We start this year off with a manifesto of sorts because we want to do more than just wish you the best year ahead. We’d like to offer you a vision. So here it is…

Women in positions of power are “women who hold an occupation that gives them great authority, influence, and/or responsibility.” Let’s repeat that: Authority, Influence, Responsibility.

This isn’t just women who are bosses, CEOs, or government officials. This is about all women who have the ability to make decisions, to persuade others, and to do so with careful consideration and respect for others. This is about women acting on these attributes – with the same ability and access as men–and wielding them wisely. And this about getting to a world where it’s possible, in every corner of society.

But the reality is that for far too long, we’ve had women not seen, not heard, and not accepted as critically important voices, across governments, businesses, academia, and society writ large. With few exceptions, women are the minority when it comes to influencing positions. In the US alone, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in key leadership roles.

Why is this important and why are we starting the year out with this reminder?

Because you must know your WHY. Here at Changemaker Chats, our why is this: Women must be seen, heard, represented in decisions that affect communities, companies, and countries so that we have policies, businesses, physical spaces, art and culture that reflect women’s perspectives, needs, and desires. Not achieving this means a society of status quo – where gender norms and stereotypes are reinforced, and opportunities for girls and women are left unrealized.

In 2019, we’re looking forward to elevating even more women’s voices through Changemaker Chats. Our goal has, and always will be, to create a world where women build careers with power and purpose as a result of having the same advancement, leadership, and earning opportunities as men. We will achieve this by lifting women up and connecting them – ensuring that all women have a sense of community and space to share, relate to, and support one another. 

This past year, despite some low lows for women (sexist politicians, the egregious flow of #MeToo cases the world over, and the persistent and sluggish pace of closing the leadership gap), we’ve also been inspired and fired up watching the historic numbers of women run and win political office, more women’s voices elevated by #MeToo and #TimesUp, more diverse women coming together to support one another evidenced by groups like ours. And more men joining our fight.

We feel good about the momentum, but our work is not done. We’re doubling down on our commitment to be a platform for women’s voices. If there is a group of women who want to come together and start a Changemaker Chat – we are there for them. It’s why we have spent the past year launching Changemakers around the globe, and why we’ll keep doing it. Shout out to our amazing City Directors powering chats in more than 15 cities so far.

And we’re fired up for you: the women comprising Changemaker Chats who share both our goal, as well as your unique stories and experiences of change who will help us move the world forward. Today, we’re a community of nearly 10,000 and we stand with each and every one of you this year.

Keep on making change,
Brie and Jess

Co-founders and Co-CEOS