This past year has tested the fortitude of the worldwide community, from the pandemic to the reckoning over the systemic injustice inflicted on communities of color. It also has been a year of trials for women, who have borne the brunt of the housing crisis, untenable expectations for childcare and work amid shuttered schools, and decreased participation in the workforce.
And yet, it is also clear that women are currently in the midst of a historic moment of ascension. Kamala Harris became the first woman and person of color to hold the office of vice president of the United States, and data and analysis show that countries with women leaders are faring better in the pandemic than those without (according to Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, U.S. News, the New York Times, and Bloomberg, among others). At Scripps, students and faculty have rallied to create meaningful community and ingenious approaches to education in a remote learning environment while tackling the educational and economic disparities created by racism and gender discrimination.
That’s why this issue of Scripps magazine spotlights the concept of women and “power”: how is power defined, what is the relationship of women to power, and what are the best practices for exercising power for the collective good? In “Power Players,” three alumnae at the top of their career fields share their journeys to influential positions and thoughts on being women at the pinnacle of their professions. “Power and Money”—Scripps magazine’s first video production—is a panel discussion among four alumnae who work at the intersection of philanthropy, investment, and finance. They openly discuss the oft taboo topic of women’s relationships to power and money and offer insight into how women can use both to effect positive change in the world. “Rejecting the Status Quo” takes a close look at Scripps’ own Laspa Center for Leadership alongside national trends in women’s leadership to offer a wide-ranging model of women’s leadership as participatory, inclusive, and empowering.
As we optimistically plan for a fall return to campus, I am inspired by the tenacity and creativity of our students and larger Scripps community, and of the women across the globe, who have shown unequivocally that when we empower women socially, economically, and politically, we build stronger communities and create a more sustainable future.