GOOD

White House Hosts First United State Of Women Summit

Erin Loos Cutraro, the founder of She Should Run, tells us why it mattered

Photo courtesy of Erin Loos Cutraro

Yesterday was the first-ever United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C., a powerful moment for taking stock. Convened by the White House, the Summit rallied women from across the nation to celebrate everything we have accomplished, and to take action on everything still needed to be done. Which, as anyone with a brain and a heart will tell you, is quite a bit.


There were serious starpower in attendance—Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Connie Britton, Amy Poehler, Kerry Washington, and Patricia Arquette were there to tackle some heavy issues, including political opportunity and equality, equal pay, and the representation of women and girls in all manners of work.

Despite the gravity of the issues, President Obama still brought some signature dad humor to his speech, quipping, “I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.”

Never to be outdone, Vice President Joe Biden also gave an impassioned speech—like, really, really, super-impassioned—where he stated that women have been the cause of his life.

This could be said of most summit attendees, including Erin Loos Cutraro. The 39-year-old CEO and founder of She Should Run, a nonpartisan organization working to help more women and girls envision themselves in political office, was on hand to deliver a talk on importance of women in politics. We talked to the St. Louis native about the summit and its importance, not just to women, but to all people.

Tell us about the United State of Women Summit – what was it about and why is it needed?

It highlighted some of the key issues that impact women and girls, seeking to both celebrate this important population, while also addressing the critical issues that present obstacles to their unbridled leadership and achievement. The reality is that, although women comprise more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, our elected officials do not reflect that statistic. And we can’t possibly expect to achieve the best policies in our country when we shut out half the population from policy making.

Also, despite more opportunities than ever for women to climb the professional and financial ranks, women still only make up 14-percent of top executives in the country. A recent Fortune study found women CEOs in the Fortune 1000 drive three times the returns as S&P 500 enterprises run predominantly by men, which makes me think that any good business leader would be focusing on fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce that includes women at the decision-making table, so that they can reap the financial rewards that come with it.

What did you speak about?

Currently, women hold only 84 out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and only 20 out of 100 Senators are women. In our nation’s more than 200-year-old history, only four females have been appointed as Supreme Court justices. At the presidential level, only 14 women have run for the highest and most coveted elected position in the land, and none of them have successfully landed the job. Yet. Clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement, and She Should Run is working to change these numbers.

Why are conferences like this important to all people?

We all play a role in encouraging and inspiring women and girls, and then supporting their efforts to become the best possible versions of themselves. This is essential for the future health and prosperity of our society, both in the short- and long-term, and regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.

What are some things we can do to breed inclusiveness and understanding?

As our society becomes increasingly interconnected and complex, we need to embrace inclusiveness and diversity. By harnessing a variety of perspectives and ideas, we will be more equipped to tackle the most pressing challenges facing our nation. Having more women in public office will result in a better government and a better world. It is an exciting election year, with a female front-runner contesting for the top of the Presidential ticket. But we need more women to jump in – on both sides of the aisle and at all levels of government.

What do you hope could result from the summit?

My greatest hope is for this summit to outline actionable steps that we can take as a nation to make ourselves more inclusive, and thereby stronger for all of our citizens for years and years to come.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading