- Ana Navarro, political strategist and commentator
- Anita Hill, attorney and academic
- Don McPherson, NFL veteran, social activist
- Donna Brazile, author, academic, political analyst, and Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee
- Eleanor Holmes Norton, Delegate to the United States Congress representing the District of Columbia
- Elizabeth Lesser, author and co-founder of Omega Institute
- Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California
- Gloria Steinem, journalist and feminist activist
- Governor Mary Fallin, governor of Oklahoma and former US Representative
- Jennifer Siebel Newsom, actor and documentary filmmaker
- Jessica Valenti, feminist writer and founder of Feministing.com
- Joy Behar, comedian, writer, actor, and former co-host of ABC’s The View
- Kathy Najimy, actor, writer, activist
- Kay Bailey Hutchison, former US Senator from Texas
- Kirsten Gillibrand, US Senator from New York
- Marianne Williamson, New York Times best-selling author
- Marie Wilson, author and founder of The White House Project
- Maya Angelou, author and poet
- Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter and activist
- Melissa Harris-Perry, author, television host, and political commentator
- Michael Kimmel, sociologist and academic
- Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and former Speaker of the House
- Nicholas Kristof, journalist, author, and Pulitzer Prize winner
- Olympia Snowe, former US Senator from Maine
- Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media
- Senator Barbara Lee, US Representative for California's 13th congressional district
- Senator Claire McCaskill, US Senator from Missouri
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
- Soledad O'Brien, broadcast journalist
The expanded ebook edition includes 19 additional interviews with the following notable names:
Amy Richards, Carol Gilligan, Carol Jenkins, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Cecile Richards, Celinda Lake, Courtney E. Martin, Diane von Fürstenberg, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Feldt, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Jody Williams, Julie Zeilinger, Marsha Blackburn, Mary Matalin, Rachel Simmons, Robin Morgan, Sandra Fluke, and Stephanie Shriock
The word "female," when inserted in front of something, is always with a note of surprise—female COO, female pilot, female surgeon—as if the gender implies surprise, which it does. I am a female leader. One day there won't be female leaders. There will just be leaders.
—Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
I think the most important message for women is that they can do it. . . . And my call to action is very comprehensive: do whatever you can do. It's a question of, Are you voting? Are you being heard? Are there issues that you care about that you could advocate for and let your representatives know how important they are to you? Would you ever consider running for office? Really making that request of women's participation across the board.
—Kirsten Gillibrand, US Senator from New York (D)
I think the reason that there are fewer women—that there is a gender gap in the media, there's a gender gap in elected office, there's a gender gap in high level corporate America—it's all the same reasons. Because, until very recently, women have been the ones that bore the brunt of family and home responsibilities. And it's not been until recently that that has begun to change and we are now in an era where shared responsibilities have become the norm, not the exception.
—Ana Navarro, political strategist and commentator
There are multiple levels of leadership. Your leadership in your own family, your community, how you lead your life, how you present yourself in the world as one who is willing to use what you have to give to others. That to me is the defining meaning of what it takes to be a leader.
—Oprah Winfrey, media icon and philanthropist
If we really think that the majority of women in the world are also always in the kitchen and in the kindergarten and in the places just to look after the young and men, then we do ourselves and everybody a disservice. Because women offer so much more than it would seem we offer. It would seem we offer kindness and the chance to be cared for and nursed in more ways than just medical. And I think that the whole country needs to know that women are much smarter—we're more than that.
—Maya Angelou, author and poet
I think the biggest challenge facing our nation, as far as more women getting involved in politics, is just the fact of women stepping up and being willing to run for office--to put everything on the line, to do the hard work, to go through the process itself, to risk winning or losing, and to step up to any kind of office, whether it's president or heading up a major corporation.
—Mary Fallin, governor of Oklahoma and former US Representative (R)
Society is what it is. It's probable that walking around female for twenty years, or fifty years, in this culture has given someone a set of experiences that men don't necessarily have—in the same way that walking around as a black person or a Hispanic person or a gay person gives people a different set of experiences than a white, heterosexual person. Experience is everything. Somebody who has experienced something is more expert at it than the experts. We need politicians who look like the country.
—Gloria Steinem, journalist and feminist activist
Why is it that men can't be recognized for being outstanding advocates for women? You don't need to be gay to be a great advocate for the LGBT community. In every aspect of life, you can maintain your empathy and your advocacy. . . . I think people are realizing that we're not two separate tribes, we're all in this together, and that men have a responsibility to be advocates for women, women advocates for men and boys.
—Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California (D)
We were raised in this country to believe that we were the best. That this was the country that was going to save the world. We were the leader of the free. We were the world's leader. And now we look around and we're kind of like, "Wait a minute. We've got some problems here."
—Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter and activist
It's about equality, but it's not just about equality. And the reason it's necessary to have more voices is because that strengthens the debate and it strengthens the decisions. It isn't that women coming in are better than men; they're different from men. And I always say the beauty is in the mix. To have diversity of opinion in the debate strengthens the outcome and you get a better result.
— Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and former Speaker of the House (D)
I think that if we don't have gender diversity at the top of American politics and in corporate boards, then we're just going to get weaker decisions, and I think that's what we've been stuck with. And so I think that the great strength that women bring when they move into senior levels of politics is not that they're more nurturing, caring, maternal figures, but that they will bring a certain level of different perspective, a different way of thinking, and that is just really valuable for all of us. This is not something that is going to benefit the women of America; it's something that's going to benefit all of America.
—Nicholas Kristof, journalist, author, and Pulitzer Prize winner
Beyoncé recommends What Will It Take …in Garage Magazine (Garage Magazine)
We are excited to announce that our partner, Political Parity, has just launched an evolving section around the book offering a host of additional features including audio excerpts from the interviews, research, articles and other resources.
For the first time in history, we had 3 female candidates in the race for the White House: Hillary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, and Jill Stein. To mark this significant event and in anticipation of the election to come, Marianne Schnall has partnered with Political Parity to release an original 3-part series. Thought leaders and past presidential candidates from across the political spectrum discuss what it would mean to finally have a woman in the highest office.
She’s More Than a Symbol features a compilation of interviews to answer the questions, what would having a woman president mean for our country, culture, and collective women’s leadership? Why is it so important?
She Talks Dirty: Money in Politics reflects on the all-encompassing impact of money on the political system in America.
She’s Young and Restless focuses on young women and the change they can bring to electoral politics.
She Looks to the Future casts a hopeful eye to 2016 and asks what it will take to ensure more women candidates run beyond the next election cycle.
Current and past presidential candidate podcasts
Three Steps Closer to the Oval Office interviews past presidential candidates on their inspiring stories in pursuit of the White House.
In-depth interview with Pat Schroeder, feisty former Representative for Colorado and 1987 presidential candidate.
Insightful interview with Carol Moseley-Braun, first female African-American senator and 2004 presidential candidate.
Motivational interview with Jill Stein, 2012 and 2016 presidential candidate.
From the field – interviews with practitioners and experts
Observations of Michael Kimmel, a leading researcher and writer on men and masculinity.
Behind the (White House) scenes interview with Anita McBride, who served in three presidential administrations and is currently the Executive in Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University’s School of Public Affairs.
With over twenty years’ experience, Senator Kay Hutchison provides her reflections and thoughts on gender in politics.
Inspiring insights from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her take on why women are the exception in Washington gridlock.
Stay tuned for more interviews from the field…
We also celebrated our San Francisco Launch event in December 2013, in partnership with The Representation Project, and The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, featuring a panel moderated by Amanda de Cadenet that featured author Marianne Schnall, Gavin Newsom, and Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
Our May 6, 2014 Washington, D.C., panel discussion, held in partnership with Political Parity, Running Start and WUF-PAC, featured NFL veteran and political activist Don McPherson, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Marie C. Wilson, founder of The White House Project, and Janet Foutty, principal in Deloitte's Federal Practice. Political consultant and TV personality Marjorie Clifton moderated the event, which took place at McDermott, Will & Emery on Capitol Hill.
On March 10th, 2015 Feminist.com convened a strategy session (hosted by The Harnisch Foundation) of thought leaders and organizations on the future of women's leadership (connected to our Women's Leadership Initiative and What Will It Take campaign).
Stay tuned for news about other events in the works and other exciting plans around this campaign and our Women's Leadership Initiative!
Additional Marianne Schnall/What Will It Take appearances
Media/Press5 Steps to a Female President - It's not just a 'women's issue'
by Marianne Schnall
What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?: Sheryl Sandberg, Nancy Pelosi, Olympia Snowe and Others Weigh In
by Marianne Schnall
The Huffington Post
What Will It Take to Get a Woman in the White House? (Excerpt)
by Marianne Schnall
Newsweek/The Daily Beast
Book asks ‘What will it take to make a woman president?’
by Diana Reese
Controversial Hillary Cover of TIME Illuminates Sexism in the Media
by Marianne Schnall
(More Media/Press Items)
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Feminist.com would also like to thank the many supporters of our Women & Leadership Initiative, including the NoVo Foundation, Political Parity, Jacki Zehner, The Harnisch Foundation, Marta Hill Gray, Willa Shalit and Maiden Nation, Marjorie Clifton, Katie Shorey, and Clifton Consulting, and Perisphere Media.