Michael Webb spent much of his summer working remotely with Women Political Leaders (WPL), a Brussels, Belgium-based organization that aims to increase the quantity and the influence of women in political leadership positions around the world.
“I passionately believe in the mission of WPL, to increase both the number and the influence of women in political leadership positions,” Webb said. “Women leaders have had the greatest influence in my life, as educators, mentors, politicians, and community activists.”
An independent nonpartisan foundation, WPL serves as a global network of female politicians. The foundation’s variety of work to encourage political participation includes hosting global and regional summits, conducting academic research, and promoting female leadership with advocacy campaigns.
As part of the work for his International Public Service Project, Webb provided support for virtual activities, communication initiatives, funding proposals, and digital creative content for WPL, which, like countless other organizations, was forced to pivot much of its strategy in the face of COVID-19.
“While each workday has been different, the message we have been promoting has remained consistent,” Webb said. “The pandemic has only exacerbated systemic gender inequalities. Crises, however, represent opportunities for change. This time of crisis is an opportunity to establish gender equality as the new normal of our post-COVID-19 society.”
Webb’s work included drafting strategic partnership proposals, organizing global webinars with current and former world leaders, drafting summary articles and press releases, designing event communication plans, drafting and scheduling social media content, and designing visibility campaigns for international days recognized by the United Nations.
Webb said he is thankful that he had the chance to work with WPL.
“As I have been blessed by the support and leadership of amazing women leaders,” Webb said, “I have also seen the systemic barriers embedded in society that have prevented women around the world from influencing others and creating the wonderful impact in the lives of many as they have mine.”
Since his IPSP officially ended in July, he has continued to work with WPL in planning the annual Reykjavík Global Forum, an event for women leaders to discuss and share ideas and solutions on how to further advance society, increase gender equality, and promote and positively develop the number of women in leadership positions. The 2020 Forum is scheduled to take place November 9-11 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Webb said that the team at WPL has created countless learning opportunities and continues to inspire him on a daily basis.
“Working with the team at WPL has been the most rewarding experience,” Webb said. “The network of women leaders WPL continues to develop and engage is most important to advancing the representation and influence of women in political decision-making processes.”
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