This issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy had many beginnings and, like most efforts in which a theme is slowly resolved, probably should not have an ending.
The discussion of this theme started several years ago when a group of senior Boston businesswomen talked about the need and value of meeting on a semi-regular basis. Their purpose would be to focus discussions on a narrow but important issue — the economic advancement of women.
The criteria for these informal meetings quickly fell into place. All the women who comprised the group would be drawn from within the private sector and hold senior executive positions; their deliberations would have a low profile and receive no public airing; most important, the common element among the members would be a high degree of mutual trust, respect, and confidentiality. My position at the time was vice president of Corporate Affairs and general counsel of Filene's, and I became an original member. The group met faithfully in the ensuing years, expanding its membership to include partners in Boston law firms, other executives, senior public officials, and several college presidents. For lack of a better name, we called ourselves the Women's Economic Forum, reflecting our interest.
Many of the women — a number of whom are contributors to this volume — had first pooled their efforts on behalf of another Journal contributor, Evelyn Murphy, then a candidate for lieutenant governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Later, as new members joined, individuals supported a range of candidates for state and local office, men and women. Like Lieutenant Governor Murphy, the forum members were acutely aware that the public policy issues which most concerned them centered on a single topic: the position and advancement of women in the economic mainstream of the community.
The feminization of economic power is a compelling theme. The articles in this volume represent the personal views of the authors and are not meant as academic treatises. We hope this effort is just the start of further commentary and action, as we all work toward our common objective of economic empowerment and economic independence for all women.
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 6
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol6/iss1/2