Girls Inc., the national organization inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, joined some of the world’s most preeminent women in business, politics, and the arts yesterday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C. More than 30 Girls Inc. girls participated in the MPW High School Notebook Mentoring program, as the exclusive mentoring partner.
The mentoring session featured an interview with Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer at General Motors, after which girls participated in speed mentoring with a select group of Most Powerful Women to gain advice on college, careers, and achieving success. The program focused on increasing opportunities for girls to pursue careers in STEM. Women continue to be vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs, emphasizing the need to bolster girls’ interest and exposure to STEM.
In the evening, Girls Inc. girls attended a celebration event at the National Portrait Gallery where they were recognized for their commitment to education. The evening program and dinner featured highly-awaited remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama and discussions with Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox, and Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer at The White House. Girls Inc. girls were especially moved at one point in the evening when Mrs. Obama left the stage to personally greet them and have her picture taken with a group of girls.
In her remarks, Mrs. Obama announced new commitments to the Let Girl Learn initiative, launched by the President and First Lady this year, which helps girls worldwide attend and stay in school. As a new collaborator, Girls Inc. affiliates will educate girls on the importance of education and the challenges and opportunities that exist for girls in developing countries and in the U.S. Girls Inc. girls will also have the opportunity to correspond with girls in the various Let Girls Learn countries and with Peace Corps Volunteers through the World Wise Schools Program.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit and the First Lady to promote educational opportunities for girls,” said Judy Vredenburgh, President & CEO of Girls Inc. “When girls get an education, they are better able to lead healthy lives and positively influence their families and communities. Collaborating across public, private, and nonprofit sectors is key to educating and empowering girls in the United States and abroad.”