Celebrating National Women’s History Month

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During the month of March, we would like to recognize the amazing accomplishments of strong, determined women who helped shape our community and the industries we serve. Since 1987, the United States has formally recognized March as National Women’s History Month. We believe every woman has a story to tell and gifts to share with the world.  

At Summit, we are especially thrilled to see the achievements and advances that women are making in entrepreneurial and executive leadership. It’s a testament to the positive things that can happen when countries and companies make inclusivity a priority. 

In 2021, a majority of US-based Russell 3000 companies added women to their boards, resulting in women holding about 26% of new board positions. Currently, California has the highest percentage of women on board seats at 30%. This is a marked improvement over the past decade, although still falling short of the goal of 50% to align with women’s representation in the total population, but progress is being made. 

We have also seen women rising to the top positions in large well-known organizations. Some of the most notable in the past year include Jane Fraser, who became CEO at Citi, Karen Lynch, CEO at CVS, and Rosalind Brewer now moving to Walgreens. 

And speaking of women in healthcare, with the Covid pandemic dragging on for what seems like an endless amount of time, it is important to celebrate the great women like Ozlem Tureci, the Chief Medical Officer for BioNTech, who helped develop the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, which was the first to gain approval in the US. Also notable, Emma Walmsley, CEO at GlaxoSmithKline is spearheading a promising antibody treatment aimed to improve recovery from Covid-19. 

These are all marked examples of the impact women in leadership are having as we move into 2022. 

At Summit, we have a few of our own favorites to highlight, including Neha Sampat, who is the CEO of Contenstack and is paving the way for more female CEOs in the tech world. She also is an avid coach and mentor for female entrepreneurs, working with BEAM in Austin and other organizations to expand opportunity and education. 

Also, we would like to recognize Laura Ipsen, CEO at Ellucian- a leader in the digital transformation of higher education. She is a role model for young women pursuing STEM related career paths and is passionate about driving student success, including through the Ellucian Foundation’s PATH Scholarship program that has enabled many women facing financial hardship to continue their education.  

What is true in all these examples is the power of inclusive leadership. These women have been able to make significant contributions to the health and welfare of our world because they were supported, acknowledged, and advocated for by others along the way. We hope as you reflect on National Women’s Month, you will think about women in your own life that you can help support, mentor, include, and advocate for to ensure that we continue to see great strides in women in leadership over the next decade.