by Carson Brown
Originally published: June 17, 2016
The United State of Women gathering at the White House on June 14 drew a high-powered roster of big names from politics, business and entertainment.
Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffett, who claims title as the world’s most successful investor, was there. So were CEO and billionaire businesswoman Oprah Winfrey, "Scandal" star Kerry Washington, ShondaLand creator Shonda Rhimes, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, journalist and media distributer Soledad O’Brien and equal pay champion Lilly Ledbetter.
It also gave President Barack Obama the opportunity to declare himself a feminist during an afternoon speech in a moment that took the house down.
In one announcement at the gathering, Amazon, PepsiCo, Gap Inc. and 25 other companies signed the “White House Equal Pay Pledge” in an effort to reduce the gender pay gap. These companies committed to reviewing their hiring and promotion practices annually to protect against bias, and to build equal pay efforts into their larger equality initiatives.
The White House also announced Oracle’s $3 million pledge to get girls involved in science, technology, engineering and math worldwide through aids to a U.S. government initiative to help girls stay in school. This comes on top of Oracle’s $200 million to support the White House’s Computer Science for All, an initiative to increase diversity in tech.
The gathering was a show in force for diversity, as both a carefully produced promotional video and panelists celebrated.