Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday hosted the inaugural meeting of an advisory council created to support and promote the roles of women in international business.
In her opening remarks, Secretary Clinton solicited ideas from the 20-member International Council on Women’s Business Leadership (ICWBL), asking how to “boost growth … increase productivity … and add new value to companies and economies” across the globe.
“Now, everyone is searching for answers to those questions,” said Clinton, “but not enough people realize that part of the answer, a large part of the answer, lies with women.
“Including more women at the top of organizations, businesses and the public sector is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do,” Clinton said. “It’s good for business. It’s good for results.”
The ICWBL is composed of leading global women from a wide range of backgrounds and is chaired by Secretary Clinton. Serving as vice-chairs are Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.
The advisory duties of the ICWBL, according to the charter, are:
(a) To provide information and advice on the effective integration of business interests and women’s economic empowerment into overall foreign policy;
(b) To appraise the role and limits of international economic institutions from a gender-specific perspective; and
(c) To provide information and advice on the Department of State’s role in advancing and promoting the role of women in a competitive global economy.
Summaries of the January 24 meeting will be posted online within 90 days.
Council members serve two-year terms, and the panel is expected to meet at least annually.