37 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contestants share how we can form a more gender balanced world
21 Mar 2019

37 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contestants share how we can form a more gender balanced world


This month began with International Women’s Day, and we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month this month.

Women have made enormous strides towards gender equality over the past hundred years. Yet it is important that we don’t get complacent. Women are 50% of the US population. Despite that, the numbers are stilled skewed in many important areas.

Only 30% of the wealth in the US is held by women. Only 24% of the US Congress is women. Only 4.8% of the Fortune 500 companies are led by women CEO’s. Only 8% of Hollywood directors are women. Only 28% of Oscars were awarded to women. Only 5.3% of Nobel Prizes have been won by women. And of course, 0% of women became President or Vice President of the United States. Numbers similar to these are found in many areas of our society.

Miss USA Titleholders are sources of inspiration for millions of women in the US and across the world. I had the opportunity to ask many of this years titleholders for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA about how they would leverage their prominent platform to help encourage a more gender balanced world.

Here are their ideas.

Kailyn Marie Perez, Miss PA USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by working in a field that is still dominated by men. I will continue working with a nonprofit that is dedicated toward closing the gap between the number of men and women working in politics.”

Sydney Boehler, Miss CO Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by donating books that promote gender equality at a young age to youth clinics in my community.”

Erin Shae Swanson, Miss NE Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by encouraging all the women in my life to know and understand that they have their own unique goals and dreams. When women encourage and support other women, it brings us balance.”

Grace Zitzer, Miss MT USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by changing the language I use to describe women. Instead of telling them they are pretty, cute or beautiful, I will tell them that they are powerful, strong, capable, brave and intelligent.”

Alyse Madej, Miss MI USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by being a female working in the automotive industry — a male-dominated industry.”

Cat Stanley, Miss MN USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by pursuing a career as a physician specializing in dermatology.”

Acacia Courtney, Miss CT USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by advocating for equal pay and demanding respect and opportunities for women in the workforce.”

Jolisa Copeman, Miss DE USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by trying to work on diversifying my current career field of horticulture.”

Nicolette Jennings, Miss FL USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by thanking the women who have empowered me to be the CEO of my own life and have helped the young women I’m mentoring build their confidence and reach their definition of success.”

Amanda Renée Giroux, Miss UT USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by auditioning for acting roles that feature strong females.”

Tate Fritchley, Miss IN USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by stepping up in the classroom to be a leader and encourage my female peers to do the same.”

Hannah DeBok, Miss KS Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by supporting my female legislators. Thank you to Senator Julia Lynn, Governor Laura Kelly and U.S. Representative Sharice Davids.”

Mariela Pepin, Miss MD USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by challenging stereotypes and biases.”

Katia Gerry, Miss FL Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by continuing to build confidence in young women through my platform, Stay Gorgeous Girls.

Alexandra Plotz, Miss IL USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by encouraging women to push forward in their career paths and go for their goals and aspirations.”

A’Maiya Allen, Miss IL Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by empowering others to believe that a gender-equal world is possible and settling for nothing less.”

Kalin Burt, Miss AL Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by using my voice to speak to teens and encourage them to seek the education they need to obtain their dream job, and to not hold back due to gender but instead, focus on their ability.”

Madison Dorenkamp, Miss CO USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by working in a male-dominated industry.”

Lacie Choy, Miss HI USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by being a great role model and leader in my community as well as encouraging other young women to step up and be girl bosses themselves.”

Jordan Weiter, Miss KY USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by empowering other women to pursue their passions regardless of gender inequality.”

Emma Johns, Miss KY Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by educating young women on the importance of mental and physical health and showing them that strong is beautiful.”

Victoria Paul, Miss LA USA 2019

“I will continue to #BalanceForBetter and dreaming of a world in which there’s been enough change that there’s no barrier between gender or human race.”

Chelsie Kryst, Miss NC USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by encouraging women in the legal industry to seek leadership roles in law firms.”

Eliza Minor, Miss NC Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by celebrating women across the world and their achievements.”

Manya Saaraswat, Miss NJ USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by encouraging women to take career paths in the STEM field, and also improve our global healthcare system.”

Ava Tortorici, Miss NJ Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by promoting my club, the Girl Boss Club.

Triana Browne, Miss OK USA 2019“I will #BalanceForBetter by continuing to use my nonprofit, Bridge the Divide, to cultivate conversation within the public on nurturing cultural compassion and celebrating our cultural differences.”

Abigail Billings, Miss OK Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by promoting gender equality through my leadership and by using my voice.”

Natalie Tonneson, Miss OR USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by continuing to advocate for equal opportunities for women in my community and women around the world.”

Nicole Pallozzi, Miss RI USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by pursuing a career in business administration. I hope to one day open my own real estate brokers firm and become one of the most successful female real estate brokers in the country.”

Kaliegh Garris, Miss CT Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by encouraging young girls in my community to get out there and have informative conversations.”

Olivia Volpe, Miss RI Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by encouraging the involvement of women in society.”

Bailey Guy, Miss TN Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by never letting gender stereotypes stand in my way.”

Evelyn Clark, Miss WA USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by encouraging women to not let others dictate how they look or feel about their bodies.”

Danika Tramburg, Miss WI USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by continuing to be a voice for the voiceless — for the women, men and children affect by human trafficking.”

Haley Holloway, Miss WV USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by showcasing that I can use my voice alongside men, and that we can only thrive in the workplace together.”

Alina Rae Carranza, Miss CA Teen USA 2019

“I will #BalanceForBetter by volunteering with Lululemon for their 364-minute bike ride which promotes women equality in the workforce.”