Women and Girls Leadership Summit

Role Models Matter

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June 4  |  Education  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Role models matter

Over the past four years, we have held 13 Women & Girls Summits at 13 underserved middle schools from San Jose to San Francisco, directly connecting with more than 3,000 girls and young women between the ages of 11 and 14.

Women tech leaders and elected officials have contributed time and treasure to these Summits to further ensure that middle school girls learn, first-hand, that women – often with similar life experiences growing up – have become successful both in their lives and livelihoods.

This fall, the Leadership Group will host our first “Young Men’s Leadership Summit” at an underserved middle school in the Franklin-McKinley School District in East San Jose.

The point is simple yet stunning – it is hard to overcome adversity. Too many low-income kids go to school hungry, have language barriers, are raised by single parents, are confronted by crime and may have inadequate or over-crowded housing.

Kids need – and deserve – to meet successful adults with shared experiences that they can emulate. They need you, and me, as role models and mentors.

Whether a one-day school-based Summit with young women and men, or tutoring opportunities with caring adults, our wealthy Valley can produce more healthy kids – often simply with the gift of time.

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Women Leaders: From the Classroom to the Board Room

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November 6  |  Education  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . My professional title is CEO, but my favorite title is “daddy.”

Raising two little girls – Jessica, 8, and Siena, 4 – has reinforced the work we must collectively do to empower more women leaders.

The statistics, even in egalitarian Silicon Valley, are startling:

  • While 51 percent of our population is female, only 18 percent of the students studying engineering in American universities are women.
  • Only 4 percent of corporate executives are women, and according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, women make up only 9 percent of corporate board directors in Silicon Valley.

For Silicon Valley to remain economically competitive, we need to raise all of our kids – girls and boys; Hispanics and Asians, Blacks and Caucasians – to succeed in school and in society.

In 2014, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group plans to step up its efforts – with more Women & Girls Leadership Summits, with our inaugural Men & Boys Leadership Summit, through our 1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds tutoring initiative, the Educare Early Childhood Learning Center in East San Jose, and our inaugural Heart & Soles 5K fun run for healthy meals for kids.

Our daughters, and sons, need mentors and role models, coupled with inspiration and opportunities, to rise and reach their full potential. To join any of our efforts, please contact me at cguardino@svlg.org. To grow the role of women in our board rooms, we must ensure the success of young girls in our classrooms.

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