Connie Duckworth, born in 1954, began her career at Arco in the 1970's when the oil industry was at its peak. She then made history when she became the first female sales and trading partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Even while she served as the head of their various offices, Duckworth invested in helping the younger women in the firm understand how and why they should and can succeed in business. Meanwhile, she co-authored The Old Girls' Network: Insider Advice for Women Building Businesses in a Man's World and served on the committee of multiple related organizations and chaired the Committee of 200, a professional organization comprised of the most powerful female entrepreneurs and corporate executives in the nation. Always an advocate for women's rights and education, Duckworth founded "Arzu" (meaning "hope" in Dari) an organization intended to provide sustainable income to women for the sale of their hand crafted rugs. To be involved in the program, Afghan women receive basic healthcare and over market compensation for their rugs, as long as they promise to send their young children to school. Arzu currently works with 700 weavers, and hopes to double that number by 2011. Duckworth was named as one of the 2004 "Women Leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's eNews, and in 2008 won the Skoll Foundation's Social Entrepreneur award. Not only has Connie Duckworth empowered women to use their assets and talents in contributing to the world, she has given them the keys of self-confidence, and the assurance of being able to succeed despite often crippling circumstances.
"The beauty of having a successful business is it gives you a wonderful economic platform from which to do good."
Wharton University of Pennsylvania
Global Heritage Foundation