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
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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid