United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast

United Way of Miami-Dade welcomed more than 1,200 women at this year’s Women’s Leadership Breakfast, with special guest speaker, Chelsea Clinton of the Clinton Foundation. Clinton addressed the importance of women and children in today’s society, “investing in women and girls is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.” Adriana Cisneros, CEO and vice chairman of Cisneros, chaired the event and spoke about United Way’s work, particularly to help working families that are struggling to make ends meet. The breakfast was held at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami. UHealth was the presenting sponsor.

Clinton also spoke about children’s access to education and future job opportunities for women. “While there are almost as many girls as boys attending primary schools around the world, the participation rate drops dramatically in upper grades,” Clinton proclaimed. She also stated, “In many countries, women cannot apply for loans or receive credit without a male signatory.” Through her work at the Clinton Foundation, Clinton hopes to inspire people all over the world to make changes and push for improvements. Clinton succeeded in inspiring the women gathered that morning as many shared her remarks through social media, using #WomenLeadersMiami.

A new mom, Clinton emphasized the topic of maternal health, asserting there has been a decrease of 40 percent worldwide in maternal deaths, although 800 women still die of pregnancy complications every day. “That’s progress, but we haven’t yet met success,” she added.

As part of the breakfast program, United Way honored University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who is stepping down as president at the conclusion of this school year. In recognition of her commitment to early education, United Way endowed a scholarship in her name at its United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education Demonstration School.

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