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Claire Montañez-Charamnac
Executive Director, Women LEAD

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“The most pressing issues facing women today are violence against women and the lack of power we have in our lives, whether that’s a lack of political or economic power.”

I have always had a passion for empowering women, from my childhood growing up in Singapore to my work now at my non-profit organization, Women LEAD.

I co-founded Women LEAD, the first and only leadership development organization for young women in Nepal, in 2010 when I was a junior at Georgetown University. Women LEAD equips young women with the skills, resources, mentoring, and leadership opportunities to become leaders in their schools and communities. Since our launch in 2011, we’ve empowered more than 400 youth leaders.

What inspires you? I’m inspired by the strong women in my life, especially the girls we work with in Women LEAD. When I see their hard work, sacrifices and achievements, I’m motivated to continue doing my own work.

What are your favorite quotes?  My favorite quote is from Audre Lorde: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

What are the most pressing issues for women in business today?  The most pressing issues facing women today are violence against women and the lack of power we have in our lives, whether that’s a lack of political or economic power.

 What are the biggest keys to your success?  The biggest keys to my success were the support I received from my family and friends, and the education and opportunities that were given to me.

 What are the biggest keys to the advancement or success of women? The biggest key to the advancement of women is the support we receive from men. As long as men continue to support the structures that disempower women, we will not succeed.

 What prompted you to get involved with your cause? I was inspired to co-found Women LEADbecause I’ve seen both the massive discrimination against women around the world and women’s unbelievable strength in the face of these challenges. It’s unacceptable that women do not have the same opportunities as men and that only 20% of political leaders in the world are women. I co-founded Women LEAD to change that. The young women I’ve worked with are smart, passionate visionaries; they just need the support and tools to become leaders.

 What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to empower as many women as I can, to provide them with the opportunities to speak up, have power over their own lives, and lead change in their communities and nation. I want to do my part to ensure women become equal to men around the world.


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