LinkedIn has started a brilliant new initiative, inviting highly influential women to blog about the widespread, inter-generational benefits of gender equality. Helen Clark, New Zealand's first female Prime Minister and the first women leader of the UNDP, shares her story of how as a young politician battling both public perception and media assumptions in a male dominated system, she learned to build alliances and stay confident. Her journey gives hope and encouragement to aspiring women who have the capability to contribute much to society, but need the courage and conviction to carry them through.
I hope this series will inspire its female readers to be unwavering in their beliefs, resilient in their actions and fearless in their attitude.
Women still make up only 21.9 percent of the world’s parliamentarians – well short of the thirty per cent target set in the Millennium Development Goals. It does take a lot of confidence – and in some circumstances a lot of courage too - to step forward for public office where few women have gone before, but I have a message to those women who are considering taking the leap: if you believe you have something to contribute, step forward! And some advice: believe in yourself, accept the support being offered by others, and also, very importantly, support other women along the path you have followed.