Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 16, 2012


Good morning. I am delighted to join all of you at this first-ever Women in Diplomacy conference. I want to thank and congratulate Undersecretary of State Marta Dassu and the Italian Foreign Ministry for their leadership. I am thrilled that the Women in Public Service Project, which we launched in Washington in December, has tapped such a deep vein of enthusiasm for expanding the number of women answering the call to public service around the world.

Our success in this mission has never been more crucial. The world is facing a full complement of complex, difficult and thorny issues – issues that will require some of our best and most innovative diplomats and talented public servants to resolve. And yet, with women still representing far less than half of all global decision makers, the world is not deploying its full arsenal of talent and wisdom. We need more women at the table and in the halls of parliament and foreign ministries, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the smart thing to do.

This is not just about fairness. It is about expanding the pool of talented people to help tackle our biggest problems. And we must engage in this work at all levels – working at the top to shatter those final glass ceilings, but also at the grassroots level by identifying and training women who haven’t had the opportunity to become effective leaders.

Thank you for your commitment and I look forward to working with all of you to expand the ranks of women in public service in the years to come.