We are delighted to announce that The Hewitt School’s 2020 Commencement address will be delivered by Tiffany Dufu. A true champion for the advancement of girls and women, Tiffany is founder and CEO of The Cru, a peer coaching platform for women looking to accelerate their professional and personal growth. A catalyst-at-large in the world of women’s leadership, Tiffany is the author of Drop the Ball: Achieving More By Doing Less, a memoir and manifesto that shows women how to cultivate the single skill they really need in order to thrive: the ability to let go. Previously, Tiffany served as president of The White House Project, a non-profit organization that worked to increase female representation in American institutions, businesses, and government through programs focused on female leadership, campaign training, and the portrayal of female leadership in the media. Additionally, Tiffany has helped launch a girls’ middle school and has also served as an executive at a technology company that provides millennial women professionals with the tools they need to be successful.
In Drop The Ball, Tiffany focuses on the fact that women are half the workforce, but at our current rate, it will take 100 years for women to be half of our leaders. She notes: “The very future of our society rests on women’s ability to get past middle management and to thrive in the process.” Tiffany calls for a movement “not just to prevent working mothers from crashing but to fast-forward history” so that women achieve equality both in the workforce and at home. Highlighting how very early girls receive messages that equate “being a girl leader” with “being a worker bee,” Tiffany addresses, head-on and up-close, the negative effects on girls and women when they are taught to place unrealistically high expectations on themselves. She argues that, without a clear roadmap, strategy, and purpose, working hard is not necessarily working smart. We admire Tiffany’s message that it is time for girls and women to get clear about, and organize their lives around, what matters most to them and their world. Her message is both simple and radical.
Tiffany’s work reads like a liberating permission slip for girls and women to break the rules of gender expectations in our society, giving girls and women the validation and support they need to live a well deserved and meaningful life. When we, as women, break free from the neverending societal pressures to “do it all,” we emancipate ourselves to devote our energy towards achieving the goals aligned with our values–what truly matters to us. Tiffany reminds us that “burnout is not that we have too much to do, it’s the feeling that the things we do aren’t meaningful or don’t reflect who we really are.” The Hewitt School heartily endorses the work of Tiffany Dufu, with whom we share a common goal: to bring about a world in which women’s gifts and voices are fully harnessed for the benefit of all of us.
Tiffany writes: “I want all of us to wake up to our own power and create the change we seek. I’ve experienced firsthand that power comes from having a clear purpose and the passion to pursue it. Brave authenticity, uncompromising integrity, and graceful resilience along the way don’t hurt either.” We are thrilled that Tiffany will be speaking to the young women of the Class of 2020 as they embark upon their lives beyond Hewitt, and we look forward to learning from such an important voice in the conversation about the future of girls and women.