Consortium partners and to lift the voices of every person working to propel women as leaders. We are a small, 501c3 organization but our passion is relentless, and our members are tireless.
We look forward to linking arms with everyone across our community (and beyond) to make 2019 another year of remarkable progress. Happy New Year.