I had the honor of writing the foreword for a new book featuring amazing women leaders from across five continents that I want to share with you. It's a part of the Women of Impact Project, a new initiative from impactmania. The project consists of the book, a museum exhibition and panel discussions. The book highlights 130 Women of Impact in 30 countries — from Atlanta, USA to Uganda, Africa. The official launch of Women of Impact is on July 19, at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Foreword to Women of Impact
When I learned about Paksy Plackis-Cheng, I knew I had found a like-minded colleague. Paksy’s impactmania shares my core values and personal mission of recognizing and celebrating women whose work and stories deserve greater acknowledgement and appreciation: women with impact, whose legacies should be held as models for future generations.
By creating Women of Impact, a project designed to make global women leaders better known and more visible, Paksy and her team join the vast web of women and men determined to bring balance to the media and historical record. Most importantly, Women of Impact encourages generations of women to join us and to continue the vital work of revealing the power and potential within every woman.
"Women of Impact encourages generations of women to join us and to continue the vital work of revealing the power and potential within every woman."
I spent my career challenging and remain committed to upending the status quo for women in media and business. I gently yet persistently work to ensure that women and girls are heard, that their lives, voices, stories, and opinions are respected and represented. Most importantly, I want to recognize the accomplishments of women across every sector of our lives and work.
Women transform the world. They are the leaders of change. Without initiatives like Women of Impact, women’s challenges and achievements are forgotten; their stories are lost, and the accomplishments of women go unacknowledged and uncelebrated for the future. As one of the global sisterhood of women leaders famously said, “You cannot be what you cannot see.”
When I left my last titled leadership position as CEO of the Paley Center for Media, I gratefully seized the freedom of this departure to pursue projects that best align with my personal mission of promoting gender equality in the world. This core value is built on not just leveling the playing field so that real equality becomes the norm, but changing the playing field.
As a young girl growing up in the rural South in the 1950s, what I could see in terms of opportunities or options was limited. Like all of us who dream big, who take risks to break through barriers and expectations, and who find mentors and role models along our journey, I pursued my goals with passion and purpose. I now often reflect on the lessons I learned from a path in life that was not always clear or easy, and I am deeply motivated to pass along my experiences by sharing my story and the stories of others.
A touchstone for all my media work as a journalist, documentary filmmaker, news correspondent, and media executive and leader is to use the authority of media to further empower and to create opportunities for other women. One of the most powerful ways we move towards full equality is to promote and to advocate for each other. This helps all women and girls achieve their dreams and ambitions, to fulfill their potential.
Through my work with women activists and leaders all over the world and as the founder and curator of the TEDWomen conference, I have had the privilege — and the responsibility — to connect a global community of women. Sharing women’s stories and honoring their accomplishments in the spirit of Women of Impact is an important step to empower every girl to see and to become all she can be: a woman of impact.
I hope you will take a look at the website and book. It's a worthy project bringing deserved attention to so many wonderful women and I'm so proud to be a part of it!
Homepage image: Paksy Plackis-Cheng All photos courtesy of impactmania.