Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people boasts a list of almost half women of diverse backgrounds for the first time in the publication’s history. In a time where the glass ceiling seems out of reach for many and the pay wage gap between genders seems vast,  it is refreshing to see diversity in gender when it comes to influence. Iconic women recognized on  the list included former first lady Michelle Obama, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi among others. 

According to a 2017 study from  the United States Census Bureau,  women working full time and year-round in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent. The  study further details that in 2017, the real median earnings of men ($52,146) and women ($41,977) working full-time, year-round showed a $10,169 gap in pay. 

The National Diversity Council’s Women in Leadership Symposium taking place across multiple states, harnesses women to create their own opportunities while influencing those around them. The symposium empowers women to handle difficult workplace conversations, engage men as advocates to pioneer pay equity and understand cultural competency when it comes to leadership. The conference also advocates for women to care for their whole self while allowing space to build professional allies and lead authentically  in spaces traditionally not created for them. 

The National Diversity Council’s Women’s Conference showcases the top women in leadership through various awards honoring women from top companies. This year’s keynote speaker was Angela Bassett, an Academy Award-winning American actress and activist that starred in movies including The Rosa Parks Story (2002),  What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), Malcolm X (1992) and Betty & Coretta (2013). 

Time Magazine’s top 100 list represents progress for women, but also shines a light on the inequities that face women and the critical work that still needs to be done. As organizations, we need to create pathways for women to be in more leadership roles, advocate for pay equity and recognize that it takes all of us to work towards breaking the ever-present glass ceiling. 

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