Who are the boundless women of 2022? If we define boundless as “unfailing, dependent, infallible”, all women fit the description! However, for the sake of this article, the boundless definition applies to women whose power is rising – having been nominated, recruited, or advanced to a powerful position, attained tremendous wealth or acclaim, or used their resources and talents to forge meaningful change around the world?
The Women to Watch This Year
Mia Mottley became the first female prime minister of Barbados in 2018. She shot to international fame by castigating the leaders gathered at the COP26 U.N. climate conference, “Failure to provide enough critical funding to small island nations is measured in lives and livelihoods in our communities. This is immoral, and it is unjust.”
Shortly thereafter she cut ties with the British monarchy who had reigned over Barbados for 396 years and transitioned it as the world’s newest republic. Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean island’s president.
Mottley then proceeded to win a landslide second term in January this year – where her Labor party (BLP) won a clean sweep of all 30 seats. In her victory speech, Mia Mottley vowed to “lead the country first to safety then to prosperity”.
Najla Bouden Romdhane became Tunisia’s first female prime minister in October last year. Originally a professor of geology by profession, her experience in politics comes from her 2011 appointment as the former director-general of quality for Tunisia’s Ministry of Higher Education.
Despite that, political commentators have been skeptical of the legality of Romdhane’s authority – she was, after all, recruited by President Kais Saied who suspended parliament and assumed executive authority for himself in July. President Saied is hoping that appointing the first ever female prime minister in the Arab world will illustrate that Tunisia under his rule is a progressive democracy.
Kathleen Courtney (Kathy) Hochul, the former lieutenant governor of New York, was sworn in as the state’s first ever female governor in August 2021. This followed a months-long investigation of sexual harassment and subsequent resignation of former governor, Andrew Cuomo. New York State’s 57th governor acknowledged the boundless “women that came before me… and I felt they passed the torch to me.“
With degrees in both political science and law, Hochul was drawn to a career in public service. At the age of 35, she won a seat on the Hamburg Town Board serving as liaison for the local economic development agency tasked with boosting the economy of Western New York following the loss of its manufacturing base. That was followed by the role of Erie County Clerk and then serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As Lieutenant Governor, Hochul effectively spearheaded several initiatives and was noted as being “busier than any lieutenant governor in recent memory by far” by Robert Bellafiore.
Angela F. Williams is one of our women of faith with a Master of Divinity (cum laude from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology) on top of her bachelor’s degree in American government from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas.
Having been raised in a military family, after law school, Williams served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps when few Black women served in JAG. From there she accumulated over 30 years of leadership experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors:
- Special counsel on criminal law on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate Judiciary Committee
- Prosecutor on the Civil Rights Division’s National Church Arson Task Force (DOJ)
- Assistant U.S. Attorney
- Vice president and also general counsel at Sears Holdings Corp
- Interfaith liaison for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund
- Executive VP, general counsel, and chief administration officer at YMCA of the USA.
Fast-forward to more recent times, and Williams was president and CEO of Easterseals, Inc., an organization that serves more than 1.5 million people with disabilities nationwide. Putting her talents and passions to work yet again, Williams was named on Forbes’ 2021 List of Women 50 Over 50 Creating Social Change at Scale, and presented with a 2021 CEO Today Healthcare Award. She is currently the president and CEO of United Way Worldwide, the largest privately funded non-profit in the world.
Are you an emerging female leader ready to step into your power with confidence? Repeat this: “I am boundless”, and then join fellow boundless women for our Women in Leadership Masterclass and other upcoming events. Contact Corporate Class Inc. for more information.