Women in Leadership

Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Leadership positions offer Members the means to implement their legislative agenda in the House of Representatives. In these clips, women Members describe their efforts to wield the gavel on a committee or win election to party leadership offices, and women staff members recall their attempts to secure influential positions such as chief of staff. Throughout, these stories highlight the difficulties women faced in pursuing their leadership goals while also demonstrating the transformative role of women in power in shaping legislation and the workplace on Capitol Hill.

Video

Women Members in Leadership

The Honorable Nancy Lee Johnson relays her thoughts on women as policy makers and the value of a collaborative approach.

The Honorable Nancy Lee Johnson, U.S. Representative of Connecticut
Interview recorded December 3, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Chairing a "Caucus of Stars"

The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke shares memories of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, U.S. Representative of California
Interview recorded July 22, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Freshman Class President

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes how being freshman class president made her a more effective legislator in Congress.

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton, U.S. Representative of North Carolina
Interview recorded May 15, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Women and Leadership

The Honorable Sue Myrick discusses the challenges of getting women in leadership positions.

The Honorable Sue Myrick, U.S. Representative of North Carolina
Interview recorded March 14, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Help for the House Beauty Shop

The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke discusses her decision to chair the Beauty Shop Committee.

The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, U.S. Representative of California
Interview recorded July 22, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Ways and Means Subcommittee Chair

The Honorable Nancy Lee Johnson emphasizes the value of debate and input from others when considering amendments and drafting legislation.

The Honorable Nancy Lee Johnson, U.S. Representative of Connecticut
Interview recorded December 3, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Challenging "Regular Order"

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes how women Members wanted her to become freshmen class president.

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton, U.S. Representative of North Carolina
Interview recorded May 15, 2015 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Women and House Leadership

The Honorable Susan Molinari discusses the importance of having women in leadership positions.

The Honorable Susan Molinari, U.S. Representative of New York
Interview recorded January 8, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Making History for Women: Part One

The Honorable Mary Rose Oakar discusses advice she received from Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro after she was elected secretary of the Democratic Caucus. 

The Honorable Mary Rose Oakar, U.S. Representative of Ohio
Interview recorded March 2, 2017 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Making History for Women: Part Two

The Honorable Mary Rose Oakar explains how she made history at a White House meeting.

The Honorable Mary Rose Oakar, U.S. Representative of Ohio
Interview recorded March 2, 2017 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

"The Sister Chiefs"

Rochelle Dornatt describes her role in organizing a network for women chiefs of staff.

Rochelle Dornatt, Chief of Staff, Representative Sam Farr of California
Interview recorded January 18, 2017 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

The Whip Operation

Kathy Gille describes the steps involved in a successful whip operation.

Kathy Gille, Executive Floor Assistant, Representative David Bonior of Michigan
Interview recorded February 25, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Women and Positions of Influence in the House

Betsy Wright Hawkings reflects on how many women—Members and staff—have gained positions of power in Congress since the beginning of her career.

Betsy Wright Hawkings, Chief of Staff, Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut
Interview recorded April 18, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

"Give Your Chair to a Lady"

Muriel Morisey recalls Representative Shirley Chisholm's campaign to become Democratic Caucus chair.

Muriel Morisey, Senior Legislative Assistant, Representative Shirley Chisholm of New York
Interview recorded April 19, 2017 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

"Do Not Let Friendship Leave Your Voice"

Judy Lemons discusses her strategy for success on the Hill.

Judy Lemons, Chief of Staff, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California
Interview recorded July 19, 2016 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)