Claudia Chan is a force to be reckoned with. She epitomizes what it means to be a #MiteraMom – a woman who is truly unique, bold, beautiful and strong passionately pursuing big dreams while holding tiny hands and nurturing the next generation as a mom. She juggles many roles and wears different hats which include running her own media company as the women’s empowerment accelerator, being the leader behind S.H.E Summit, women’s empowerment conference, finishing a book on women’s leadership in Fall 2017, and last but not least being a mom to four year old Jackson and two year old Arya.
Claudia shares with us her personal insights into life and some important messages about what it means to be a woman and a mother in this modern world.
1. You are a Women’s Empowerment Guru. What does it mean? Can you tell us more about what you do and how you came to doing what you do today?
My work is to get women to care about women. I am what I call women’s empowerment educator and accelerator. I believe that we are living in the 4th wave of feminism. We cannot really open a magazine, turn on TV, watch the news, read the paper without not reading about power women, united states of women, #girlboss, lean-in, there are so many women’s empowerment brands, and campaigns. What’s happening right now is unprecedented where everybody wants to empower women. I call these movements the macro movements. There are literally thousands of women’s movements that are occurring all at the same time all across different sectors, industries, and countries and behind every movement, there is an individual, organization and campaign that is trying to achieve progress in that specific area. My ultimate goal is to connect, educate and activate individuals and corporations to clarify and amplify their specific area of women’s movement so that there is more efficiency and acceleration towards macro-gender equality actually happening while I am alive. So what does it really mean? Women’s empowerment takes not only working with and educating women but with men, too. That is why S.H.E. Summit, an annual conference supporting thriving leaders (and their organizations) and women’s movement champions around the world, through a transformative experience of CONNECTION, EDUCATION & ACTIVATION now stands for ‘She and He help empower gender equality.
We know that women make up more than 50% of the world in both the developed and underdeveloped world but massive gender gaps still persist across social issues, industries, careers, etc. We hear words like feminism, women’s advocacy, female empowerment, etc., but they all mean the same thing and are trying to achieve the ultimate goal of gender equality. We are all working, at the end of the day, to educate people on why empowering the women is necessary.
Women and girls are not valued equally. There are 1,000+specific movements related to women’s empowerment that span across different fields, industries, issues and continents today but we are still from far from where we need to be. For example, 1.4 million jobs today are said to be in computer science field but only a small percentage of girls are majoring in computer science leading to a small talent pool of women to take advantage of the job opportunities in the tech arena. So this is not only a women’s issue but it becomes an economic issue. Women are still making 77 cents to a dollar that men make. Five percent of fortune 500 CEOs are women. In entrepreneurship, disproportionately large amount of funding goes to funding men-led companies vs. women-led companies. Women and girls are being undervalued, disadvantaged in global health, education, employment, etc. In order to lift them up and make an impact to improve the lives of women and girls, there needs to be a lot of structural and systematic changes. We as women need to rise to the challenge. If we don’t do it, who will?
Gender gaps are everywhere across industries – in advertising, media, finance, tech, law, etc. There are so many women’s issues and movements and campaigns that need and can benefit from the gender angle.
Women’s issues in the developing world might address a different set of issues than what we face in our own circumstances. For example, we need to talk about maternal mortality, the fact that a woman dies every two minutes due to complications from childbirths, education, sex trafficking, etc.
I am passionate and committed in educating individuals – women and increasingly men as well as organizations to get behind, clarify and amplify what their movement is so that together we can accelerate gender equality in this world. We need both men and women rising to their full potential, co-leading the world to lift each other. I truly believe achieving gender equality will lead to a healthier and more sustainable world.