The Michigan’s Women’s Commission has a new voice for equality, and she will no doubt lead the charge to confront critical problems facing women in the state — and in the nation as well.
Of course, we’re talking about Odyssey Woman Vivian Pickard, who has been appointed to serve on the commission by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Pickard is already well-known in her home state, where she serves as president and CEO of the Pickard Group, advising fortune 500 CEOs, private corporate CEOs, philanthropic CEOs and chamber of commerce organizations. Before that, it was through her exceptional leadership skills that General Motors was propelled into the spotlight as a world leader in philanthropy.
Odyssey recently caught up with her for her take on women’s issues in Michigan. “I’m very proud of Governor Whitmer’s initiatives for this committee — which are really important to me, focusing on gender and equity issues,” she tells Odyssey. “The governor also has a plan for financial freedom for women, and also a leadership initiative for women that enables women to push up into leadership roles in corporations, foundations, and boards of directors.”
But Pickard doesn’t just talk the talk. “Work like this is something that has been important to me for the last 20 years,” she says of her boots-on-the-ground experience. “I’ve always had about 20 young women that I mentor at any given time along the way, so this really feeds into my mission statement, and it aligns perfectly with the important things I believe in. I feel an obligation to support their efforts, to give back — mentoring has been critically important to me.”
She’s in good company, now: Governor Whitmer says her state wants to lead in women’s issues. “When women in Michigan thrive, all Michiganders thrive,” she told the Between the Lines website. “We must continue to work towards Michigan becoming a model state for equality.”
True to her nature of getting the job done, Pickard isn’t wasting any time. She’s already got a meeting set up with the governor. “My first meeting with the governor will be in August.”
The Michigan Women’s Commission has a storied past: It was created in 1968 to help with equality issues. Its charter includes “reviewing the status of women in Michigan, directing attention to critical problems confronting women, recommending ways of overcoming discrimination, enabling women to develop skills, conducting surveys, and recognizing women’s accomplishments and contributions to Michigan.”
It’s one that Vivian Pickard will thrive in. Of course, Odyssey couldn’t be more proud, and we will continue to monitor all of her successes.