Industry the June 2024 issue

The Leaders We Need, Today and Tomorrow

The Council is joining with She Should Run to help empower women to seek elected office.
By Kate Armfield Posted on May 26, 2024

But we don’t have to continue down this path. We can fix this. An important step will be raising more women to roles in political leadership.

Women play a vital role in building stable democracies that provide the necessary framework for capitalism to thrive. If we want to ensure a stable future, we must fill the political candidate pipeline with the rich diversity of thought and experience that we—and our industry—deserve.

Increased women’s representation can help reform a toxic political environment and strengthen bipartisan relationships. Studies show women in elected office prefer strategies of compromise, work toward consensus, and are more likely to negotiate across party lines.

Failure to encourage women to embark on this journey now would result in an insufficient number of women running for office, an outcome that, as business leaders, we cannot accept.

I’ve seen these capabilities at work in the public and private sectors. My Virginia state senator, Jill Vogel, who recently retired, is a mother of six children and a business leader in her community. Her personal and professional experience created an environment where she could shine a light on important constituent issues that were overlooked by her colleagues from both parties.

The business community can and must support this crucial effort. In fact, the Edelman Trust Barometer 2023 found that business “is the only institution viewed as both competent and ethical.” That means, as business leaders, we are uniquely positioned to influence change, strengthen democracy, and sustain our economic system. 

Failure to encourage women to embark on this journey now would result in an insufficient number of women running for office, an outcome that, as business leaders, we cannot accept. 

Having more women in office ensures a broader range of perspectives are represented, which benefits all communities.

But we don’t take on this mission alone. That is why I’m pleased to announce that The Council is partnering with the nonpartisan nonprofit She Should Run to provide the resources needed for education and public dialogue.

She Should Run empowers women to step into civic leadership by offering diverse resources tailored to their interests and needs, including accessible toolkits, courses, webinars, and valuable connections. The organization’s unique approach prioritizes the early stages of leadership development, empowering women with purpose-driven thinking, step-by-step guides to civic engagement, and opportunities to learn about the variety of elected roles where their voices are needed. Once a woman decides to campaign for elected office, She Should Run helps demystify the landscape of organizations that assist with the later-stage technical support that is critical to manage, and win, a race.

There are many reasons why women represent a small percentage of top roles in both government and the insurance industry, but one major one is that they can’t be what they don’t see.

She Should Run is a pivotal starting point for women to delve into leadership within their communities. While there will be many opportunities to engage with this incredible organization and support the work throughout 2024, I encourage you to take a few moments to review its resources and its work.

It can take years for a woman to begin her candidate journey, but all journeys start with a first step and change is impossible without action. That’s why, in another noisy election year, She Should Run remains relentless in its mission to dismantle perceptions about running for office and to offer simple steps women can take to uncover their political power. I am proud to support this work.

Join me at the starting line of a better future!

Kate Armfield Kate Armfield, managing partner, The Baldwin Group; chair, The Council’s Advocacy Committee Read More

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