Today is International Women’s Day and I’m so proud to be part of a communications and events team at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group that is over 80% female. SVLG is an organization that proudly hosts a regular Women’s Executive Roundtable Series. Our general theme is sisterhood and we welcome female leaders to speak openly and honestly about the gender equity issues. And I want to recognize a special guest who really drove that home. Last week’s roundtable hosted the first woman to be elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor in California, Eleni Kounalakis.
In the intimate forum, Lt. Gov. Kounalakis shared inspiring stories on her experiences running for office and the importance of female business leaders sticking together. Between breaking barriers and how to go about approaching male dominated industries, Eleni spoke about how the women she looked up to, such as Hilary Clinton and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, encouraged her to stand out.
And she also talked about how far we’ve come.
“Two years ago, 180 of the 650 public companies in California that are subject to SB 826 had no women on their boards,” said Lt. Gov. Kounalakis. “That number has since shrunk to just 15!”
Eleni shared this with us to put emphasis on the importance of lifting up the women we surround ourselves with in and out of the workplace. On a personal level, running the event, it meant a lot to see a space which was both focused on the future and where women sat in celebration of one another.
So thank you again to Lt. Gov. Kounalakis, a big thank you to our member Lockheed Martin, and finally to the phenomenal Sarah Reeves and Jessy Borges for facilitating the discussion! To learn more about our Women’s Executive Roundtable Series, please visit our page and once again, happy International Women’s Day!
March 8, 2021