By Wendy Doyle, President & CEO, Women's Foundation
Women’s Foundation hosts an annual luncheon to raise funds to help our mission; creating equity and opportunity for women of all ages. Each year we carefully and purposefully select a keynote speaker who will inspire and motivate us for another year; in the past we’ve hosted such amazing speakers as Madeleine Albright and America Fererra. These women are agents of change; working in their unique ways to improve the lives of others, especially women. They inspire our guests and our foundation to continue working for change.
Our 2015 keynote speaker Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, is no different. Here’s why we chose her:
· Women and Girls at Their Best
Arianna Huffington embodies the vision of the Women’s Foundation: equity and opportunity for women of all ages. She too strives to be an agent of change. She understands the importance of lifting up women because when women succeed in work, family and life -- communities thrive.
· Civic Representation of Women
One important point to note about Arianna’s success is her willingness to step forward and take risks. As our research identifies, the number one reason women are not civically engaged is because they have not been asked. Rather in 2003, Arianna Huffington stepped forward and was an independent candidate to recall California Governor Gray Davis. She took a risk because she wanted to make an impact on families’ lives. She wanted to be a voice for the voiceless, something we strive for at Women’s Foundation.
For our Status of Women in Missouri and Kansas research, one key indicator is leadership. Arianna’s success in her civic work, communications work and life as entrepreneur through The Huffington Post allows her to continue her passion of lifting up women. Not only is she an entrepreneur but serves on numerous boards including The Center for Public Integrity and The Committee to Protect Journalists. Her success has identified her as one of the world’s most 100 influential people by TIME magazine and one of the “Most Powerful Women” list by Forbes.
Arianna is a leader, is civic-minded, is an entrepreneur, serves on boards, is a voice for the voiceless and lifts up women. We can’t think of anyone better to inspire us to continue to work for change.