News / USA

1st Female White House Press Secretary Aims to Empower Women

Dee Dee Myers hopes to change the world by boosting women and girls

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Faiza Elmasry

To encourage women to help themselves and each other, Dee Dee Myers became a spokeswoman for the 'Empowering Your Confidence' campaign.
To encourage women to help themselves and each other, Dee Dee Myers became a spokeswoman for the 'Empowering Your Confidence' campaign.

Dee Dee Myers was the first woman - and one of the youngest - White House press secretaries.

Now, more than a decade after her service in the Clinton Administration, Myers is focused on empowering women in the U.S. and worldwide.

White House years

Never take it personally; never lose your sense of humor. That's the motto Dee Dee Myers lived by as President Bill Clinton's press secretary.

"Being the first woman was a little harder for me to establish my authority and my credibility in a culture, in Washington, which is pretty traditional," Myers says. "I definitely faced challenges and I sometimes felt I had more responsibility than I had authority, which I think is a problem a lot of women face. But I fought back and, over time, I was able to make things work better for me and most importantly for the president."

Myers was inspired by her mother and other successful women.

"My mom always told my sister and me that we could do whatever we wanted," she recalls. "She finished her master's degree and went back into the workforce, when I was in high school. So she was a great role model for me and my sister as well. And as I grew up in politics, I saw a lot of women moving up. That gave me the confidence to think that I might be able to make that next level. I don't think I've ever thought I would end up in the White House."

Myers says she was also lucky to have great mentors, both women and men.

"One of my most important mentors was one of my first bosses in politics, the former mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley, who really treated me like a grown up when I was very young, with great respect and really taught me a lot about how to deal with people. And I'll always be gratefull," Myers says.

Dee Dee Myers was the first woman - and one of the youngest - White House press secretaries.
Dee Dee Myers was the first woman - and one of the youngest - White House press secretaries.


Empowering women


After leaving the White House in 1994, Myers worked as political commentator on cable and TV networks. She has also lectured on politics, the media and women's issues.

"I'm still interested in politics, but empowering women has become my passion because I think it can truly change the world," she says.

That's why Myers wrote a book, "Why Women Should Rule the World."

"I chose the title to sort of get people to think about what might change if women ruled the world," she says. "But the argument that I make is not that women should rule in place of men, but that women should rule alongside of men because we can talk for hours about how empowering women in the world is the single most important thing we could do to promote economic development globally and political stability and peace. I think there is no more generally effective way to change the world than to educate and empower women and girls."

However, she notes, women who have been successful - in business or politics - are not always willing to be mentors and help other women advance.

"I think in many ways that's getting better, but I think there is room for improvement," she says. "One of the things that I think women have to recognize is that there is enough room for everybody. I think sometimes that competition comes from insecurity. I don't think women give themselves enough credit for all that they contribute and all that they bring. I think sometimes women are more reluctant to take risks than their skills or talent or ambitions suggest they ought to be."

New campaign

To encourage women to help themselves and each other, Myers became a spokeswoman for the Empowering Your Confidence campaign. Sponsored by Jones New York, which sells clothes for professional women, the online campaign offers encouragement and advice from women who have 'made it'.

"One of the things it says to women is, 'Own your success, be confident, know what it is you can contribute to the workplace, to community and to family and be proud of it,'" she says. "You find more about the campaign at jny.com/empowerment. There is a lot there including something called 'the little black book on career advice.' We gathered anecdotes and advice from more than 100 women, from a bunch of different professions, talking to other women about what they think will help women to succeed."

Dee Dee Myers says working with this campaign is another way for her to reach out to women everywhere, helping them realize and reach their potential to not only succeed in their chosesn careers but also to change the world.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid