"Innovation is important - not only for yourself, but also for the society in which you live. It's not only a question of getting something accomplished because of your own career, but it's important to to something that is useful for the community."

Young leaders need opportunities to grow and environments that encourage the development of leadership skills. Many girls and women across Africa are not receiving the same opportunities for growth that boys and men are. As a result they are being held back, unable to reach their full potential.

The Women in Public Service Project is thrilled to introduce the 50x50 Update, a quarterly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on trending news and program activities driving the movement toward global gender parity. In this issue: carrying the movement over barriers yet to be broken; five years of 50x50; new content; trending news; upcoming events and program activities.

On the five year anniversary of its founding, The Women in Public Service Project looks at the importance of data in our continued efforts to promote gender equality in global political and policy representation.

The discussion will take place through three panels about the importance of data, the role of the private sector in gender parity, and the influencers driving the movement toward global gender parity. The event will also include interviews conducted by author Jay Newton-Small and Cosmo for Latinas founding editor Michelle Herrera Mulligan, as well as a musical performance by artist and women’s rights activist Madame Gandhi.

Without systematic intervention and structural change, women may be reaching a similar "glass ceiling" in political life that will make it very hard to advance beyond 25%. The incoming administration must ensure women have the opportunity to grow and thrive as leaders at the local, national and international levels.