Power Point: Find support to do what you want

April 29, 2009, 2:28 AM UTC

“In every culture we care too much about what others think. That’s what the women’s movement was about, creating a community that allows you to articulate what you want. But you will always face the challenges of others’ expectations.”

–Anne-Marie Slaughter, director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department during a gathering on Monday. Slaughter and several other women leaders from the State Department met with 32 rising stars from 24 developing countries as part of the kick-off for this year’s Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership.

When a participant from Ghana said that women in her country “are influenced by what others think, not what makes them happy,” Slaughter explained that in fact this was an issue for women around the world. Appointed to her role by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January, Slaughter is the first woman in the department’s history to hold what she calls “the great think job.” –Jessica Shambora