A Charleston woman recently was chosen to serve as a delegate for Vision 2020, a national project focused on improving gender equality by stirring up the dialogue about women and leadership.

Margaret Seidler is a nationally recognized organization development consultant, master trainer and author of the book "Power Surge: A Conduit for Enlightened Leadership."

Seidler will attend Vision 2020's first public event, Vision 2020: An American Conversation About Women and Leadership, along with fellow South Carolina delegate Lynn Lewis and 100 other female delegates representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The event is Oct. 21-22 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

The goal of the conference is to launch an action plan to move America toward equality by 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of women obtaining the right to vote.

Seidler thinks that there are still a number of disparities between men and women's rights, including pay equity and access to the traditional business community, and would like to see more government-sponsored women's leadership programs.

"We have an opportunity to bring this dream that the suffragettes had to reality in this decade," Seidler says about advancing women's rights.

Seidler was nominated by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham based on her commitment to helping women and girls.

In addition to her volunteer efforts at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, she works with the Center for Women and with longtime friend Jennet Alterman, executive director of the center, to foster a partnership between the two organizations and establish the annual Women in Business Conference.

Seidler will sign on to work with Vision 2020 for a minimum of three years, but plans to stay as long as they will have her.

"It is the deepest honor that I could imagine, to have come from an era where opportunities were so limited for women," Seidler says. "And now, to have the ability to shape the future. I mean, that is just amazing to have that ability, to be positioned where I am going to be, working with people from around the country. It's a feeling unlike anything I have ever had."

Reach Rene Smith at 937-5906 or rsmith@postandcourier.com.