Honoring Leadership of Women in 21st Century Education and Beyond!

I loved that the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce invited me to speak during my week-long visit to the island. Our conversation on women’s leadership went well beyond charter schools, though there was an important connection to chartering. The charter school law in Guam was authored by the current Speaker, Senator Judith Won Pat. That parallels the origins of chartering in Minnesota, where three of four key bipartisan leaders on the legislation were women.

The Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce consists of a wide range of powerful business, professional, and community leaders, including a federal court judge, bank president, and several legislators. I couldn’t help but wonder: Why aren’t more women leaders in education active members of the business community? Imagine the partnerships that could be created!

Today I share the mission and work of this women’s chamber to inspire others to create or grow existing women’s business organizations to, in turn, empower the women leaders of tomorrow in all fields.

Here are key goals of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce:

Create community awareness of importance of women in economic success. Educating future generations, speaking at schools, and forming curriculum are near the top of the list, including providing statistical support for the impact of women in different areas. So are sharing testimonials of successful women in different industries through social media, public speaking and outreach, and workshops. Mentorship and volunteering are key.

Promote more women in leadership roles. Increasing women’s leadership in public and private sectors includes promoting women for appointed and elected positions in government; developing, mentoring, and growing women-owned businesses; and reaching out to high school and college women.

Ensure education and training for women in the workforce. This means promoting skills in math, QuickBooks, word, metrics, statistics, business plans, profit and loss, interviewing, and self-marketing.

Promote trade/business opportunities for women-owned businesses. The Chamber wants to take advantage of “American soil in Asia” and create more networking opportunities in Asia with sister organizations and conferences.

Collect research data for women in business and workforce. It’s time to update current inaccurate data with help from Bureau of Statistics and Plans, including women in workforce, income, business ownership, employment levels, demographics, and public assistance.

Support women in transition. Women need help to maintain success after a life-changing event, whether through networking, resources, moral support, spiritual, financial and family network, or connecting to a passion. “Bottom line:  No one can transition in life alone!”

Preparing a presentation for this group of highly-motivated and successful women leaders was one of my greatest challenges—and rewards—of my trip to Guam. Next week: Women as agents of change—and the hard personal lessons I learned along the way.