Meet Helen Clark: Fab Female Friday

Fab Female Friday

Katlyn Grasso, right, with Helen Clark at the Social Good Summit.

Guest Blogger – Katlyn Grasso is a longtime supporter of Girl Up. She currently attends University of Pennsylvania.

“When opportunity knocks at the door, open that door.”

After Helen Clark, first female Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), discussed the role women play in advancing international development at the 2014 Social Good Summit, I spoke with her to learn how the global community can close the gender leadership gap in politics.

Prior to her appointment at UNDP, Ms. Clark served as the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999-2008. She was the second woman to hold this influential position and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes Magazine.

Ms. Clark believes that girls must be educated global citizens if they want to pursue a career in public administration. “Girls have to get engaged. You don’t get to the leadership position, like the one I occupied in my country, without taking the first steps in a very long journey and that is at the grassroots level.”

Leading by example, Ms. Clark strives to catalyze societal change as an advocate for climate sustainability, economic development, and women’s equality. As an international proponent of mobilizing women leaders, Ms. Clark advises girls to possess “enormous self-belief in their abilities” and “really believe that they can do it.”