REMARKS AS PREPARED
Asia Trade Mission: Women in Leadership
October 12, 2017
Good afternoon. I’m thrilled to be joined by many phenomenal women who are leading by example and empowering new generations of girls.
I am honored to be joined by:
● Chanpone Sinlapasai
● Jaime Schmidt
● Professor Yukari Motani
● Yumi Okuyama, and
● Assembly Member Miya Shidehara
Thank you for being here.
As Governor of Oregon, I am dedicated to fighting for women’s rights. I believe strongly in the importance of ensuring women are well-represented in positions of leadership-- in business, politics, and in their immediate communities.
I am committed to ensuring that the leaders of today chart paths for the leaders of tomorrow. We must lift as we climb.
I am one of six women Governors currently serving in the United States. But in Oregon, more women hold key positions in state government now than ever before:
● As the state’s second woman governor, I am joined by an Attorney General and Speaker of the House who are also both women.
● In total, 30 of our legislators are women, and for the first time in our state’s history, I was proud to appoint a women-majority supreme court.
This is important because representation is important.
Women’s voices must be heard. Our experiences and perspectives are important, and we must be at the tables of important policy discussions -- from economic development and workplace issues, to reproductive health and paid family leave.
We must be in seats at every table. Weighing in on solutions to problems and working to overcome our challenges.
Oregon’s history is punctuated by influential women who break barriers and expand opportunities for future generations.
Our state has a proud lineage of strong, bold women who’ve inspired me, and I am proud of the progress we continue to make.
We’re advancing policies and passing bills to not only promote economic equality and ensure all women, everywhere can thrive, we are creating better communities, healthier families, and expanding opportunities for new generations.
Women in Oregon are making our voices heard, and we’re getting stuff done.
I am pleased to share that, over the past year, Oregon adopted new laws and policies that will make a positive difference in the lives of many women and their families.
We took action to ensure all women have access to reproductive health care services, and that women are paid equally and treated fairly in the workplace.
We also recently made sure more workers can earn sick days and establish their own retirement accounts; we expanded access to affordable, high-quality child care.
We also raised the minimum wage to help families make ends meet, and invested public education and career technical training to give students the tools they need to be ready for the jobs of a 21st Century, global economy.
We know that increasing women and girls’ education contributes to higher economic growth. And when more women work, economies grow.
I am convinced that the progress we’re making is due in part to the leadership of women, many of whom have had first-hand experience with these issues and understand on a very personal level how they impact people’s lives – and set goals accordingly.
With more and more women serving in leadership roles in business, politics, and in our communities, I hope young girls grow up knowing that these roles are within reach, and that their perspectives matter.
I know in Japan, there is a very focused effort to propel more women into positions of leadership. I look forward to sharing stories about our experiences, and hearing your thoughts and insights on how we can support each other and expand more opportunities for more women.