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International Circle Discussion with WE Lead Scholars

By The Policy Circle Team

The Policy Circle co-founders Sylvie Légère, Kathy Hubbard and Angela Braly hosted an internationally focused Policy Circle discussion  WE Lead Scholars from the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan on the subject of jobs and education on March 11 in Washington D.C.

Kathy Hubbard (pictured below left), who is also a Member of the Advisory Board for The Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute, noted that “ these outstanding women leaders in their fields throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan must be knowledgeable with the policy issues affecting their communities and countries to be more effective in leading their organizations and have a growing role in their countries.   As women, we share many experiences in common no matter what country is our home.

The WE Lead Scholars read the Policy Circle’s Creating Career Pathways brief in advance and used it as the basis for the discussion with local Policy Circle leaders and members. Many common themes emerged from the discussions including:

  • There is a lack of data and statistics in the market about what jobs are available and what skills are needed and a disconnect between what people are being educated for and what jobs available, that needs to be communicated to legislators and policy makers.
  • People need to be prepared for market needs with hands-on training and specific skills.
  • A stigma remains on vocational training vs the mindset in European countries where this work is admired and appreciated.
  • The teaching of entrepreneurship and skills training needs to be taught at an earlier age – getting at the gap between available jobs and skills/education of interested workers.  
  • There is a great deal of overregulation in career training so people lose interest and drop out.
  • It is important to employ 21st century workforce models and technologies available.

Egypt Women Leaders’ Circle and Circle Lebanon were launched that evening as part of a new international cohort.  Washington DC circle leaders will mentor and continue dialogue with the international circle leaders.


The Policy Circle is a 501(c)3 that provides a fact-based, nonpartisan framework built to inspire women living in the same community to connect, learn about and discuss economic policies that impact their lives.  Women across the nation are taking a leadership role in the public policy dialogue on what human creativity can accomplish in an open economy.