Beal Lecturer Anne-Marie Slaughter on Gender Equality

Anne-Marie Slaughter, an international lawyer, foreign policy analyst, political scientist, and this year’s Beal Lecturer, addressed the Hotchkiss community on May 20 in Elfers Hall. She was introduced by her niece, Gwen Slaughter, Class of 2019.
Slaughter was the first woman to serve as the director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department, from 2009 to 2011, under U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She is a member of the International Law Association, the American Society of International Law, the American Bar Association, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the World Peace Foundation. She received a B.A. from Princeton, an M.Phil and D.Phil in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Daniel M. Sachs Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

Slaughter has authored and edited eight books, including Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family (2015). Her article, "Why Women Still Can’t Have it All," published in The Atlantic in 2012, addressed the difficulties women still face in finding a balance between a fulfilling career and family life. She is currently the president and CEO of New America, a think tank dedicated to renewing America in the digital age.

Slaughter’s address to the community focused on achieving gender equality. She emphasized the role of men  in moving women’s equality forward. “If we are ever going to achieve equality, we need men to find powerful and strong women worth working for.”
Over the past 30 years, according to Slaughter, women have made up just a quarter of the people in positions of power and authority. “That’s how stuck we are,” said Slaughter.

“In the 70s and 80s, women flooded into the workforce. We made a lot of progress, but since then, it’s moved at a snail’s pace,” she said.

“If we continue at that pace it will take more than 300 years for women to be fully integrated, and it will take at least 100 years to close the pay gap. We need to get there sooner; we can’t afford to lose all that talent.”
Women, in turn, also have to change their definition of masculinity and rethink men’s roles in relationships, she said.

“If you are willing to continue to break the box, we can make a much better world,” she told the community. 
When asked how to celebrate differences while maintaining equality, Slaughter said: “I think it’s possible to look at a wide range of people who are different in wide range of ways and to say that diversity makes us strong. We can be one, and celebrate our differences at the same time.”
The Beal Lecture series, coordinated by Instructor in English, History, and Russian Keith Moon, was established in 1983 in honor of Thaddeus R. (Ted) Beal Jr. ’35 by his close friend, classmate, and former trustee John Shedd Reed. It was Reed’s belief that the Hotchkiss community would benefit from exposure to visiting speakers addressing current issues of national and global concern. 

To view Slaughter's address, click here.

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