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Girls & Women

Dancing our way through the glass ceiling

Flickr- Patrick

Lady Gaga. Missy Elliot. Selena Gomez.

These kick ass women are household names. They break records and top charts. Their songs become our anthems. They inspire us to be bold. They motivate us to stand up during Super Bowl Halftime Shows and get our freak on (no? just me?).

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They make me feel proud to be a girl.

They are also all honored in Billboard’s annual “Women in Music” issue, and received a shout out from none other than Hillary Clinton.

The presidential candidate wrote an essay in honor of Billboard’s “Women in Music” issue, and her words brought a big smile to my face. From Billboard’s cover girl Lady GaGa, to “innovator” Missy Elliot, to “breakthrough” star (and Global Citizen performer!) Tori Kelly, Hillary acknowledged everything that women in music do for girls around the world.

As Hillary put it:

“My hope is that women and girls around the world will hear these artists' songs, learn their stories and feel a greater sense of ­possibility for their own lives. Maybe they'll recognize ­themselves in these women. Maybe they'll be inspired to reach toward their own dreams with greater urgency. Maybe they'll stand a little straighter or speak a little louder because that's what Gaga and Missy and Brittany and Tori and Selena and Demi and Kelsea and Lana and Ally and Normani and Lauren and Camilla and Dinah and Loretta would do.”

And beyond the household names and mega pop stars there are many, many more equally kick ass women behind the scenes and in the boardrooms making all the magic happen. Ever heard of Sara Newkirk Simon? Deborah Curtis? Lee Ann Callahan-Longo?  

I hadn’t either.

And that last woman co-produced Bey and Jay’s On the Run Tour. Hold on while I send her a bouquet and thank you note for the best night of my life.

These women, along with 47 others, were included in the “Women in Music” list of the most powerful executives in the industry.  And they deserve our collective round of applause.

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They sign multi-million dollar deals and put together the biggest world tours. They pull incredible marketing strategies out of thin air and attract the freshest talent.

They are, as Hillary Clinton put it, trailblazers who, “aren’t just leading the music industry-- they’re transforming it.”

In a world where the gender gap is far too wide, these women are building bridges and shattering glass ceilings. They are proof that hard work can pay off and that gender should never be a barrier to happiness or success.

Just think of them as a gender equality playlist for the world. And you know what? It sounds amazing.  

Read their stories and prepare to dance your way to the top.

And you can start making gender equality a reality by going to TAKE ACTION NOW and signing a petition to put women's equality at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda.