Skip to content


See what happens when Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey join forces

See what happens when Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey join forces

Last May, President Obama host the first-ever White House summit dedicated to women and girls, and brought together thousands of people who are all working to change tomorrow for the #StateofWomen.

The goal was not to just talk about how far the country and the world has come, but how far we still need to go.The Summit was held with additional cooperation from the Tory Burch Foundation,Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, PepsiCo Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Inspirational figures, such as Gloria Steinem, Loretta Lynch, Nancy Pelosi, Veep Joe Biden, Warren Buffet, Billie Jean King, Actresses Kerry Washington, Amy Poehler, Sophia Bush, Connie Britton and Mariska Hargitay, Shonda Rhimes, and CEOs and leaders of advocacy groups, took the stage, delivering speech after empowering speech on everything from entrepreneurship and economic opportunity to domestic violence. President Barack Obama delivered a heavy-hitting address that reminded us of the true definition of feminism, which preceded a powerful dialogue between his wife, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah asked Michelle Obama, “You are going to leave the White House most proud of ?” and without hesitation, she replied, “Truly, I am most proud of my daughters.”

She described that first day sending them off to school eight years ago with their Secret Service escorts. “They were so little, and the bulletproof glass was so thick. I thought, oh my God, I just want them to know they are loved by us. I want to raise them feeling confident, feeling a sense of normalcy and sense of obligation to do something outside of themselves, to be good people. I am very proud of those two and how they’ve managed this situation, and how they’ve continued to be themselves. Every day I cross my fingers and hope I’m doing right by them and providing them with a good foundation so that they can be great people.”

Summit

The speaker who received the most standing ovations and yells of encouragement over the course of the Summit was Me & The Bees CEO, Mikaela Ulmer. She’s eleven and on her way to building a lemonade empire. She introduced President Obama, and sat on a few panels in the Entrepreneurship breakout sessions. Not only did she extol the virtues of dreaming without limits, she talked about life/work balance. “My family is very supportive, and helps me do things I really enjoy, like hang out with my friends.”

But the Summit, importantly, is not just about talk. It’s about action. The White House announced $50 million worth of commitments to improve the lives of women and girls around the world, as well as a litany of initiatives that target key gender gaps in society. One of the major initiatives is the new White House Equal Pay Pledge, through which companies promise to conduct an annual gender pay analysis and reassess their hiring and promoting processes to ensure equity. Already, tech giants including Airbnb, Amazon, Pinterest, Salesforce, Slack, and Spotify have signed the pledge, which is key, given the drastic gender gaps that exist within the tech industry.

For those who did not have the opportunity to attend this event with these inspirational speakers talking about issues so much bigger than just ourselves, don´t fill disappointed because you can watch the Summit here, and we can guarantee you that you’ll want to get out of your comfort zone today! 😉