THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you, KT, for that memorable introduction. (Laughter.) And thank you, KT, for your great leadership on the airwaves and in this administration. We're so grateful to you. (Applause.)
On behalf of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, it is my great privilege today to welcome members of our Cabinet and women from across the country, business leaders, leaders in academic life and public life, leaders in your communities, friends all, welcome to the White House. (Applause.)
And it's great to be here during Women's History Month, isn't it?
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yes, it is.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The world has celebrated International Women's Day on March 8th since 1911. It was in 1980 that President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th National Women's History Week; and six years later, the National Women's History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand National Women's History Week into the entire month of March. And today, here in the East Room at the White House, we're continuing a celebration of Women's History Month by really bringing together an extraordinary group of women who are serving this administration with incredible distinction. (Applause.)
We welcome you all to this Women's Empowerment Panel. This event is really the tail end of a month that culminates in a series of activities where President Trump has sought to honor women's contributions to the United States of America.
He's held multiple listening sessions dedicated to finding solutions to the unique challenges that women face in the workplace and in running businesses.
He's signed legislation promoting education and employment for women in the sciences -- in areas that we've been historically under-represented.
And he signed a proclamation declaring that women's "contributions to our Nation's life, culture, history, economy, and families have shaped us and helped fulfill America's promise."
The truth of this statement is evident for all to see. This may be Women's History Month, but the fact is that women in America make history every single day. (Applause.)
Today I'm really looking forward to just sitting in. You're going to hear today from some of the extraordinary women that President Trump has brought in to help lead this administration -- Betsy DeVos, from one of the great, storied business families in Michigan and America. (Applause.) Now the Administrator of the Small Business Administration [sic]. Betsy has already been on the road talking about how we get America moving again for women entrepreneurs.
And of course, one of my two daughters' favorites, she was a governor, now she is the United States Ambassador to the United Nations -- Nikki Haley is with us today. (Applause.) As you can imagine my two daughters -- one in college, who is headed to law school next year, and one who just started her career -- are not very impressed with people in politics. (Laughter.) But both of them said to me, a few years ago when Nikki passed through a challenging time in the life of her state, they said, that Nikki Haley is really cool. And we are so honored to have you in this administration. (Applause.)
And the new Administrator for the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services -- and a Hoosier -- Seema Verma is with us today. (Applause.) This is an extraordinary group of women, and I'm looking forward to hearing their thoughts today.
And it really is the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Vice President to President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
This is a President who has advanced the interests of women and relied on women leaders at crucial moments throughout his career -- like when he named a woman to lead his campaign for President, and Kellyanne Conway became the first woman in American history to lead a successful presidential campaign. (Applause.)
The truth is, American women are making a difference in our administration, in our economy, and in our communities every single day.
They're driving our economy through entrepreneurship and innovation. In fact, there are more than 9.4 million women-owned American businesses that employ nearly 8 million Americans with annual revenues now totaling $1.5 trillion.
American women no doubt inspired by the leaders like those gathered in this room today are also graduating from college and post-secondary education in record numbers.
And women leaders are defending our nation and wearing the uniform of the United States of America. (Applause.) I'm proud to say my wife, Karen, has actually spent this month at the direction of Mrs. Trump highlighting the service of women in our armed forces and the spouses that support men in our armed forces.
And American women are leading our country from the halls of government, and you're about to hear from some of the most noteworthy.
In the midst of busy lives, American women are also doing those most precious things -- they're making time for families, for communities, and for involvement in religious organizations.
President Trump and our administration I promise you are going to work tirelessly to empower women to be able to climb the ladder of opportunity and contribute even more to America's success in the years ahead.
And I know, under President Trump's leadership, the future for our country and the future for American women is brighter than ever before. (Applause.)
One of those great leaders I'm going to invite to the podium -- another great American leader in public life will be our moderator today. Join me in welcoming the attorney general of the great state of Florida, Pam Bondi. (Applause.)