Across the country, groups of women are meeting to have substantive conversations about policy – on issues ranging from economics, education and healthcare to immigration and poverty. These women – more than 2,600 of them across 36 states – are part of The Policy Circle, an organization that equips women to share their views and take leadership roles in public policy dialogue.
The Policy Circle is the brainchild of 2008 Woman of Achievement Angela Braly, Texas Tech, and co-founders, Kathryn Hubbard and Sylvie Legere. The three met at a public policy forum and came up with the idea of The Policy Circle after noticing that women weren’t well-represented in leadership roles and policy discussions.
As the CEO of WellPoint (now Anthem) during the debate around the Affordable Care Act, Angela was involved in many public policy discussions and forums. At one public policy conference in particular, Angela remembers looking around the room and wondering, “Where are the women?” Often, Angela was one of only a few women at the table.
“When we began The Policy Circle, we asked a few foundational questions,” says Angela. “Are women being invited? And when they’re invited, are they attending? We quickly realized that one of the reasons women may say no to these opportunities is that they don’t feel confident talking about public policy.”
So Angela and her co-founders set out to help women prepare for getting involved in the public policy space. The idea of The Policy Circle is to give women a place to have thoughtful conversations about policy and to practice voicing their insights and opinions.
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