Kim Campbell's journey to the top

Kim Campbell made history as the first female prime minister in thehistory of Canada. Here’s what she says about what she says about beingpowerful and being a woman in today’s world.

 

Kim Campbell made history as the first female prime minister in the history of Canada. Here’s what she says about what she says about being powerful and being a woman in today’s world.

 

“In high school I was elected the first female president of the student council, which made me realize that I could be involved in politics in other ways. Local government is a great way of cutting your teeth in politics -- you know your constituents and your decisions have an immediate impact. People yell at you, but you don’t need thick skin; you just need perspective.

 

“After several years of local politics in British Columbia, I became Canada’s first female minister of justice and minister of defence. (Soon) I was running for the leadership of my party (the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party), it was high-stakes poker. Political reporters are some of the most conservative people I’ve met. I had two things against me: I wasn’t from a big city, and I was a woman. They treated me like, ‘We didn’t make you. Where did you come from?’

 

“Female leaders are still seen as an anomaly. But we’re often excellent leaders, so I tell young women to go for it. There are sacrifices and compromises in politics, but they are in any job, whether you’re a man or a woman. And having a profession to return to helps.”