On Tuesday, I had the privilege to attend the North Carolina Governor’s Conference for Women, held in the state’s capital, Raleigh. For the first time, the conference has been sponsored by the Governor’s office – and this year is extra special because the event was led by North Carolina’s first woman Governor Bev Perdue! The annual Conference is a mix of dynamic speakers, entertainment, and an interactive expo for information sharing and education. The Conference’s 2010 theme was Reflect. Reframe. Resolve. and over 1,500 women participated. One of the first speakers was Melody Barnes, a University of North Carolina graduate and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. Later in the program over lunch, attendees watched as they inducted leading women into the North Carolina Women’s Hall of Fame.
In the afternoon, I had the opportunity to moderate one of the Conference’s break out policy sessions titled Helping Girls Find Their Political Voice. The goal of this particular break out was to inspire a dialogue about setting policy on women’s issues and encouraging women to find their own political voice. The panel included young women from across the state already making a difference in North Carolina. I asked the women a number of questions, touching upon topics ranging from leadership opportunities to the value of having a mentor to situations women face in their everyday lives. The young women were truly inspirational and made a powerful impact both on the audience and me.
As a North Carolinian and a graduate of the University of North Carolina, it was a pleasure to work with and learn from leading women in North Carolina.
Jenny Kaplan is Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls